Thursday, 11 August 2011

A bit of discipline goes a long way.

Premier League chief Richard Scudamore has revealed the referees will be getting tough on players and managers who show disrespect to the referee. Scenes of individual or mobs of players haranguing referees and managers shouting the odds at officials has become commonplace in the Premier League.

Although it is understandable that emotions run high during games, there is simply no excuse for the kind reaction we see from players and managers to perceived injustices of certain decision by referees. The officials have a hard enough time as it is without hoards of people screaming at them.

During the summer break all clubs, managers, and referees have been in discussions focused on addressing the kind of indiscipline similar to that of the chavy, young scrotes that have terrorised neighbourhoods and city centres throughout England in the last 4 days and thought they would all get away with it.

Thankfully the government, police and justice system seems to be taking a hard line against those that have brought shame to the country, as the FA and it's officials are to take a hard line against the players that shame the greatest sport in the world.

No club is innocent although there are definitely certain players and teams that are perceived to be worse for thinking they are above punishment when it comes to showing disrespect to officials.

Despite the 'Respect' campaign last season there were still many times players surrounded officials demanding they change a decision, and very few times did any player get booked for such acts.

Scudamore has said that acts such as this will no longer be tolerated;

"We've gone the the Professional Game Match Officials Board and asked them what will help them.

"We came up with a reduction in disrespectful behaviour towards match officials, turning backs on referees and we don't want players surrounding referees, as well as the conduct of managers.

"We don't want players surrounding match officials. That will be dealt with more severely this season that it was the last."

We've seen this tougher stance employed already. During the Community Shield Yaya Toure was booked for persistant complaining to officials. It certainly wasn't in the same league as some of the scenes we've witnessed in the Premier League in recent years which so it appears that referees will indeed come down hard on disrespect shown to them. This is something that we would now like to see repeated throughout every other team in the league.

Hopefully this will be something that the FA and match officials will keep up, unlike in recent years when much has been said with little being done. We saw a firmer stance taken last season after David Bernstein became chairman of the FA, and I'm sure I speak for the majority when I say that a tougher stance was needed and is welcomed.

Bernstein is in total support of the tougher stance being taken by the Premier League and believes that "On the pitch behaviour is so important - both directly in the way it affects youngsters playing football but also in terms of wider behaviour."

Time will tell if it works, and I don't believe we will ever totally stamp out a level of disrespect shown to match officials, but with punishments more likely to be handed out to the culprits we may just see a reduction of images like these ...

Or these...
Or these...
Or these...

Or.... ok, I could go on but you get the picture.

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