Life Ban For Sir Alex ? You Must Be Joking !

robert mcewanContributor IOctober 7, 2009

WIGAN, ENGLAND - MAY 13:  Sir Alex Ferguson the manager of Manchester United celebrates after the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at the JJB Stadium on May 13, 2009 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

In a week in which Sir Alex Ferguson has some what controversially grabbed all of the back pages....I ask one simple question.....Were his comments so bad ? 

To question the fitness of the referee (in this case Alan Wiley)  is surely well within the right of the manager of a football club, after all the knock on effect of an unfit referee could be a potential disaster...for club, manager, players and fans alike.

So lets just step aside for one moment away from that particular game at Old Trafford, where I think it was clear for all to see that United were nothing short of shambolic.

Instead lets put ourselves in the shoes of a League two manager, his club has one MUST WIN game left to avoid relegation out of the football league and into the doldrums of the Blue Square conference.

92 mins show on the clock and his team lead 1-0, the opposition counter attack for what should be the last attack of the game, suddenly the centre forward hits the floor, the referee (who is still 40 yards away) looks to his assistant who did not have a clear view of the incident, The referee then points to the spot.

The resulting penalty is converted thus condemning the other club to relegation, but t.v. replays show that it should never have been a penalty, furthermore had the referee been fit enough to keep up with a 93rd minute counter attack, he indeed would not have given the penalty.

This albeit ridiculous story that I have just conjured up is the exact reason why managers should have the right to question the referee.

Referees do have to accept that the job they do is a very high profile affair and that it just is not possible to avoid the wrath of angry football managers, incensed by what at the time appeared to be a ridiculous decision or whatever the case may be.

Reading a UK national newspaper this morning, I was quite amazed to hear that Alan Leighton, the national secretary of Prospect....was leading the call to have Sir Alex Ferguson 'banned for life'.

He said "banning Ferguson from the touchline or giving him a hefty fine would have no effect.

He wants the FA to "grab the nettle" and banish him for good. Leighton said: "I don't know what Sir Alex earns but a small fine or a touchline suspension would be like water off a duck's back to him.

"So I think there has to be some recognition that this is a serious allegation that needs to be properly dealt with and punished severely.

"There are issues around suspension from the job that would be new territory that hasn't happened before, but I think the FA has to grab the nettle on this one.

"There has to be some punishment that is going to stop people from doing this or otherwise we are going to see more and more of it.

"We have to talk about punishments that are going to really lead to a change in behaviour".

Well Mr Leighton I have to say that you really have absolutely no idea about the passion involved in the great game if you want figures like Sir Alex Ferguson banned for life over such a over-hyped affair.

Maybe Mr Leighton would like football fans to all go to games dressed in black, sing no songs, eat no pies...then just leave at the end like nothing ever happened, no bragging rights at work on Monday morning, Instead Football should be treated as a chore.

This is the type of silly little crooner that will destroy our game permanently, take away the passion, and if that is about to happen then I think we all must agree that managers SHOULD continue to air the opinions and concerns that they have about the performance of referees.

If indeed it is felt by the governing bodies that a manager has 'abused' the referee, then of course action should be taken.....but banning Sir Alex for life ? You have got to be joking, I think it would be easier to SACK THE QUEEN !