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Sky recognise time wasting at last

By Tony Attwood

Setting aside my packing for the trip to Australis tomorrow I have just watched the recording of Sky’s Saturday Night Football of the game.

And would you believe it, they slipped in a mention of time wasting.

Not in any detail, and with no film illustration, but the co-commentator said, “and there’s the time wasting again”.  It wasn’t a complete revelation of course – the camerawork didn’t reflect anything about the time wasting, but there was booing ringing around the ground, and it must have been odd for anyone watching the match on TV who hadn’t been there.

Of course it is always strange when part of the media follows up on something Untold is talking about over and over again – as with the Telegraph responding on behalf of PGMOL just after Walter exposed their latest inaction, or going back much further the time when Mr Wenger quoted one of our jokes, and picked used the phrase “rotational fouling”.

Are these occasions when Untold has an influence on the agenda?  Maybe … it would be nice to think so, but you never really know.

Anyway the time wasting by Burnley was by no means the worst we have seen – far from it – but it was there.   It started on 30 minutes when their keeper took an age to take a goal kick, moving the ball from one position to another and back again.  He looked up and saw the ref looking straight at him.  But the ref did nothing.  Not even a wave of the hand to indicate “hurry up”.

So the keeper took that as the signal to carry on, and carry on he did throughout the game.  Time waste, time waste, time waste.  So fixated was he by it that when Arsenal scored the first goal, he just carried on wasting time as before.

Sky of course didn’t cover any of this, continuing the myth of the media that time wasting does not happen.   But the booing grew louder and louder, and continued for much of the rest of the game.

The moment of the comment was brief, and there with the bizarre insistence of the directors that the audience is more interested in seeing a player who has just missed a shot trot back to the half way line, than actually see something that is utterly affecting the game, we got none of it.

But it was there, of course, as it always is, at last it has been mentioned.  We can only hope that it wasn’t a blip, and that strict instructions from Sky HQ are not at this moment winging their way to all commentary crews saying, “Don’t Mention the Time Wasting again or you are out of a job.”

Booing time wasting has been the first step to getting referees to take their responsibilities under the laws of the game seriously.   Getting TV commentators to talk about it, is the second step.  Actually showing the activities of time wasting keepers instead of players trotting along the pitch, would be the third step.

Then would come the biggest leap of all – getting the refs to do something.

It’s a long journey – but maybe we’ve made some progress.

Untold Arsenal is here

23 comments to Sky recognise time wasting at last

  • Donal L

    Great piece of investigative journalism Tony. Keep at it and (hopefully) you’ll make some serious headway. Unfortunately, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

  • insideright

    I does occur to me sometimes that clubs may well incentivise their players for not getting beaten too badly. If they still time waste after they’ve gone a goal down it may well be that they’ve already got a bonus for getting to half time at 0-0 or that they are on track to not go down by the, perhaps originally feared, 6-0.

  • seydlitz

    I
    I do agree that time wasting should be clamped down on but teams like burnley who know they are on hiding to nothing will try to gain any advantage they can,. Arsenal should be better than complaining, teams like Chelsea and macs and Liverpool who play the system by rotational fouling
    Get away with coopereration with the refs.

  • Quincy

    Please tell me about the time(s) Wenger referenced Untold.

  • Nicky

    I welcome time wasting “becoming an art”, particularly in televised games.
    The added publicity will hasten the day when the introduction of mechanical assistance for match officials will become the norm.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Master Tony, good evening Sir. Burnley wasting of time at the Emirates Stadium didn’t deter Arsenal winning the match. And that time wasting is even a small matter incomparison with my problem. My problem is, I have completely gone Arsenal MANIA. I am Arsenal mania in the morning, afternoon, evening, night, weekly, monthly, yearly, in a decade, when Iam eating, bathing and browsing on the internet. I wonder if any body can help me out. But do I sincerely want to be helped out? I doubt if I do. Have a safe journey to Australia please.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Master Tony, good evening Sir. Burnley wasting of time at the Emirates Stadium didn’t deter Arsenal winning the match. And that time wasting is even a small matter incomparison with my problem. My problem is, I have completely gone Arsenal MANIA. I am Arsenal mania in the morning, afternoon, evening, night, weekly, monthly, yearly, in a decade, when Iam eating, bathing, working and browsing on the internet. I wonder if any body can help me out. But do I sincerely want to be helped out? I doubt if I do. Have a safe journey to Australia please.

  • greencardusa

    The FA, PGMOL, referees and the mainstream media all appear to prioritize the global marketing of the game over the rules of the game. This is what happens when the game becomes big business. Real quality has always been a poor second to marketing in the Capitalist enterprise. We wonder why referees are surrounded by a sanctified ethos by the media and football administrative bodies – marketing, marketing, and more marketing. Rules, fairplay, justice, etc. relate to the actual quality on the field. When we add marketing, the officials on the field possess arbitrary, discretionary powers so that the marketing of the sport is prioritized. In the final analysis, the argument goes that the sport is bigger than the specific game, players or club. This, not so un-strangely, is the Americanization of sport as business.

  • geekaybee

    Every team indulges in time wasting. It is a part of football at every level. There is nothing wrong with it. What is wrong is excessive time wasting and the cause of that is not the fault of the media or the managers or the players…it is the referees who allow it.

  • Simon s

    I can’t understand why a game worth billions does not have a proper time keeper in the stand rather than the ref.have a countdown clock which stops for fouls,corners,goal kicks,goals etc.we would then have a proper game time and not 55 mins of ball in play and the nonsense of keepers taking aged will stop as it would make no difference to them however football is years behind on these matters

  • Pat

    Time wasting, injuring opponents by fouling them, poor performances by referees – at last these are getting a mention in the media. So we can only hope this eventually has some effect.

    Interesting report Tony. It’s helpful to see a direct comparison between the match as seen in the ground and the match as seen on TV.

  • Sammy The Snake

    I suggest Arsenal fans start counting (loudly) the seconds as soon as the GK takes the ball. I think it will yield better results than booing. It’s a kinda reminder to the ref, and should put extra pressure on the GK..

  • BigV

    Sammy that’s a good idea.

  • Sammy: that is not a good idea. It is an absolutely magnificent idea.

  • omgarsenal

    Time wasting is dealt with under Law 12 ( fouls and misconduct) and Law 18 but basically in the Burnley game in point of fact, the time-wasting tactic of shifting the ball from one side of the goal area to the other after it has been placed is misconduct in and of itself and should be punished with a caution for unsporting behavior. However, all such matters fall under the rubric of “the opinion of the referee.” This is from the USSF refereeing reviews.

    Tactical reasons are not a reason to allow a player to flout the Laws of the Game. Tactical actions are a major cause of cautions for unsporting behavior. So, despite the existence of The Seven Magic Words, “If, in the opinion of the referee, . . .,” which might suggest that the referee could warn first before cautioning, the referee in this case should punish the infringement. That would be true, no matter what the score.

    Play is already stopped (with a goal kick being the prescribed restart)! referees favor giving a warning if this is the first time this has happened, but the warning can certainly be given “on the fly” — there is no reason to “stop play” . A much easier way foe the referee to handle it would be call out to the fullback to put the ball back where it was and then say, “Don’t move it once you have put it down.” There should be no trouble after that. However the referee allowing the Burnley players (keeper and defenders) to waste time on a repetitive bnasis is incorrect and unprofessional officiating.

  • Micheal Ram

    Sammy,

    Counting the moment opponent keeper touches the ball is a great idea. At least, Mour will not accuse the crowd of sleeping.

  • Sav from Australia

    Thanks for the info, Tony. All the best on your trip to Australia. It should be mostly sunny this time of the year and the beaches should be rather relaxing as school is still on and the holiday season has yet to commence.

    @Sammy
    Have to concur, outstanding idea.

    @Everyone
    How do we communicate Sammy’s idea to the match-going supporters? Red Action perhaps?

  • apo Armani

    @Sammy Thats an excellent idea!

  • geekaybee

    After it is recognized that referees should curb excessive illegal time wasting perhaps they can also be convinced to punish holding and shirt pulling in the box as well.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Samuel Akinsola Adebosin -November 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm & again at 5:39 pm !
    First the good news – although its lifelong , its not life threatening ( unless your blurt it out a Spuds bar in North London !)
    Now the ‘not all that bad news’ – you will continue ‘suffering’ for the rest of your natural life and probably beyond !
    It is contagious but it does not afflict its ‘victims ‘ randomly .You my friend WERE chosen !
    You have now the incurable disease of AKBsim .
    Welcome home !

  • What about the so called injury time #!? Who really is responsible for that!? Sometimes 3 minutes are added and where possible fungus time is the most, so really between the ref and the fourth official who is responsible for this added so called time because they really don’t no what they are doing or what to do, period.

  • Menace

    @Kampalgun the added on time is usually in whole minutes and is signalled by the ref to the 4th official usually by the use of fingers. So anything more than 5 is a complex signal and if it is more than 10 I don’t know what they do.

  • bob mac

    Using the basketball method of timekeeping would solve all these problems, and more.

    I doubt if it would be possible for someone to actually state the time the ball was in play over a number of games/clubs for comparison.

    It would make most enlightening reading.