Football, Foul Language and Apologies

You will recall in my blog about my trip to S*nderland RCA v Spennymoor on Saturday, I wrote the following:

The game was a very competitive one, with several very physical challenges. The refereeing and the linesmen appeared totally deaf to the excessive foul and abusive language used by the players and officials during the game. Indeed early on, the Spennymoor manager launched a particularly foul tirade at the linesman, even though the linesman had done nothing wrong. Neither the linesman nor the referee took any action. If the language had been used in town on a night out, then a S5 Public Order Act or even worse would have followed.

There is no place for such language in the game. Well, actually after seeing what Wayne Rooney did on Saturday whilst playing for Manchester United @ West Ham, it seems the place is in the Premiership.

Today, there were developments. Wayne Rooney has been charged by the FA and faces a 2 match ban for his swearing at the TV camera during the game. His actions were not helped in my opinion by the statement released on Saturday afternoon some 2 or so hours after the media had picked up on his actions.

“I want to apologise for any offence that may have been caused by my goal celebration, especially any parents or children that were watching.

“Emotions were running high, and on reflection my heat-of-the-moment reaction was inappropriate. It was not aimed at anyone in particular.”

Do these sound like the words of a man who struggles to say anything without swearing? They strike me and many other people as being the words of a PR man at Manchester United.

Contrast this with the current blog entry on Spennymoor Town’s website written personally by the manager, Jason Ainsley. His review of the game ends with the following paragraph.

On a separate issue I do read our own forum and would like to apologise to Spen666 and the other supporters for the language used by myself and our bench on Saturday, As manager I am responsible for my players, staff and my own actions.  I do get very emotional and passionate during games and try to protect my players and get frustrated when decisions don’t go our way which is certainly no excuse and  something I am aware of and continually trying to improve, after speaking with referees this year they have certainly seen an improvement in my attitude and conduct on the touchline,  although Saturday I let those standards drop which I do regret and I hope you accept my apology. I want to retain our title so much for everyone concerned with this club  and I do hope by the end of the month we all have something to celebrate.

I have to say that it takes a big man to admit he was wrong and to apologise so publically. The apology is in response to this post I made on the Spennymoor Town forum. It is also good to see a manager inter-reacting with the fans and sparing the time to respond to posts on the message board.

Jason, your blog post is a credit to you. Thank you for taking the time to respond and for being so honest in your blog. Can you imagine Arsene Wenger or Alex Ferguson responding so honestly?

As stated in the manager’s blog, the outburst did come after a Spennymoor player had been injured by what appeared to be a deliberate elbow to the head. I should perhaps have made that clear in my earlier post.


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