The headline says it all – “Ferguson Fights FA Charge”. Sorry Guys but that’s exactly what he did in the first place and why he’s up before the beak. Also Ronaldo is banned for one game and fined less than a days wages, £4,ooo, after being booed by Benfica fans in the Champions League in December. It is an issue that affects all footballers, how to handle abuse from opposing supporters. The majority of supporters during the course of their “football career” will have dished out some form of abuse, from a good natured boo to full on abuse, and the players are expected to take it and get on with it. When they react to it, the relevant football authorities dish out their fines and / or suspension with a formal statement issued by the player regretting their actions. But why regret it? The media (and some supporters) expect their heroes to be superhuman and not react to abuse. Never mind the x thousand at the game, if someone came into your workplace and booed, jeered or abused you, then most people would batter ten bells of shit out of their abuser. Well, I don’t know about you but I would. And if you wouldn’t, then in the words of Jimmy Pursey, “Mister, You’re A Better Man Than I”.
The point is, why should footballers be banned from reacting to the abuse they receive. Lets face it, to say that they deserve it or should rise above it simply because they earn megabucks is a non starter. Maybe because it is there and part of the culture of the game, then there is an argument to say that maybe they should not follow the professional path if they can’t hack it but we’ve all been to games where it would have been livened up if the Left Winger had twatted someone in the section of fans abusing him. Let us all petition the FA and FIFA to allow at least one footballer in a match to be able to lamp a supporter who is giving them abuse. The victim should be chosen on the grounds of least funny / original or most boring and banal abuse handed out. The way it would work is that the players could spend part of the Half Time break swapping notes about the abuse, and then nominate one player to deal with the offender. The Referee is then informed, and the abuser told. Shortly before the hour mark a klaxon sounds and five minutes of abuse and respostes ensues. The nearest 100 supporters then give each contestant marks out of 10 for originality and comedy value. Should the supporter win, they get to lead the abuse for the remainder of the game, the player if they win gets to launch a drop kick a la Cantona at the loser.
Sol Campbell’s personal problems explain his apparent loss of form and fitness, something that affects a large portion of the working population during their careers. It is a situation that only he can resolve but opinionated rubbish like that spouted by Hansen will not assist in the matter. What has surprised me is that the Red Tops have behaved with a rarely seen degree of decency over the matter and not treated him in the same manner that Frank Bruno was, i.e. “He’s Mental”. Whether this lasts remains to be seen. We wish Sol all the best and hope he resolves his problems successfully.
Todays Tune: an unsponsored tie-in to the Johnny Cash biopic hitting the screens is, from The American Sessions produced by Rick Ruben, a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song that works incredibly well.