New Football Rules 2009-10Monday, 25 May 2009
As yet another season draws to a close, we think that it’s time to reflect on the state of our beloved national game. We think that it’s become stale and predictable. Too much money at the top and too little elsewhere, players diving at the hint of a tackle, referees spoiling games with daft decisions and players having tantrums to make a two-year-old ashamed. So we’ve made a list of proposed changes – some sensible, some less so – which, if implemented, could make the 2009-10 season one of the fairest and most fun for a long, long while. What do you think......?
In the Independent on 9 May, there was a serious article suggesting a series of possible changes which included: a two tier Premier League, salary caps, a limit to squad sizes, a reduction in the number of overseas players, and a fairer division of TV revenues. In true TTRP tradition, we’ve nicked the best ideas, given them a twist and then added some suggestions of our own. Have a look and let us know what you think. Register and you can add some of your suggestions......
There will be an escalation system for persistent offenders which could see the likes of Rooney and Drogba playing dressed only in ladies underwear and high heels
If you’re fed up with overpaid players diving, spitting, whining and generally being obnoxious, we think you might like these first few proposals:
Any player found guilty of aggressive behaviour or macho posturing – swearing at the ref, pushing or hitting anyone, kicking the ball away in anger – will be forced to play the next match wearing a skirt. There will be an escalation system for persistent offenders which could see the likes of Rooney and Drogba playing dressed only in ladies underwear and high heels.
If a player spits on a pitch, the groundsman will have the right to go to the player’s house and spit on the carpet. The right to roll around pretending to be injured would be an optional extra.
Any player caught moaning about the number of matches he has to play will be given a double shift as a hospital porter on the day before the next match. That will teach them what tired and overworked means.
We would impose a pan-European salary cap with the figure set by a panel of fans who have to pay the extortionate ticket prices.
Any player caught diving will have to play the next match wearing a swim hat, goggles and speedos. Repeat offenders will also be required to wear flippers.
Only the champions from each European league will get into the Champions League (the clue’s in the title). This will stop a team which ends up in seventh place qualifying because the top four won cup competitions, the fifth won the fair play league and all the players from the sixth were having their hair done, their legs waxed and couldn’t be arsed to travel outside the UK.
New rules will be introduced to prevent managers stalking foreign children and buying them off their parents for a few euros, a bottle of Jack Daniels and a bootleg DVD copy of ‘All the Incidents I Didn’t See’ by Arsene Wenger.
There will be a limit on the number of overseas players which a team can play at any time. This may run into trouble with EU employment legislation and might be the only time when Sun-reading fans of the Premier League teams actually agree with anything proposed by the EU.
Points will be deducted for arrogance.
For one season, all TV revenue allocations will be reversed. The boring four will get only £1 each while some Sunday League pub teams will become rich overnight and start asking why Stella don’t make champagne. Sky will have to show highlights of matches like the Red Lion v the Queens Head and Rotherham Boys Club v Barnsley Boy Scouts.
Points at the end of the season will be calculated using a random and extremely complicated method (not unlike the Duckworth Lewis system in cricket) which will see points totals reduced for clubs with large squads, high wage bills and too many vehicles with high emissions in the players car park. This will lead to drastic sales just before the end of the season and a helicopter hovering between ten different grounds not knowing where to deliver the league trophy.
Toilet standards will be set by a committee of female fans and, if any club fails to meet the standards on a consistent basis, the Chairman will be ‘bogwashed’ and the picture published on the club website
‘Fans’ in the corporate hospitality sections will have to sing three football songs from start to finish and abuse the ref in a local dialect before being allowed to have anything to eat or drink.
Anyone normal fan who has to queue for food and drink for the whole of the half time break will get as much food and drink as they like free of charge to teach the clubs (like Palace) not to be cheapskates on catering staff.
Clubs with too high a salary bill will have to pay for all their fans’ away travel – first class fares, tickets, programmes, betting money, food & drink, and an overnight stay in a plush hotel.
There will be severe punishments for poor toilet facilities in the public areas of the ground. Toilet standards will be set by a committee of female fans and, if any club fails to meet the standards on a consistent basis, the Chairman will be ‘bogwashed’ and the picture published on the club website.
Fans singing the same song more than ten times in any one match will be ejected from the stadium. This is a health & safety measure as it will stop people dying from boredom when others sing dirges like that awful ‘Liv-er-pool’ song ad nauseam. Free tickets will be issued to budding terrace Lennon & McCartneys who can produce creative new songs in which the lyrics don’t involve the sexual preferences of the Chairman’s wife or the alleged profession of the referee’s mother, sister or aunt.
To pre-empt the anger and abuse directed towards the officials during matches, they will be placed in stocks on the pitch while the players are warming up. Managers, players, fans and passing strangers will be allowed to throw rotten fruit at them in return for making a contribution to a charity of the officials’ choice (e.g. Royal National Institute for the Blind). Contributions will be based on the salary of the thrower so average fans will have to pay a couple of quid, the corporate brigade will have to dig a bit deeper and players will have to sell one of their houses.
Clubs will be compelled to run anger management courses for those annoying stewards who start acting like dictators as soon as they’re given a hat, a badge and a fluorescent jacket. Away fans will have stewards to monitor aggressive home club stewards. That one from Preston in August will be beaten with celery when Palace visit next year to make amends for his silly behaviour this season.
If the score is still 0-0 after 80 minutes, all defenders will be blindfolded
Goal line technology will be introduced. When the ball crosses a line, a hooter will go off and a picture of a crying goalkeeper will be shown on a big screen. The equipment will not be run by Microsoft as it would have to be re-booted at least five times during each match and, if it broke down, the season would be over by the time they answered the customer service call.
If matches are still 0-0 after 70 minutes and things are getting boring, referees will be allowed to send off both goalkeepers. If the score is still 0-0 after 80 minutes, all defenders will be blindfolded. If the score is then still 0-0 at full time, both teams will be deducted three points and abused by Alan Hansen on match of the Day (although this last element isn’t a new one).
All sponsors will sign contracts allowing Take the Red Pill to rebrand the leagues and trophies which they are sponsoring. This will result in commentators looking forward to the third round of the FA Cup sponsored by “those bastards from Eon who want to build a coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth” and this week’s matches in the “union-bashing, water-stealing, child obesity promoting corporate sharks who are Coca Cola” Championship.
It had been suggested that extraordinary rendition was a bit harsh for any human being which is why we were going to suggest that it might be the appropriate treatment for all football agents. However, on reflection, we’ve decided to show grace and leniency. Instead of being flown to receive hospitality from some of the lovely friends of the British government (and our arms industry), football agents will be made to pay back all receipts from transfer deals over the last ten years and be compulsorily enrolled on a course entitled ‘How To Do Something Useful With Your Life and Not Be A Parasite Anymore’.
That’s it for the moment but feel free to let us have any other suggestions.......
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