Chief executive of the FA Brian Barwick is set to launch a “grass roots pilot scheme” in a bid to enhance protection for referees and make sure people aren’t scared to take a career as a referee. With players snatching at your cards like spoilt toddlers, being chased around by gangs of thuggish players questioning a call, and being abused by that scouse Shrek lookalike for 90 minutes, Barwick isn’t surprised that refs are reaching for the Huggies Pull-Ups before they set foot on the pitch. Now Barwick has drawn a line in the sand and says things have to change, that we have to be more like the effete rugby players who doff their caps to the mighty refs, the pilot scheme will be undertaken at grassroots level before trying it on the Premiership millionaires. Barwick said:
“There is a lot of emotion and passion in the game but you only have to look at a sport like rugby to see there seems to be a certain level of respect for the officials.That sets a marker down for our game because the treatment of referees is a really serious issue and something we have to deal with.”
And Barwick has been backed up by who else but England Manager and FA stooge Steve McClaren who said:
“If you do not have discipline you are not in control, if you are not in control it can cost you the game,” he observed.In my opinion, this thing has to start at the bottom.In my experience, over many years of coaching, the players coming through are less disciplined every year and instilling the discipline required into them is getting harder and harder.”
So main parts of this new rule, set for introduction at grass roots in January are firstly that ‘only the team captain will be allowed to speak with the referee’ and secondly ‘All players and club officials will be forced to sign a ‘memorandum of understanding’ noting the standards of behaviour that will be expected.’
So only the captain will be able to speak to the ref, won’t that be even worse, facing a private tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte with only card snatcher John Terry for company? Then again, a one-on-one chat with Gary Neville would give referees a chance to solidify their evenings plans with the Manchester United captain.