You ever wake up and feel you’re in a weird kind of purgatory? Like your life is representative of Arsene Wenger’s neverending contract situation? Everything is ok and swimming along, but also shite?
This my friends, is what happens in an international week when there’s nothing to write about.
Back to football. There are no British refs at this year’s World Cup. Is it because Russia hates us? No. It’s because our refs are terrible.
Here are some thoughts that I have had before, but will repackage for you because I am a solutions-oriented person with ideas.
Pay them the cash:
Why the fuck would anyone normal take up a job where everyone hates you and the crowning glory is £90k a year. That is pitiful cash, especially when you consider the money swirling around in the game. Give elite referees the money they deserve, £500k a year. The byproduct of this:
- You get a better calibre of candidate coming into the game
- You increase competition for the top places
- You lower the possibility of bribery
Accountability: Refs hiding behind their PGMOL bullshit simply isn’t acceptable. They need to be accountable to the fans via the media. We need to know the thinking behind big decisions and refs need to have a voice in this.
Punishment: We have so many refs that are consistently shite. Yet they hang around. It’s like PGMOL buys into refs being part of the entertainment of football. For me, a ref should never be the star of the show. I don’t want to know someone’s name because of drama, because they consistently go to war against certain teams, because they are bafflingly poor. If you are shite, you should be moved out of the league.
Rotation: For the life of me, I do not understand how it is legal to say only British people can ref in the Premier League. It is a disgraceful policy. UEFA should rotate the best around Europe. It’d take away the clear regional bias that exists in football culture in the UK, it’d give our refs more experience in different leagues, it’d increase competition. It’d also make the job more exciting for young people coming into the game.
Guys and gals, did I just solve the UK refereeing challenge? I think I did. I’m listening to new opps at the moment, hit me up PGMOL.
Steve Bould dropped some Arsene Propaganda. The Arsenal manager, ill, or jetlagged from travelling to Qatar to chat shit on Ivan G, missed the prezzer.
“He is remarkable,”
“Behind closed doors, I’ve never known someone who’s as hungry and determined to win football games. It’s as big as I’ve ever seen, for sure.
“I admire him immensely. He takes unbelievable stick off an awful lot of people and he’s just one of the great managers. It’s a pleasure for me to sit next to him. I understand that he’s doing a great job, as far as I’m concerned, and has done a great job for an awfully long time.”
Come on Steve, we know the truth. You’re on the football equivalent of Fishbowl, dropping shit bombs on your boss.
‘I hear Arsene goes home at 4pm on Friday and he drinks on the job’
Here’s the thing with statements like the above (the real comment), we’re constantly reminded how much Wenger wants to win, but at the core of it, he doesn’t know how.
Who really gives a fuck about misguided desire? Sport is about producing. Wenger isn’t producing, so really, the emotional backstory is a total irrelevance when you’re looking at 15 years+ before we can win a major honour again.
Anyway, Stoke this weekend. EXCITING. We’ll be back on the pod trail again, sorry for the downtime.
FINALLY: Please put your hands in your pocket and give The Gooner Fanzine some upfront money so they can survive next year. It is essential we keep publications like this alive. Genuinely, one of the happiest moments for my family was when I had a piece in The Gooner. It’s iconic. An institution. DO NOT LET IT DIE. All you need to do is pay them £32 a now, to land 6 editions next year.
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