Thursday, 7 August 2008

The league without referees? Another IFA farce.

My first reaction this morning upon learning that Irish League referees, led by infamous Linfield fan Davy Malcolm, were considering strike action to get higher match fees, I suspect may have been shared with other supporters. ‘An extra £50? For that lot? They’re incompetent! I wouldn’t give them 50p’ and so on.

This is, after all, a group of men (and indeed women) who count amongst their number the appalling Frankie Hiles, a prancing, grinning imbecile from Coleraine who once expressed the opinion on local television that nothing was sweeter than seeing a team from Ballymena being defeated (albeit that the interview was concerned on that occasion with rugby). Hiles had officiated Ballymena United games on countless occasions before and has done so on many more since those remarks, with predictable consequences. An apposite analogy might be Mike Riley (from Leeds) admitting his loathing for all things Mancunian in an interview ostensibly about rugby league whilst conducting a career which saw him repeatedly ruling out Man Utd goals at Old Trafford and possibly even scrambling home a winner for the opposition in the Cup Final. Except, of course, that if Riley did that he'd be my hero.

A strike by match officials is never going to attract a groundswell of support from paying fans who believe that referees’ chief ambitions are to victimise their club and sabotage their otherwise inexorable march to glory. Of course as reviled as they are by supporters, without a referee there can be no game of football. You would think that a football governing body at least would recognise the importance of match officials to the smooth running of their competitions. Not, apparently, when the governing body is as stunningly inept as the Irish Football Association.

The dispute has been widely reported to hinge on a demand from the Northern Ireland Referees Committee to increase match fees from £70 to £120. Admittedly that’s a substantial increase, but if you look a little beyond the BBC’s report (written two days before the re-launched league is due to commence), it becomes clear that this isn’t a sudden demand opportunistically sprung on the IFA as they try to ensure their new competition gets off to a smooth start. The Association made promises three years ago, when referees voiced their concerns, and have subsequently failed to deliver. It transpires that the IFA agreed to an increase in travelling expenses from 25p per mile to 30p per mile, but that change has not yet been made. Given the increase in fuel prices over that 3 year period, it is positively restrained for referees to request only the promised 5p.

Two weeks ago the News Letter reported that referees must continue to buy their own kits, despite Toyota clinching a 5 figure deal to sponsor match officials’ shirts in the new league. Senior officials here have reached a standard which entitles them to referee international matches and European fixtures, yet they receive the lowest match fee for any UEFA nation’s league with the exception of Wales. For a junior fixture in the IFA’s new Championship, this will be £30 and the ref will be assisted, not by further match officials, but by a linesman proffered by either team.

The set up is amateur, insulting and it is little wonder that the standard of officiating is often adjudged to be poor. Paying £15 a year, buying kit, driving around the country at your own expense and receiving little in the way of support from your association all to be abused by players, managers and fans and frequently castigated in the media. I wouldn’t bother. Would you?

The upshot is that the IFA hope to have a much trumpeted league competition commencing on Saturday, supposedly signalling a bright new era for Irish domestic game, and there may be no referees willing to officiate. That could leave them no option but to postpone the fixtures which would represent an even bigger farce than Portadown being excluded from the Premier division in order to spend a season beating intermediate teams by 5 and 6 goals every week. Of course the IFA might be able to put off the action by promising to address referees’ concerns. Although why the officials would believe them is anyone’s guess. Their Committee has set an 8pm deadline tonight for these matters to be resolved.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't recall Frankie Hiles' comments you refer to, but they wouldn't surprise me. I remember John Ferry and the infamous incident at our place when he had to get a police escort out of the stadium!! As you say, a thankless job being a ref (what possible enjoyment can there be?) and I do have a certain sympathy with their current grievances.

Chekov said...

I see that although almost all news sources agree tomorrow's matches will not go ahead, the IFA is as yet to make a statement to this effect. Indeed they advised supporters not to change their travel plans this morning. Christ on a bike!

Chekov said...

The incident with ferry followed a disallowed goal be Davy #the goat' Smyth if a recall correctly.

Anonymous said...

You could be right about the perceived injustice against the bearded ice-cream man but I simply cannot remember!
Looking at the whole issue in recent days, the only person to have earned increased respect and presented his case with eloquence during TV interviews is Davy Malcolm, the chairman of the Refs' Association. Now, I may have been known to direct the odd expletive in Davy's direction during games but I was greatly impressed by his argument, determination to take on the IFA and his media-friendly image - all in complete contrast to that buffoon Raymond Kennedy.

kenny

Anonymous said...

The Scottish FA got an agreement from their guys last saturday .... .

Chekov said...

Anon. The IFA have now also reached agreement with their referees. We can get back to business on Saturday.

sports supplies bowling said...

I don't get this. "A strike by match officials is never going to attract a groundswell of support from paying fans who believe that referees’ chief ambitions are to victimise their club and sabotage their otherwise inexorable march to glory." Could you please enlighten me on this? I keep following all your posts hope you can regularly post more. I get very useful information here. Thanks for having this.



sports supplies bowling

Anonymous said...

After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new
comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve 4
emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a means you can remove me
from that service? Kudos!

Stop by my web page: Cheap NFL Jerseys

Anonymous said...

I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don't know who
you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if
you are not already ;) Cheers!

Here is my page ... Wholesale Jerseys

Anonymous said...

I love what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and exposure!
Keep up the excellent works guys I've added you guys to blogroll.

my site ... Sidney Crosby Jersey

Anonymous said...

It's really very complicated in this full of activity life to listen news on TV, so I only use internet for that reason, and take the most recent information.

My web-site; Nfl jerseys Cheap

Anonymous said...

Hello there I am so glad I found your site, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on Aol for
something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design),
I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have saved it
and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep
up the fantastic work.

My webpage - Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet

Anonymous said...

When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

Appreciate it!

Here is my website; Michael Kors Bags

Anonymous said...

Hi this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or
if you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

My weblog :: Authentic Sidney Crosby Jersey

Anonymous said...

Hello! I could have sworn I've been to this site before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it's new to me.
Nonetheless, I'm definitely glad I found it and I'll be
bookmarking and checking back frequently!



my site Louis Vuitton Handbags

Anonymous said...

What's up, all the time i used to check website posts here early in the morning, for the reason that i enjoy to find out more and more.

Here is my blog; Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought about adding a little
bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything.
But think of if you added some great pictures or video
clips to give your posts more, "pop"! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this blog could definitely be
one of the best in its field. Fantastic blog!


my web-site Michael Kors Outlet

Anonymous said...

Thanks on your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you happen to
be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and may come back someday.
I want to encourage you continue your great job, have a nice morning!


my web site :: Abercrombie Paris

Anonymous said...

Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company you're working with? I've loaded your
blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a honest price?
Kudos, I appreciate it!

Also visit my web page Michael Kors Outlet

Anonymous said...

Excellent items from you, man. I've take note your stuff prior to and you're simply extremely excellent.
I actually like what you have obtained right here, really like
what you're saying and the way by which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a great website.

my site ... Click This Link

Anonymous said...

Awesome post.

Also visit my weblog: Read More Here

Anonymous said...

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but
I find this topic to be actually something which
I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad
for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

Also visit my weblog ... Cheap NFL Jerseys

Josi Bunder said...

Best web hosting companies. Reviews, rates, statistics of top hosting companies.
Find best hosting company at HostingCompaniesz.com

Rugby Tv said...

nice thnx for shring.
Maori All Blacks vs Fiji Live Stream

Rugby Tv said...

This going very helpful for me. Share it to my friends.
All Blacks vs Argentina Live Stream

Argentina vs All Blacks Live Stream

sports said...

All sports & music, movie live streaming on your pc with more than 3000 hd tv channel: http://www.officialtvstream.com.es/passport/go.php?r=4768&i=l44

John @ teamsportbanners said...

Hi, guy! You make me remember this day. Everything was wonderful.

ARM said...

Icc World Cup 2016

aurelie said...

film streaming

Rubel rana said...

SportLemon is probably the biggest and most dependable of all the streaming sports websites out there. They carry all major sports and usually offer muliple links to make sure you find a working stream".live strem sports

sas said...

شركة تنظيف بالقصيم
شركة تنظيف منازل بالقصيم
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالقصيم
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالقصيم
شركة تنظيف ببريدة
شركة تنظيف منازل ببريدة
شركة تنظيف بالرس

UAE Escorts Hub Agency said...

Wow Amazing Work I have recently found such a nice blog and been reading various articles on your blog. Nice work Keep it up.

Good luck!

Dubai Escorts

agario said...


thank you so much. I enjoyed and enjoyed myself while reading. If you come back, you will be very satisfied. Thanks have a good day. Play The Best Agario Server! | Agario Private Server! | Agar.io
agario
agario modded server
agar io modded server
agar.io
agario modded server
agario unblocked
agar
agario private server
agarz
agarw
agariowun
agar.io modded server
agar.io private server
agar pvp
agario hub
agar.io mobi
agario mobi
usagar
agario br
agario العربية
اقاريو
اقاريو
اقاريو العربية
اقاريو العربيه
اقاريو العربيه

Dr.Nishant Pareek said...

Online Medical Store

Ajay Devgn


Bollywood News

Ayurveda

ekhwaa ksa said...



شركة ترميم مبانى
شركة ترميم فلل
ترميم البيت
شركة ترميمات
شركات ترميم بالرياض
ترميم البيت كم يكلف
أفضل شركة ترميم
أفضل شركات الترميم

freedom said...

Nice Post...you are all ways comming out with some grate stuff fallout 4 nexus