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Satire: Referees to take penalties for Manchester United


Disclaimer: This post is a work of fiction and should be taken in jest. 

Despite a one point lead atop the Barclays Premier League table after 10 games into the season and a 2-1 win over Arsenal, Sir Alex Ferguson was in no mood to rest on his laurels.

In spite of a dominating performance against a lacklustre Arsenal side, Sir Alex was left ruing the mere 2-1 scoreline. He said, ‘We lost the title on goal difference last term and hence know how important it is to take opportunities.’

The game was marked by yet another missed penalty by a Manchester United player, with Wayne Rooney scuffing his shot wide. This was the 4th penalty that a United player has missed out of the 6 that have been awarded to United this season.

A rueful Sir Alex said, ‘This is unacceptable by United’s high standards. Something seems to be terribly wrong with the players when they put the ball on that spot. We have had Nani, Chicharito and van Persie missing penalites before Wayne missed his. This is a matter of concern for a club as big as Manchester United and is quite simply not acceptable. We have, thus, come to a conclusion that is revolutionary. From now on in, the referee that awards the penalty to Manchester United will ensure that the penalty is converted.

He continued, ‘By this, we do not meant that he blows his whistle for some unseen (read: imaginary) offence when a United player misses a spot kick but takes active part in the process by stepping up to take the kick himself and ensuring that it results in a goal for Manchester United. After all, when the referee has a part to play in the awarding of a spot kick, he ought to have a part to play in its rewarding as well; rewarding Manchester United, that is.

‘Believe me, we have looked at several possible alternatives like making sure that the opposition does not have a goalkeeper when United take a spot kick, but these still do not take away the possibility of putting the kick wide or perhaps slipping at the point of contact. Hence, we have found this to be the most fool-proof method of making sure United scores. I mean, come on, we get the kick and then we miss it? I find that incredibly stupid!

He added, ‘The referee can choose to have a goalkeeper in goal or he may choose to send him off; that is entirely up to him. If he is not feeling up to the task, the kick can even be simulated and the goal awarded to Manchester United. I have no problems with that. Also, in the interest of fairness and adhering to the rules, there are 4 referees in each game and since it is Manchester United’s penalty, I will decide on which referee gets to take the kick. We even plan to award a golden boot at the end of the season to the referee with the maximum number of converted penalties (read: penalties awarded; since a penalty awarded can only mean a penalty converted).

‘Finally, Manchester United would like to state that there is no pressure on referees to award penalties but Manchester United would also like to state that a cash bonus of $1 Million would be awarded to the golden boot winner.

P.S. Stoppage time penalties (when United are down a goal or the game is drawn) counts as two penalties.

Note: The above mentioned quotes are not really attributed to Sir Alex Ferguson but to another Alex Ferguson (who his students call ‘Sir’, for he is a school teacher) but you already knew that, didn’t you?

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