After apologising to both West Brom and Sunderland for decisions that have gone against them in recent weeks, referee’s chief Mike Riley is now resigned to spending the majority of the rest of his life on the phone apologising to people.
West Brom manager, Steve Clarke, revealed that he had received a phone call from Riley apologising for the controversial penalty that cost his side a win at Stamford Bridge recently. Next on Riley’s list was Sunderland boss, Gus Poyet, who got a call to discuss Wes Brown’s wrongful dismissal last weekend. With the current standard of refereeing, and another round of Premier League fixtures coming up, Riley has been shopping around for a new deal on his mobile contract in anticipation of spending a lot of time on the phone.
“He has set a dangerous precedent here because there will be a lot of people who feel aggrieved about decisions that have gone against them. The question is, how far back does he go?” said football pundit, Mark Lawrenson, “Is he just going to apologise for any bad decisions from now on, or is he going to retrospectively apologise? And is he just going to apologise for penalties and red cards, or will he be calling to apologise for incorrect amounts of injury time being played and bad offside decisions? This has opened a real can of worms.”
Former Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, has already helped out by handing over a dossier he has kept for the last twenty five years of every single decision that went against his side, up to and including coin tosses that he felt were rigged. He will now spend the next week waiting patiently by the phone after demanding separate phone calls for each individual transgression.
Riley himself was unavailable for comment, as he was busy making a call to Hereford Town to apologise for a throw in that was given the wrong way in a match in 1972.