Three topics on the Respect agenda this week as representatives of the Premier League and Derby County were forced to issue apologies, and the FA sort of issued one for the limitations of their officials.
Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards was in Doha this week and was forced to say sorry after claiming FIFA and UEFA had ‘stolen’ football from England, while Derby County apologised for their fans singing offensive songs about Nottingham Forest’s recently deceased owner Nigel Doughty.
Over at the Football Association last Saturday it was decided to release a statement reiterating the governing body’s support for goal-line technology less than an hour after the officials at the Reebok missed a Clint Hill goal for QPR that was two foot over the line.
Richards’ embarrassing gaffe at a sports conference was followed by a more physical faux pas as he fell face first into a water feature in his suit.
During his time at the conference on security in sport, Richards seemed keen to remind the world that they had England to thank for the beautiful game.
“England gave the world football. It gave the best legacy anyone could give. We gave them the game. For 50 years we owned the game. We were the governance of the game,” said Richards.
“We wrote the rules, designed the pitches and everything else. Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said you’re liars and they actually stole it. It was called FIFA. Fifty years later, another gang came along called UEFA and stole a bit more.”
After being reminded the Chinese also claim to have invented the game, Richards added: “It started in Sheffield 150 years ago. We started the game and wrote the rules and took it to the world.
“The Chinese may say they own it but the British own it and we gave it to the rest of the world.”
Rumours that he then broke into a verse of There’ll Always Be An England could not be substantiated. Needless to say both the Premier League and the FA quickly distanced themselves from the remarks he put down later to being a Yorkshireman.
Tuesday night’s normally heated East Midlands rivalry between Derby County and Nottingham Forest went way over the top with a section of Rams fans plumbing the depths with chants about Nigel Doughty, the Nottingham Forest owner who died last month.
The 54-year-old was found dead at his home in Lincolnshire, and the offensive chants saw Derby County chief executive Tom Glick described the chants as “insensitive and distasteful” and issued an apology on behalf of the club.
“We are very disappointed that a brief moment of insensitive and distasteful chanting by a minority of supporters spoiled what was a great occasion at Pride Park stadium last night,” said Glick.
“We do not condone the actions of those individuals in any way, shape or form. It is a shame for this majority that we today have to focus on a small group of people whose actions reflect badly on us all.”
The club have begun a review of the events during Derby’s 1-0 win, asking any supporters with relevant information to get in touch.
The FA, meanwhile, decided to release a statement reiterating their support for goal-line technology less than an hour after the officials at the Reebok missed a goal for Queens Park Rangers.
With plans in place for the technology to be introduced as early as next season in the Premier League if testing goes to plan, the timing of the statement went down like a lead balloon with QPR boss Mark Hughes.
“I think that’s absolutely ludicrous that they come out and try and protect the poor performances of the officials that they supply,” said Hughes, who saw referee Martin Atkinson and assistant Bob Pollock both miss that the ball was well over the line.
“I think that’s a joke. Goal-line technology should come in. But until it comes in they should actually do the job that they’re supposed to do, which is check whether or not the ball has gone over the line.
“You can’t hide behind the fact there isn’t the technology to cover up a poor performance.”
Tags: Clint Hill, Derby County, Goal-line Technology, Mark Hughes, Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers, Sir Dave Richards