It's time to change the rules

When does the referee actually add enough time at the end of a game? I will tell you, never, no really, never ever!

When does the referee actually add enough time at the end of a game? I will tell you, never, no really, never ever!

Nearly six minutes were added at Loftus Road on Monday and amongst the gloom it was refreshing to have the ref add on a reasonable amount of stoppage time, when there were no obvious long stoppages that spring to mind.

However, I would imagine given the amount of time the ball was “dead” that it was around half the total due. Am I the only person horrified by the statistic that the ball is in play for as little as 55 minutes out of the 90?

There are weekly calls for technology to be used but I'm not one of them as it would lead to double standards. Essentially this means that a different sport takes place depending on the level played.


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For example the Wimbledon tennis championships were artificially altered due to the latest technology. Had Hawkeye been available at every match, not just the show courts, we may well have had a different final.

You only have to look at the Rugby Union World Cup to see the referees are getting ever more terrified to give even the most straightforward of decisions without asking the official watching upstairs on the box with the game coming to an unnecessary standstill.

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However, the way the people with strange shaped balls do their time keeping is something football should adopt sooner rather than later. How comforting it would be to have a large digital clock for all to see rather than the haphazard time keeping of the fourth official with the clock halting automatically for a stoppage in play.

Think of the benefits - we will all know exactly how long there is left, no one gets booked for time wasting, Alex Ferguson's blood pressure stays constant, and maybe all those people that stream out of the ground early each week would think twice. It strangely doesn't happen so much with rugby.

Any manager whose preferred tactic is to take the ball towards the corner flag the moment the lead is taken just to waste time might be viewed as inept and I won't miss this often favoured tactic by Peter Grant during the rare times Norwich took the lead in his short tenure.

There is, of course, a down side with my timekeeping argument. To have added any further time at Loftus Road on Monday would have been torture to the folk who travelled to West London and to those miserably viewing events unfold in front of their television screens, but I doubt even the most radical change of rules would have rescued Peter Grant this week.

If we had played all night it's highly unlikely City would have scored, but that's another story, I guess.

t Tim MacWilliam talks with Fans Eye Columnist, Adam Aiken from 12 noon Saturday and Charles Clarke Monday at 10am on Future Radio 96.9FM in Norwich and on line www.futureradio.co.uk

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