11.12.06

Weymouth’s Classy Fans Not Ready For Prime Time

Posted in Football at 12:32 pm by

(the filth and the fury : where’s Aaron Grundy now?)

A late header by Bury’s Andy Logan spared his club an embarrassing F.A. Cup first round exit at the hands of Weymouth earlier today, but the day’s real highlight came about an hour earlier. A well placed microphone clearly caught someone in the stands bellowing “play the fucking ball!” late in the first half, a comment euphamistically described as “industrial language” by an amused BBC commentary team.

Luton Town’s Mike Newell, obviously smarting from a 3-2 home defeat to 18th place QPR yesterday, holds assistant referee Amy Rayner responsible, writes the Sunday Times’ Alex Fortune.

œShe should not be here. I know that sounds sexist, but I am sexist, so I am not going to be anything other than that.

œWe have a problem in this country with political correctness, and bringing women into the game is not the way to improve refereeing and officialdom. It is beyond belief. When do we reach a stage when all officials are women, because then we are in trouble. It is bad enough with the incapable referees and linesmen we have, but if you start bringing in women, you have big problems.

œThis is Championship football. It is not park football, so what are women doing here? It is tokenism, for the politically-correct idiots.

QPR defender Marcus Bignot, who used to manage the Birmingham women™s team, attacked Newell for his remarks.

The Luton boss believed his team should have been awarded a penalty when Carlos Edwards tangled with Bignot, but the QPR man insisted Rayner and referee Andy D™Urso had made the right decision.

Bignot said: œComments like those will stop female officials from trying to make their way in the game. Amy Rayner is a role model, and full credit goes to her. What would he have said if it had been a male assistant referee making that decision? œIt™s easy to blame officials, and Mike Newell is entitled to his opinion, but remarks like that do not help the game.

Rayner was not Newell™s only target. Chairman Bill Tomlins also came under attack from his manager, who believes the club have gone backwards since Tomlins took over two years ago. With a proposed move to a new stadium sseemingly stalled, Newell said the chairman would soon be leaving Luton.

œI have not spoken to the chairman for month, he said. œI can™t understand what he is doing. The club has gone backwards off the pitch. He has not made any decisions, and he has contributed nothing. Everything he has got involved in he has messed up. I am not considering my own future because, apparently, he is going. I will not suffer fools. I never have and I never will. When people give you bulls**t for two years, I can™t suffer it. There are players out of contract at the end of the season, but nothing is being done.

Perhaps unsurprisingly since Luton also run a women™s team and have a female secretary in Cherry Newbery, Newell™s remarks were omitted from the club website last night.

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