Monday, 14 June 2010

I swear it's true!!

From the "Non-League Daily" website:
"Northern League chairman Mike Amos has condemned the FA for refusing to act on swearing in managers’ technical areas.

The league has been a strong advocate of initiatives to reduce or even eradicate swearing from technical areas during games, and has on many occasions received complaints from offended fans. In turn it has urged match officials to take stronger action on foul mouths in the dug-out, but for one reason or another, the pleas largely fall on deaf ears.

Frustrated by the lack of strong action from local officialdom, Amos approached the FA and pointed out that the FA’s Respect campaign didn’t appear to be working, and suggested that the league should launch its own campaign.

“Right from the moment of that barmy, empty, meaningless hand shaking pantomime before the match the swearing begins – with very few exceptions – both in the so-called technical area and on the pitch. Especially this season the league management committee has become concerned about some of the appalling goings on in the technical area itself and about the sometimes pathetic response by County FAs on the rare occasions when the referee does something about it. We wrote to the County FAs, with a response that was less than encouraging.

“I personally also wrote to the FA nationally, so great my despair at the level of offensive, insulting and abusive language, and the wretched and manifest ineffectiveness of the Respect campaign so far to make any impression upon it at our level.

“I pointed out that in my view the match officials needed to be drinking from a bottle labelled “Bottle” – because so many of them appear to lack it – but also asked if, even now, the Northern League might be allowed to launch another initiative of its own. The FA’s top man in those areas promised in writing to run it past the relevant committee and then to come north to meet the league.

“Almost a month after the meeting, he wrote again. No, he wouldn’t be venturing beyond Wembley’s blinkered confines – surprise, surprise – because they didn’t really see or hear a problem. So long as the referee took action against what was aimed directly at him and his team – and we all know that many of them don’t even do that – then things could be managed.

“The FA is effectively saying that you can swear your silly heads off that if anyone other than the referee is offended by obscenities yelled the length of the pitch that it doesn’t really matter a fig and that the practice of ignoring what remains a law of the game will not only continue but implicitly be supported from the top. That’s not opinion, that’s fact.

“The FA has made it abundantly and aggressively clear in the past that the league will not be allowed to act unilaterally on offensive language. Nor, to be fair, have most clubs shown any great enthusiasm themselves to address the issue. Even now, however, when our governing body does a very passable impression of Pontius Pilate washing its hands of a pernicious problem, there is room for a club to declare that it is going to make a stand. A club has every right to discipline, or simply not to play, those of its people both in the technical area and on the pitch who continue wantonly to use offensive language or abusive behaviour. Is there, even now, just one Northern League club prepared to take that stand, prepared for all the accompanying publicity and prepared to work with us for the greater good of the game, both here and nationally, at this level? I would be delighted to hear from them, and to support them.”

FA referees’ official John Jones, who spoke at the AGM after Amos said: “Match officials have been told to clamp down on bad language from technical areas. If a club reports that match officials haven’t taken any action, then it isn’t brushed under the table. We go back to the officials and ask for their comments.”

However, as the league has pointed out on many times in the past, the officials’ get out clause is always that they have never heard the bad language – even though in some cases the words are shouted just a few yards away from them.

'Fraid he's right - nowt will be done about it. At the same time - I have to say that I've only been to one game where the swearing was really offensive and that was at Stocksbridge a couple of seasons ago. I actually moved the Duchess from the stand and we watched from behind the goal so she didn't have to listen to it.
I did actually mention it on the BTFC Fans Forum and suggested a certain Mr Gary Marrow should "tone it down" since there were some ladies and youngsters present in the stand. Mr Marrow responded by suggesting that women should be at home doing the ironing and not watching football.
Now, this greatly angered the Duchess who has been involved in football administration for more than 20 years and has been watching footy at all levels for a good deal longer than that!She may not hold any coaching badges but she can almost recite the FA Rule Book "verbatim."
Sadly, while dinosaurs like GM are still involved, things definitely won't change!

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