There is a manager of a current premiership side that is so used to getting his way that any challenge to his authority to have a major say in the running of top-level football in this country is ruthlessly put down.
Rafa tried to combat the off the field dominance of fergie with his "Facts" press conference. Later, he used a presser to show other managers that there was a way to beat utd at old trafford. Rafa is a special man but he's been a lone voice and was easily picked off by the media...his bullet-pointed list became known as a "rant" for crying out loud. Nothing could have been further from a rant (you should see me and my missus!)
On The Anfield Wrap's podcast one of the boys refers to a function recently where ferguson was sat at the same table as a Premiership referee. I wonder if you can guess which one?
No. It wasn't Webb. It was actually Mark Halsey. Now I join with all right minded fans in saying that the personal abuse he and his family received was despicable and just wrong. But that doesn't let him off the hook for this or his performance on Sunday. Fans were wondering why Liverpool got so few decisions in the game. And it wasn't just because the utd players were in the referee's ear throughout the game. One of the things that will certainly play, even an unconscious part, is the referee thinking "next time I'm at a function with a knight of the realm, will he chew my ear off or ignore me like he has done the BBC (the BBC!!!) because I didn't give his side a penalty?" It's human nature.
Our society has certain guidelines to help us in dealing with human nature. They're called Laws. Rules. Guidelines.
I suggest one guideline for the FA should be that their referees do not sit with well known managers mere days before refereeing a high profile match featuring that manager's team.
Ok. We're a militant bunch at times. When we have to be. When we see wrongs that need righting. A few others have said it and I agree. We need a campaign.
Ed & Noel could you use your contacts with the other blogs, fanzines and writers from all clubs to gauge their willingness to mount a concerted campaign to the FA to encourage them to stand up to bullying and manipulation from ANY manager? fergie's the worst at it, but there are others who try it on...
What happens on the field of play should be what decides the outcome of a football match. Referees have the hardest job to do. Anyone who has refereed at any level will tell you how hard it is. But what we saw the other day was the better team (even with 10 men) having to face their opponents AND the referree. The oppo's manager had a great part in that.
And that is simply not football...let's remind the FA how spineless they've been over the years. What do you say?