One flew out of the cuckoo clock

by guest-blogger Tricky


There is altruism that ‘those who seek power, are those that you would least like to see wield it’. It would seemingly apply, fairly universally to many people in the world, from the lowliest MP and then working up the food chain from thereon in.

As president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter wields power over a sport that is holds and captivates a populous around the globe, as such his influence on people probably puts him only one step behind President Obama (and consequently perhaps a step ahead of Mr Brown).

For his part, Michel Platini (the Brown to Blatter’s Obama status to continue the analogy) appears like a wanton lapdog, trying to help his master in any way possible to avert the need for this ‘evil’ that is technology, by suggesting that it is extra officials is the way forward.

So when it comes to goal line technology what was the reason initially for its dismissal? Well, according to Blatter it ‘took too long to reach a decision’ and was ‘not sufficiently accurate’ having been tested on only a ‘third tier’ league game. As with all megalomaniacs when dismissing something, everything they have stated to oppose an idea is ‘true’, and as such becomes ‘fact’ very quickly.

Now I’d like to raise a point here, the reasons initially given for dismissing it were ‘wrong’ and ‘incorrect’, accordingly Hawkeye innovations (manufacturers of the system that ‘worked’) made an open letter just a gentle hint to nudge the President in the right direction:

It is a fairly lengthy letter but the summary goes as follows:

Dear Mr Blatter,

You are wrong, wrong diddly wrong, wrong, and we can prove it with science. Please don’t ignore us just because we’re nerds,

love and kisses,

the nerds.

So why wasn’t it snatched upon by our beloved press, and reported ahead of other such headline newsworthy items that day as “Rooney stubs toe, but should be OK for world cup next summer” or “Tiger set to appear as Santa for local school, but will stop at three ho’s”?


       Who wants to watch the re-run of the 2005 FA Cup Final?


A cynic of course would point out that, as Hawkeye have a vested interest, they would say what they have, but these guys are nerds who deal in 3-D planes and processing power, their idea of a vested interest goes as far as trying to blag free tickets to the ‘gadget show live’.

But even still, to dismiss a proven technology that works and could assist the game in making crucial decisions, that is wanted by managers and league presidents from all over, by what? Replacing it with extra officials, who between three of them can’t make the correct decision 100% of the time in 90 minutes, and you want to add another two? Surely it is an illogical conclusion to have come to.

On the surface it appears that we have put the inmates in charge of the asylum, which all sounds entertaining and a thoroughly decent watch. Just sit back and watch the nutters make up rules in disbelief, after all it has always been that way so why change it now.

But as football is not the only place where such ridiculous conclusions exist the question needs to be asked: Does it really matter?

It is at this point I’d like to, just fleetingly mention Pedro Mendes, now for some he was a solid footballers who unfortunately was playing second fiddle to a certain Mr Carrick (who’s own story is now well documented), but he was too good to be a bench warmer and so he departed, and when Carrick followed he was possibly one of those we ‘wish we hadn’t sold’.

However given the pre-amble, I very much doubt that any of you are, by now, thinking of anything other than ‘the goal that never was’.  Well, I’m afraid we don’t have the trademark on it though, as any Birmingham fan will tell you amongst others, but it is perhaps the most often cited example of where goal line technology would have assisted.

And this perhaps is the point, history will recall that the game in question finished 0-0, time will pass and that is it.

The fans will however remember the actual physical pain for every single replay like another nail pinned to a ‘Voodoo Jol’ (tm) with the curse ‘thou shall not win against a top 4 club’ repeated over and over. Stunning us, mesmerising us, each time pleading with the linesman that ‘this time’ he might get it right. It was a point of discussion then and five years latter it still is today.

And it is not an isolated incident, as only the other day I was privy to conversation on how ‘Gareth Bale is the best left back since Cyril Knowles’. Now I have to say I have not had the privilege of ever seeing Cyril, but the point is that it is the fans that remember games, and incidents and feelings and emotions. Whereas history does not, it remembers only results, and victories, and increasingly Annual reports.

So does getting the right result matter? It may not make it fairer in some regards, i.e. Dominance in possession for 90 minutes will not automatically lead to the ‘right team’ winning, as per the 2005 FA cup. Some would say that there is so much money tied up in getting the ‘right result’ that it does matter and significantly so.

So maybe Blatter is in fact doing us a favour, by allowing us to banter, and argue and discuss the painful truths of ‘what might have been’. So well done Sepp, you weird megalomaniac chocolate eating cuckoo clock making nutter, for allowing us to talk bollocks rather than having to work all the time.

Right I’m heading off for my fishing trip now, with the rest of the loonies. Anyone care to join me?