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Big Sam, Premier Lies and Videotape – Technology Not New Ref Rules Needed




As well as the usual raft of big transfers at this time of year, there has been two major developments in the football world this week – one being the appointment of Sam Allardyce as England manager and the second the announcement of new Premier League refereeing rules yet still no more technology.

Both will have a significant impact on The Premier League as suddenly a new type of English footballer has a better chance of selection for the national team – goal-scoring Geordies like Andy Carroll – and the second concerns new rules governing player behaviour that will clamp down on “intolerable behaviour”.

Specifically, contesting decisions in an aggressive manner and swearing is now outlawed with red cards for language and disrespectful gestures toward officials. The rules extend to Premier League managers, who now face stricter enforcement of laws governing their behaviour in the technical area.

All well and good yet outlawing the surrounding & encroachment of referees as perfected by Roy Keane and Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils in the 1990s is 20 years too late. They’ll ban Fergietime next.

And the new rules beg the question – why stop there in making the beautiful game clean and fair?

If players and managers are expected to behave better then surely the same rigor should be applied to the conduct of, and especially the crucial, game-affecting decisions made by the PGMOB match officials.

The absolute solution for good behaviour is the implementation and use of readily-available modern technology in the form of a 5th official with video replays – like the system BT use with Howard Webb for instant expert analysis – to ensure 100% of the time, the officials get the decisions right.

No players protest when an over-the-line incident occurs as the referees are now aided by goal-line technology that tells them with 100% accuracy whether the whole of the ball crossed the line or not.

Every time the technology is correct, players & managers alike have 100% faith in it so each incident is accepted wholeheartedly even if Alan Pardew jokingly said its inventor should be “kicked up the bum” after one marginal decision ruled a goal out by then Crystal Palace striker Dwight Gayle for him.

Why not bring the same 100% accurate technology in with offside decisions when it is clear immediately through the use of similar technology whether a player is in an offside position?

In a discussion with a member of the football fraternity, the words “You make your own Destiny” in football came up yet that is not the case when crucial decisions like the two below can decide the football destiny of local rivals Newcastle and Sunderland, the direction of £100M in extra Premier League TV money as per the new deal and now the advancement of Sam Allardyce to the national football coach.

In this first example, in a key end of season game Sergei Aguero is clearly standing in an offside position from the free-kick for up to 30 seconds before the free-kick is taken and he scores. Newcastle go on to ultimately equalise in the game yet a deserved win may have been the 3 points that kept them up.

In this second video from the Sunderland win that was a turning point in the Black Cats survival, Patrick van Aanholt is clearly standing in an offside position when he receives the ball to cross for Fabio Borini’s equaliser hence why two Chelsea players have their hands up indicating correctly the offence.

A 5th official with video technology or the following Infra-Red system would clearly recognise this, disallow the goal & the ‘miracle’ of Sunderland’s escape from relegation would not occur and relegation-tarnished Sam Allardyce would not now be England manager.

Decisions matter immensely and the good, correct ones that saw Geordie referee Mark Clattenburg rise to the heights of English and European football for the FA Cup, UEFA Champions League and Euros Final are the opposite of the ones that saw Newcastle fall out of The Premier League according to The Sun’s Premier League table indicating Newcastle were the most victimised club last season.

“Newcastle would have avoided relegation had the officials did their jobs properly” reads the sub-headline and Sunderland should have gone down. Read more here


Leicester City should not have received a Premier League record 13 penalties last season and should have more men sent off and thus Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal ought to have won the title not finished second as they did although Leicester-supporting ex-player and now Match of the Day TV presenter Gary Lineker is in favour of the new rules, Tweeting:

“At last! Might be bedlam for a few games but players will soon learn.”

Yet perhaps Leicester not winning The Premier League and fulfilling the American Dream of the little guy winning and anything being possible may not have been as romantic an ending – or beginning – for the new USA audience during a season preceding that which NBC and co have paid £5 BILLION for the rights to.

From Uncle Sam to Big Sam

Lets hope the officials at the next World Cup in Russia are as generous as the Premier League refs that sent off three opponents in his first five wins for Sunderland, only for two to be rescinded after the fact and a third that should have been after nine priceless points were irreversibly in the bag.

One such horrendous, game-changing and season-changing decision came in his first match, predictably against Newcastle when Allardyce’s win was assisted by the officials to a win over his old adversary Steve McClaren, who got the England job instead of him in 2005, first when The Magpies are denied a penalty at one end then have their Captain Fabricio Coloccini wrongly sent off at the other.

Big decisions matter and gave momentum to Sam Allardyce that has lifted him from mediocre management – ironically the one big club he has managed is Newcastle – to the national coach of England.

Yet the Peter Principle of Managment states: “Managers rise to the level of their incompetence.”

Good luck to him, at least he utilises all of the modern technology available to him to achieve his ends and has long been rightly applauded for being a pioneer of sports science in the English game.

Allardyce, the son of a police sergeant, once complained that The FA’s failure to enable his Powerpoint presentation during an interview in 2005 meant he didn’t get the Three Lions job then – well ironically its the Premier League’s failure to be up with modern technology that has enabled him to get it in 2016.

Its time The Premier League stopped blaming players and caught up before it is caught red-handed again.


Birmingham City Fan Jailed for 14 Days for Punching Aston Villa Player

Anthony DiMoro



27-year old Paul Mitchel, a Birmingham City fan has been jailed for 14 days after he plead guilt to assaulting Aston Villa midfielder Jack Graelish during the derby on Sunday.

Mitchell rushed the pitch and took a swing at Graelish when the player’s back was turned at Birmingham City’s St. Andrew’s stadium during the Championship match on Sunday.

Mitchell admitted to invading the pitch and has been officially banned from attending any football match in the U.K. for up to 10 years, and was also ordered to pay £350 in total fines.

Graelish made a statement in which he described how he was “shocked and scared” by the attack.

“I cannot help but feel how lucky I was in this incident,” he said (h/t ESPN). “It could have been so much worse had the supporter had some sort of weapon.”

“He cannot explain what came over himself yesterday morning,” Mitchell’s lawyer, Vaughn Whistance, said on Monday.

“His initial foolish intention was to go onto the pitch to whip up the crowd. He is certainly remorseful today. He is a man with a partner, they have a 2-year-old together and they’re expecting their second child.”

“This weekend a line has been crossed in terms of fan behaviour,” said a spokesperson for the FA.

“On Sunday we saw two separate incidents, at Birmingham City and Arsenal, of individuals entering the field of play and assaulting players.

“Not only is it an offence to enter the pitch, which could result in a club ban and criminal charges for the individual, but it also puts the safety of the players at risk.

“This is entirely unacceptable and we strongly condemn both incidents.

“We will be working with the clubs, the leagues and the police to discuss what collectively needs to be done to protect players and officials on the pitch.

“In addition, we have written to both Birmingham City and Arsenal to seek their observations to examine the security measures they had in place.”

Birmingham City apologized to Grealish and Aston Villa and banned Mitchell for life.

“Birmingham City Football Club would like to apologise to Jack Grealish and Aston Villa Football Club for an incident in Sunday afternoon’s derby match,” a club statement said.

“We deplore the behaviour of the individual who committed this act and rest assured he will be banned from St. Andrew’s for life. The club will also support any further punishment this individual may face in the eyes of the law.

“The club will be working with the relevant authorities to investigate all the circumstances and we will be reviewing our stadium safety procedures.

“What happened has no place in football or society. Jack is a Birmingham lad and regardless of club allegiance should not have been subjected to this — there are no excuses.

“Again, we apologise to Jack and all at Aston Villa Football Club.”


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Major League Soccer, Twitch Ink One-Year Partnership

Anthony DiMoro



Major League Soccer (MLS) has inked a one-year sponsorship deal with popular streaming platform Twitch, per an official announcement from MLS.

Starting in March, MLS will start streaming the second season of their eMLS Cup, their esports league in conjunction with EA Sports’ FIFA franchise.

“FIFA is one of the main generators of the fans that we have” MLS Digital Senior VP Chris Schlosser said, via an official statement. “If you look at it historically – radio built baseball, television built the NFL and NBA, and the internet is building soccer.”

The partnership between Twitch and MLS could also include content outside of the eMLS Cup, featuring highlights or media produced by MLS teams, or clips of MLS games moving forward.

“We are looking to do some esports events – this is something we are taking a hard look at” DC United Chief Executive and Managing General Owner Jason Levin said, via an official statement.

“All of esports is a dramatically growing industry. It’s an opportunity to engage our current fans and connect with some younger sports fans who don’t know as much about DC United. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to grow our fanbase more than anything.”

It’s an exciting time for streaming, particularly on Twitch, as live sports such as the NBA’s G League, and MLS are starting to develop Twitch streams to help tap into the streaming market, diversify their digital content, and get more involved with esports teams and esports organizations.

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Manchester United Place Paul Pogba Contract Talks on Hold

Anthony DiMoro



Manchester United is putting a hold on any contract negotiations or talks with Frenchman Paul Pogba, who is two years into a five-year pact he inked with the club when he returned from Juventus back in 2016.

Manchester United remain confident that they can convince Pogba, who has had a roller coaster run at Old Trafford, to stay with the club for the long-term future, according to ESPN FC’s Rob Dawson.

The club had hoped to engage in preliminary negotiations with Pogba, along with his agent Mino Raiola in September following Pogba’s successful stint playing in the World Cup earlier this Summer in Russie, but Pogba’s unhappiness with his situation in Manchester is now coming into play during talks.

While Pogba will not push for a move away in January 2019, he could be tempted by Barcelona next summer should they show a renewed interest in acquiring him.

Pogba’s agent, Raiola, is known for engaging in rather difficult negotiations concerning his clients and had done so during Pogba’s world record £89.3 million move from Juventus, so United was hoping to get an early start on contract talks this time around.

Per the report ESPN FC, after initial talks occurred earlier this month the plan was to step up discussions at the beginning of next season before executing the deal officially in early 2020.

Those scheduled negotiations are now being pushed back.

Per sources cited in the report, United is still relaxed about the situation with Pogba, due to their one-year option that they can fall back on which could be used to keep Pogba at Old Trafford until the Summer of 2022.

However, United is confident that they can reach a breakthrough with Pogba in negotiations prior to then.

It will be interesting to see how the lines shake up as the Pogba negotiations carry on. has the latest free bets and they will surely keep monitoring the latest lines on Pogba’s future with United.

The report goes on to note that sources close to Pogba continue to insist that the cloud of uncertainty surrounding his future with the club is not designed to be a tactic to elicit any sort of pay raise.

Additionally, had executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward not refused to listen to any offers over the summer, Pogba likely would have joined Barcelona.

While Pogba is fine playing for manager Jose Mourinho this season, despite their well-documented rocky relationship in the past, he is not ruling out a move in the future.


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