Cats boss fears for future of game

28 December 2009 09:26
AN EXASPERATED Steve Bruce made it known he is genuinely worried about the future of football after failing to overturn Michael Turner's red card last week.

The Black Cats defender was dismissed for violent conduct during Sunerland's clash at Manchester City, when the referee found him guilty of leading with his elbow.

Bruce was still fuming, not only about the match official's decision but the Premier League panel's judgment in increasing Turner's ban from three games to four following the club's appeal seven days after the original plea.

The Sunderland manager also admitted he fears an FA charge for comments made against the referee in charge, Andre Marriner.

You're disappointed after you lose or concede in the last minute, like against Portsmouth, but nothing compares to how I felt last Monday and Tuesday, said Bruce.

I just can't believe he has got an extra game (ban) on top because of the appeal. I'm still convinced to this day that that was a genuine challenge.

No-one is going to tell me any different.

Marriner was in charge of Sunderland's home fixture with West Ham earlier this season and he incurred Bruce's wrath for dismissing Kenwyne Jones for a push on Herita Llunga.

After that match the Sunderland chief said the authorities were in danger of making football a game for pansies.

But the two decisions have made Bruce question the role of football's body politic and the football authorities' right to govern and regulate a game they have no experience of actually playing.

Bruce may have a point.

If you look at the whole of the Premier League and Football Leagues the only chairmen to have played professionally are Niall Quinn and Bruce's old boss at Wigan, Dave Whelan.

The paradox, of course, is that this is the way football has been run since its birth and codified laws were introduced in the late 19th century.

Unfortunately, people are making decisions about things, which for me they have never been involved in,

said a bullish Bruce.

If you catch someone in the face with your elbow it is a straight red card.

It happened with (Tim) Cahill (against Everton). He went up against us with his elbow and he got a yellow card.

On Monday and Tuesday I had to walk out of the training ground because I was physically ill. I thought to myself, what was all that about

We genuinely made a huge appeal so he could be available for Blackburn or Barrow (in the FA Cup). I can't say any more as I'm going to get caned enough.

It's bugged me all week and I've thought where are we going with this'

What the hell are we going to do with the game If we're not careful, we're going to ruin it as a physical contest.

I don't know who is on the appeals panel or who are the judge and the jury. I don't think it is vindictive but it worries me where the game is going.

The pair of them (Turner and Gareth Barry) made a genuine challenge. If you look at him (Turner), he is looking at the ball and not the opponent.

And everyone knows that you have to use your elbows to jump.

It's impossible not to jump without your hands up to get leverage."

Source: Northern_Echo


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