Bowing for the mighty and powerful

By Walter Broeckx


So Mike Dean has once again shown his true colours. The one that shows he is a person who will do what is the wisest thing for his career. And only his career.


If tomorrow he knows that giving Arsenal a few penalties so they win a game, he will do it as long as he knows that this will benefit him in the future.


Now it is still very wise to be on good terms with the manager of Manchester United and so he will not write a single word about him in his match report. So a manager can from now on go out and rant with the 4th ref and that is already a very common procedure from all managers. In a way he is the one that takes most of the heat away from the ref.


But according to Mike Dean a manager can go and have words with the assistant in an angry way. And maybe we can have a closer look at some words spoken by this manager against the press.


I take this from the Sky website and quote: “Asked about the controversial Evans own goal after the match, Ferguson said: “The linesman correctly whistled for offside, because Cisse was in an offside position when the cross was made and he also pulled on Evans’ arm.

“If that’s not interference, what is interference? That’s the point I was making to Mike Dean.”

However, the Premier League have backed Dean and issued a clarification which said that “as Cisse did not play the ball, then he was not interfering with play”.

The league added: “It is also the case that Cisse didn’t interfere with the opponent.”

Now for any one of us reading this it is well a bit laughable don’t you think.  I quote again and if the words are wrong blame Sky not me: “The linesman correctly whistled for offside”


Now I am a ref and an assistant-referee myself and believe me as an assistant I have never “whistled” for offside. Because the thing we have in our hands is called a flag. And maybe I will try it next time but I swear that if I can whistle on my flag I will buy the entire Emirates a drink next time I come around.


Quotes can be checked here:



In another article on the BBC website this time and again I quote:

“”The referee changed the linesman’s mind,” said the Scot.”

What is really mind staggering is that at his age and experience this manager obviously is not aware of the fact that it is the ref who takes the final decision. Any assistant can wave his flag from the first till the last minute for whatever he wants, only the ref makes the decisions at the end. This is nothing new in the rule book as far as I know it has always been like this.


So looking at these quotes and words one can really start to wonder: does SAF know the rules? And most of all: is he still in a very stable mental condition? Because honestly these are words that one could expect from the local drunk fan in the pub but not from a PL manager.


However let us return to the ranting against the officials. According to his report they didn’t happen. And thus the FA will not take action.


This shows that Dean is a rather cowardly person who doesn’t dare :

a)      send Ferguson to the stands after his rant

b)      protect his assistant from the rant of Ferguson

c)      he bows over to the all mighty whenever is needed.


But not writing it down in his report is opening the door for all managers to have a go at the ref, assistant, 4th ref  in front of the camera.


And again and this is not for the first time I have to write this down when ref Dean is in the middle of things: DEAN IS LETTING THEN THOUSANDS OF REFS AND ASSISTANTS DOWN ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND ALL OVER THE WORLD!!!


So any ref who gets the abuse of managers over his head next week : only one person to thank for: Mike Dean. He is the one who didn’t stood up to it and he is the one responsible for managers thinking they can get away with it.


In fact for not including it in his match report I feel Dean should be banned from games in the PL for a while. Not just for not writing the report but for harming all referees who have to do a game in the next days and who will be abused.


But as far as I have observed Mr. Dean he will not be impressed by this. He knows that he has saved his career for the moment. And I do have the feeling that is all what matters for him. And all those other refs….they don’t count for Dean.  I do have some problems with calling you a “colleague” to be honest because your behaviour not very collegial.

In Dutch we have such a great idiom for such people with a lovely rhyme. I translated it to English and changed it a bit so you can enjoy the rhyme:

I am not your brother, everything for me and nothing at all for another.


PS:  I will add another article about this going on to the next step a bit: match delegates and their reports.



The books…

The sites…

28 Replies to “Bowing for the mighty and powerful”

  1. I was listening to Radio 5 on my way home hearing Alan Green talking about Man U’s previous match against Swansea. These may not be the exact words but roughly he said, “You could clearly see what Ferguson was shouting at the ref and it’s a good job our microphones didn’t pick it up because it was unbraodcastable.” He then went on to say, “But you can’t blame him for saying those things to the ref as United had a couple of decisions go against them today.” So yet another game where Fergie uses foul and abusive language and nothing happens.

    What is equally appalling is that the BBC condone it because there may have been a couple of bad decisions. Of course, no other teams get bad decisions go against them!!!! And of course its alright for Fergie to use that sort of language despite the fact they get a lot less decisions go against them than most clubs.

    I wonder whether the BBC would have defended foul and abusive language by any other manager. It seems to me that both the BBC and the football authorities firmly belive in there being one set of rules for Man U and a very different set for everybody else.

  2. For once Henry Winter writing in the Telegraph has got it right “if the Manchester United manager had behaved so stroppily in a UEFA game, demonstrating such dissent, Platini’s organisation would have banned him to the stands for a game or two. Sadly the Football Association, the Premier League and weak willed officials like Dean are too scared of Ferguson.” It seems that the Coward Dean has got away with things again as has the Bully, Ferguson. The game as a whole is yet again reduced. Action would have been taken against any other manager. Dean should be removed from Premier League games with immediate effect for the rest of the season as he clearly is not capable of managing the pressure.

  3. Mike,

    In regards to the BBC. You would expect them to not like Ferguson because of the contemptible way he behaved towards them (and made ManU pay the fine for it) But then I remember, that the BBC, which was quite fair in it’s reporting towards Arsenal (Including having an article on this site and the work done here) suddenly turned quite anti-Arsenal in its tone, just after Ferguson ended his self imposed ban on them. Coincidence?

    Of course. It is possible that I’m just seeing patterns where none exist. I acknowledge that. But there is an undeniable pattern that the authorities in English football favour ManU. Well, undeniable except by the so called football fans of the red half of Manchester (also known as the ref half of Manchester), and the mainstream media through their acts of ommission and commission.

    But at least I enjoyed a game where the referee didn’t help ManU win. That almost never happens. Having to work for their victory seems like too much work for them.

  4. Cowardice is not an appealing trait. But shocked as I am by dean after this, I cannot find it within me to totally blame him… much as I can dislike him at times. This just shows the level of power fergie and his club hold, they can damage careers of officials. Clattenberg also bottled it over Rooneys elbow on the Wigan player, even as retrospective action and clattenberg is usually a top ref. Not as if these refs are going to get any backing from Manc Riley if they upset fergie.but as pointed out, the real victims will be refs in Sunday league games this weekend. I once spoke to an ex ref at a function who told me the FA are terrified of fergie, to the point whereby some would love him to retire asap to save them eventually having to deal with him.
    The FA have been made to look lame, this will damage ref recruitment and respect campaigns. In such circumstances, I fully expect them to make an example of somebody, possibly a hot blooded foreign type, an easy target, someone the media will pounce on rather than question the true circumstances, arsene, you have been warned.

  5. Calm down all of you. Its called bullying and it works for him. He did’nt speak to BBC for what 4-5 years and yet its a requirement for every manager to answer questions from medial. Not Ferguson, he is above everything earthly. Journos are either mum about him or obsequious that its sickening. How dare Pardew?

  6. Do any of you actually believe that this situation is random and due to Fergie’s traditionally hot Scottish temper? This ranting at officials, intimidating referees and the FA, bullying his players and other managers, simpering collegiality with those faithful to his ¨cause¨ and other obsequious behaviour he is known for is ,in fact, a very intelligent and organized psychological and emotional manipulation whose long-term consequences permit united to enjoy a certain notoriety and therefore dominion over other EPL teams. Fergie doesn’t enjoy losing, nor does he tolerate confrontation or questioning, HE is the BOSS and that’s that…in all things EPL.
    There is something about the Celtic character, especially the Scots, that make them abrupt, hard and assertive, even aggressive at times. My mother was from the same general area as SAF and she wasn’t someone you’d want to cross. SAF is a dour, somewhat abusive personality and he uses these charms to dominate the stuffed suits and timorous men in black to perfect effect.

  7. I’m sorry. I don’t buy that ‘people are afraid of him’ argument.

    If it were just that, his bark would have been proven ineffectual by now. For people to be afraid of him then, he has to have some ‘bite’ to him. And that bite cannot come from any abusive language, any whisky fueled temper, or anything. If people are afraid of Alex Ferguson, then it is nothing to do with his character, and has to be to do with the people behind him. The ones who are in a position to do something about it.

    I don’t think this issue of ManU being favoured will go away with Ferguson’s retirement. Because it is less to do with him, and more to do with the way the league has been structured and promoted. He is only a football manager. Knighthood notwithstanding.

  8. The FA now have an opportunity to partially redeem their reputation by taking action against Ferguson for his latest insulting outburst about Pardew and Newcastle….. surely a clear case of bringing the game into disrepute.

    How likely is it that they will take this step?

    Don’t bet any money on it.

  9. Dean showed his “courage” at OT when he sent Mr. Wenger off for his violent assault on a water bottle.

  10. While Man Utd continue to win games, by whatever means, the arrogance and bullying by the grotesque Ferguson will prevail.
    It is I’m afraid a sign of our times. Success for some seems to bring out the worst in people. Happily, being mortal, his days are numbered, either by his peers or his Maker.
    In these times of video recording of events, it cannot be long before the evidence of his intimidation of football officialdom will be so blatant that positive action will have to be taken to curb his behaviour.

  11. Its all about having people in the right places.

    We know Mike Riley at the head of PGMO does as he is told by the Owed Trafford hierarchy and EPL supremo Richard Scudamore also falls neatly into line for his flagship team.

    How Man Utd chief executive David Gill has been allowed to become the newly appointed vice-chairman of The FA gives further proof of how powerful Man Utd have become and how corrupt this league now is.

    The “Mob” rule.

  12. Please tell Wenger not to attempt one tenth of what SAF did cos he is being wanted as a scape goat. I hate Man Utd with passion

  13. If there is one thing positive about this, it is how widely and the way it has been reported, with some openly suggesting one law for fergie, another for the rest. Seems that now, fergie has upset the good people of Newcastle as well!

  14. Re: “But not writing it down in his report is opening the door for all managers to have a go at the ref, assistant, 4th ref in front of the camera.”

    I beg to differ, because ironically as a result of all the widespread attention (and warranted criticism) this has received, the FA will now clamp down hard on any further similar managerial half-time “pitch invasions” to talk to/ have a go at the refs.

    So no, it won’t happen again, and the door is now slammed shut before it has actually opened for this type of behavior to continue.

    Chastising the 4th official while not welcome is a whole different kettle of fish, and occurs is practically every match by practically every manager.

    The two should be separated imo.

  15. @ Mandy Dodd, exactly…

    Because of how widely it has been reported and criticized, there will be no repeat of that type of half-time pitch encrochment by managers to confront refs…at least not without severe penalty to follow.

  16. Shouting at, harassing, etc at refs and more often at 4th officials and linesmen by managers from the touch line is truly not unique to Ferguson, and the first response about foul language (and the BBC etc) I highly doubt is unique to Ferguson also.

    All managers give the refs and especially the 4th official a hard time (and I’d bet use colourful words) from their technical area, including Wenger. Let’s be real.

    Foul language is, always has been and always will be a part of football, from the stands, the managers the players whatever.

    It always makes me laugh when some people complain that they can’t take little jonny to a football game NOWADAYS because of some boorish men saying “C_nt” and the like…as though this is some new scourge on the game that is only reflected in its modern version.

  17. maybe in the PL they will now take on any (other) manager who tries to do the same as SAF.
    But the “example” set by SAF will be an example for lower league managers to have a go at the ref when they want.

  18. There have been incidents in Arsenal games that the Ref did not penalise, so the FA stepped in and penalised Arsenal. However when it in comes to manure and its champion manure maker, the FA do nothing about it.

    What I don’t understand is having giving the goal to Newcastle and against manure and their boss. Why did he not continue being against manure and report the outrage? Surely by giving the decision against manure he had already ruined his future.

    It will be interesting to see the games Mike Dean now refs.

  19. So mancini and redknapp will have to provide explanation for their criticism of the respective referees involved but SAF doesn’t have to. oh the incompetence in FA.

  20. Ferguson sees himself bigger than referees, the Premier League, the FA and any other body that stands in his way. His reported comment that ‘he manages the biggest football in the world’ as if that justifies his behaviour shows how far it has come. He is like some old time Mafia boss who mustn’t be crossed if you know what’s good for you.

    In the past he’s called for retrospective punishments for incidents on the field (against his own players, of course)missed by officials. Would anybody care to do likewise for him in this case? What happened to the good old ‘bringing the game into disrepute’ charge?

  21. British olympic cycling was so successful as they concentrated on exploiting any advantage no matter how small, as when you add every tiny advantage you get a significant whole. That’s all Fergie is doing. He knows most are in awe / scared of him and he knows that he can intimidate refs and the PGMOL into not selecting certain refs, hence gaining a small advantage, same as Fergie time, same as the intimidating atmosphere at old trafford meaning the refs are swayed more on penalties etc.
    Not that I agree.

    Compare the home and away dressing rooms at our place and tell me Arsene doesn’t believe in mind games.

  22. @Robl,
    Point taken but what puzzles me is “he knows most are in awe/scared of him”. Outside of OT and perhaps the totally discredited PGMO, who should be scared of the creep.
    He certainly doesn’t scare me!

  23. @ Nicky, remember O/T is an 80,000 seater and can be pretty intimidating if 75,000 of them are abusing an individual. Also has the biggest following so who knows what abuse the fans will be giving the ref outside of the game (Kim Neilson anyone?).

    Your right, he doesn’t scare me either; but then scaring us is not worth any advantage to him.

  24. @ Nicky, I forgot: Pulis (A lot of Stoke fans I know will agree), Hughes, Bruce, O’neil (I think he thought he was in with a shout once). That’s usually worth a few more points a season.

  25. Someone here brought this to my attention a while back, I can’t quite remember who so I’m sorry for not being able to give credit

    But I feel it’s important that those who haven’t seen it get a chance to. It’s an episode of Dispatches in which they go undercover to see how some ‘smaller’ teams are bought and sold, and how some fairly big names, including ferguson, circumvent the rules to do this. Here’s a link to the full episode:

    Not match fixing, but still it shows the shady dealings ferguson is apparently party to

  26. @Nicky,@Robl one thing you have to know that there is a group called the mafia if you don’t know who they are the mafios is a crime group working in many parts of the world(But not in UK). The mafios make money from crime. They make billions of pounds from selling drugs,Gambling and many more. Just like in a company they have a boss and the workers. Everyone have a job to do.Some are bosses some are workers however you can always work you way up the ladder of power and respect. Sounds familiar, Furgus is no mafia but his works and all his cronies look like and they have been for many years. But thanks to him he is just authoritative and a respected coach who is not questioned and he always gets away with it. Always replays on his team are played and always the TV crews look for any slight incidence and the rest don’t matter. Because the mafia are not in the UK nothing have ever been investigated football wise but you have seen in italy,german,france and many more countries what have happened hopefully one day one time we will see justice. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013

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