Letters To The Referees From The FA
By Dave Houlgate
From Issue 44, Autumn 1999
From: The Football Association (est 1862) FUNNY
FARM, ROAD TO NOWHERE, Cloud Cuckoo Land, NO 1DEA
To: Phil Din, Referees Association, 2, Noteven
Close, Brainlessan Nr Sighted, Redcar D1 0FF
4th October, 1999
I am writing once again to you concerning the
'Liverpool Solution'. I am sure you know what
I am talking about, and as ever I am grateful
to you because it doesn't happen all that often.
As you know the FA has a policy towards Liverpool
Football club that has now been in place for some
considerable time. I would, on behalf of my colleagues
at the FA, like to take this opportunity to thank
you and your lads for last season. The red cards
for the upstarts Dominic Matteo and Jamie Carragher
were superb and no more than Liverpool deserved.
The opportunity to drag that bug-eyed manager
into Lancaster Gate was an added bonus. Please
pass on our special thanks to Mike Reed for his
sterling work. How does he do it with all that
acting he does on Eastenders? An added tribute
should be paid to Mr Durkin and Mr Gallagher,
plus their two linesmen for their wonderful 'selective
myopia' at Stamford Bridge. This gave Gordon and
myself the chance to "steam in" as it
were on the old moral high horse, thus pissing
off the Scousers even more! A beautiful piece
of work all round.
It is good to see that you have not slackened
off in the current campaign. The basketball clearance
from Nicky Butt was a nice touch from Graham Barber
- and 4 red cards by the first week in October!
We have also taken note of the extension to the
persecution. Uriah's total indifference to the
assault on Owen at Leicester was brilliant. Boy
wonder, indeed. If it weren't for the inevitable
drop in the sale of replica England shirts, we
wouldn't put up with that crap a minute longer.
Of course, we had to be seen to be doing something
when TV started showing it over and over again,
but rest assured we are right behind you and your
A word of caution, though. The new lad, Rolf
Harris, may need reminding that it will only work
if it doesn't become too obvious. 50/50 challenges
in Merseyside derbies is one thing (well done
to all concerned, especially for turning a blind
eye to crippling that Kraut) but we do feel Villa
Park was pushing it just a little too far. We
will probably get away with the booking of the
Finnish bloke, but the sending off of Stilton
will be a bit of a hot potato. When all the newspapers
and John Gregory start showing sympathy for Liverpool
that should be a warning to all concerned not
to get carried away. Still, there are numerous
opportunities for mixing it still further; I thought
your "Rolf had a good game" quote was
priceless, and we got Steve Doubletalk to actually
praise the referee for being big enough to (get
this) "admit his mistake". The other
77 'mistakes' he made in the game we'll casually
ignore. I love this job, I really do.
Finally, and I need hardly add this is in the
strictest confidence, we are pushing UEFA for
one or two rule changes for next season. It is
still all rather hush hush, but basically we are
hoping to make the following "red card"
Any one player per game playing in all red at
Anfield (at the referee's discretion).
Any Liverpool player who doesn't tuck his shirt
in - compulsory.
Any one Liverpool player who tackles an opponent
- provided one actually does put one in.
Any one Liverpool whom the referee deems is looking
at him in a funny way - at the referee's discretion.
Any Liverpool player who looks to be having a
good game - at the referee's discretion.
We will, of course be looking to increase the
permissible number of sendings' off for the above
offences from one to two. If the initial proposals
are accepted that is. Fingers crossed. By the
way, we are having a quiet little meeting very
soon. Just me and a few fellow sympathisers. You
are cordially invited. I know Alex and Gordon
are dying to meet you.
Keep up the good work!