Friday, January 20, 2012

Classic Quotations made about Referees


Back in April 2008 I started a thread on the subject of badly worded or simply daft comments made by football managers, past and present. Following this I then went on a crusade to poke fun at not only football managers but also players, fans, and chairman alike who have at various times spouted out drivel, in an attempt to get their point across.

Like a phoenix from the flames I have resurrected the topic, but this time the emphasis is on the referees, not so much what they have to say, but what is said about them!

There is enough material on the subject to write a novel, but here is just a taster of some of my favourite comments made about referees over the years.


We've got drug-testers here today. I assume they'll ignore the players and go straight to the officials - MICK McCARTHY, Wolves manager, after a controversial home defeat by Birmingham, 2007.

The ref was a big time homer, more interested in his rub-on suntan - DAVID MOYES, Everton manager talking about referee Jeff Winter, 2003.

Can anyone tell me why they give referees a watch? It's certainly not for keeping the time - ALEX FERGUSON, Manchester United manager, after Graham Poll added 'only three minutes' v Everton, 1996.

I tried to talk to the ref but it's easier to get an audience with the Pope. If I'm in London again and I get mugged, I hope the same amount of people turn up - there were six police officers, four stewards and a UN peace-keeping observer - GORDON STRACHAN, after controversy at Arsenal shortly before resigning as Southampton manager, 2004.

If the ref had stood still we wouldn't have had to chase him - ROY KEANE, Manchester United captain, on the Andy D'Urso incident, 2000.

When Paolo Di Canio pushed over the referee (Paul Alcock), if the referee had been a player he'd have been booked for diving - BARRY DAVIES, TV commentator, recalling the 1998 match between Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday, 2004.

I'm 27 years-old and yet the referee tells me I'm not allowed to swear - VINNIE JONES, Wimbledon midfielder, after being dismissed for foul and abusive language, 1992.

I have nothing against the visually handicapped as such, but I am surprised they are allowed to referee at this level - THE SOUP, Kidderminster Harriers fanzine, 1989.

My players wouldn't take a throw-in for that sort of money - GORDON STRACHAN, Coventry manager on learning that referee Gerald Ashby's match fee was £200, 1998.

I can't understand why the ref wasn't more sympathetic. After all, we used to go to the same bookies - STEVE CLARIDGE, Portsmouth player-manager, after his team incurred two red cards v Fulham, 2001.

I don't think we should have shoot-outs. We should have a shoot-the-ref shoot-out. After that penalty, the referee should have been shot - JOHN GREGORY, Aston Villa manager, afer a last-minute penalty was awarded to West Ham against Villa, 1999.

In the tunnel I said to David Ellery: 'You might as well book me now and get it over with.' He takes it pretty well but he still books me - ROY KEANE, Manchester United captain, 2000.

How the mega-rich male model referee slipped out of Molineux in his luxury Mercedes after a day of mayhem - HEADLINE in Wolvehampton's Express & Star, after referee Uriah Rennie's 'diabolical' handling of a game between Wolves and Bolton, 2004.

What makes a sane and rational person subject himself to such humiliation? Why on earth does anyone want to become a Premiership referee - LORD HATTERSLEY, Sheffield Wednesday supporter, 2002.

.......and to finish off here are a couple of comments made by the officials themselves:

At Stoke an elderly lady was waiting by the dressing room after the game. She said: "Mr. Night, I'm 74 and a grandmother, and I'd just like to say you're the worst f*cking referee I've ever seen." Certainly put me in my place - BARRY NIGHT, Football League referee, 2005.

You're out there with 22 multi-millionaires who you have to control with a whistle and two, sometimes three cards - GRAHAM POLL, English referee on quitting the game, 2007. A year earlier Poll had been cut from the World Cup after cautioning Croatia's Jossip Simunic three times, before sending him off against Australia.

Who's the Bastard in the Black? - TITLE of former Premiership referee Jeff Winter's autobiography, 2006.


To see previous posts by Beer Footy and Birds, on 'Classic Quotations' click on the links below:

Ten Classic Football Quotations made by Football Managers



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