A-League bosses get it horribly wrong

ENGLISH FOOTBALL

ROY PILOTT
Last updated 08:37 02/11/2012

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OPINION: In the greater scheme of things, the fact that Jeronimo dived and got an opponent, Ben Sigmund, sent off is small change compared to the crime of neglect, for which A-League football bosses are guilty.

Jeronimo won't even cop a ban - in the eyes of football authorities, he has done nothing wrong. In the eyes of everyone with something other than air between their ears, he dived.

His act of cheating sealed a win for Adelaide over the Phoenix, who not only receive no compensation but also find themselves punished again, because Sigmund has been suspended.

Little Johnny, training for the Moturoa 12th graders next season, will be told by his coach that Jeronimo is a cheat and people don't like his behaviour - but little Johnny will copy Jeronimo, because he saw that cheats prosper.

The A-League authorities should have overturned the result and awarded a 2-0 win to the Phoenix. Anything short of that was an endorsement of cheating.

The Suarez syndrome is as damaging to football as its own response to it and until a football body can show some courage and hit back, the likes of Suarez and Jeronimo will continue to benefit.

Other codes' disciplinary procedures make football look sick.

It's also telling that while football fans wondered what Mark Clattenburg said to John Obi Mikel, had he been reffing a top rugby match in this part of the world there would be no doubt . . . because it would have been broadcast to owners of the portable Sports Ears radios. I wonder how much Chelsea's reaction to the complaint from Mikel has been influenced by the John Terry affair (and I mean the race one).

Arsenal have lost Gervinho for a month after he picked up an ankle injury . . . Crewe's Max Clayton is apparently the Michael Owen you have when you don't have a Michael Owen . . . Henning Berg has come out of left field to return to Blackburn as its new manager.

Serbian police have announced they want to charge two England players over the after-match brawl following the under-21 clash between the counties last month. They have also apparently identified five fans who used flares and smoke canisters but, significantly, none of the hundreds involved in the alleged shower of racist abuse, which rained down on England's black players.

Steven Gerrard has apologised for suggesting Everton play a long ball game like Stoke. Apparently both clubs took issue with the view . . . Vincent Kompany has rubbished reports of player unrest at Manchester City . . . Manchester United youngster Scott Wootton, who gave away a penalty and was then culpable for Chelsea's extra time winner in the League Cup yesterday, came to Old Trafford via Anfield, where he had been offered scholarship forms.

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The draw for the quarter finals of the League Cup (aka, the Capital One Cup) is Leeds v Chelsea, Swansea v Middlesbrough, Norwich v Villa, Bradford v Arsenal

Liverpool have apologised for the "inappropriate actions" of its director of communications Jen Chang, who got heavy with blogger Sean Cummins. Chang threatened to revoke Cummins' shared season ticket - a move about 10 steps removed from his own job, let alone level of authority. It's also alleged he threatened to unmask Cummins and said Liverpool fans would post dogshit in his letterbox. Cummins' claim to fame is creating spoof journalist Duncan Jenkins, and Chang wanted to know his sources.

Bayer Leverkusen's 23-year- old midfielder Lars Bender is attracting interest from the Premiership . . . former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho, who will be out of contract at Real Madrid at the end of the season, could return to London . . . Liverpool's Brendan Rogers has lamented a lack of depth in his squad after seeing his former club win at Anfield this week.

On the move:

James McFadden to Sunderland, Rudi Skacel to Dundee United. Loan, Scott Allan West Brom-Portsmouth, Elliott Ward Norwich-Nottm F, Jamie Proctor Swansea-Shrewsbury, Kerim Frei Fulham-Cardiff, Matthew Briggs Fulham-Bristol City.

Weekend fixtures:

England, Man United v Arsenal, Norwich v Stoke, Tottenham v Wigan, Swansea v Chelsea, Fulham v Everton, Sunderland v Aston Villa, West Ham v Man City. Sunday, QPR v Reading, Liverpool v Newcastle. Monday, West Brom v Southampton. Scotland Dundee v Hearts, Hibernian v St Mirren, Ross County v Aberdeen, Kilmarnock v Inverness, St Johnstone v Motherwell. Sunday, Dundee United v Celtic.

roy.pilott@dailynews.co.nz

- © Fairfax NZ News

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