Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “keith stroud referee”

Reflections on Birmingham 2 V Brentford 1 Away Day. Jan 2nd 2016


Trips to Birmingham have never been without incident and this one is no exception. The nonsense of buying tickets began on tuesday night with the announcement that sales of tickets from Brentford, having reasonably been on sale for four weeks, would cease lunchtime wednesday, but Birmingham in their wisdom decreed no match day sales. Can anyone explain to me why? Why do clubs not want bigger crowds, especially in the holiday season when often plans are not cemented till the last minute. This ridiculous decision was then reversed maybe 48 hours later. Thankfully Twitter and Mark Devlin kept us updated. A number of tickets were sold at the last minute and these needed collection at the ground.

The nonsense continued on match day with no-one in the Birmingham ticket office seemingly aware that these tickets were somehow being escorted to the ground. A random vision of the sign ” Collections” on a gate at the away end gave at last a clue where tickets might be collected. Two unhappy looking souls distributed tickets after checking for names on an envelope. And giving the impression they were auditioning for a role in a prison behind bars.

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A number of positives need to be stated. Firstly all the staff at the ground, the stewards and in fact the fans are super friendly, and it was a pleasure to listen in to a conversation on how awful a referee Keith Stroud is. Parking is also easy. Travelling through the suburbs of Birmingham is frankly non unlike the opening of a horror movie. But ground parking is easy and anyone prepared to walk 10-15 minutes can find free easy street parking. Lower Dartmouth street is my recommendation.

And there are a few sights in Birmingham, somewhat unexpected within yards of the ground. And a good few sights totally expected. The ground is in a sort of area that is an admixture of urban housing and small industrial estates. With a few curious bars and shops thrown in for good measure.

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On the way to the ground one walks past canals that look pleasant although here there seemed either a small gravestone or a miniature ” angel of the north”. Street cleaning also seems an optional extra, though maybe a little cruel to say that on Jan 2nd.

IMG_1079The ground itself is a great ground now. Three sides have been re-built and this is one of the better Championship grounds. The whole area smells  that gorgeous football smell of onions and cooking burgers.

IMG_1084Views are excellent all around the ground and access is quite uncomplicated. With one notable exception, the tannoy system is so quiet that I did not realise there was one. The game however was dire and will be covered in a different blog. Overall this was a good match day experience. And lastly I should mention that £20 for a ticket is really a very reasonable  price in 2016.

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Football Joy to end 2015. This cheating has to stop. Why should Fraser Fyvie not be banned from football for 3 years? What is wrong with players and supporters of our great game?


A few pieces of football news just floated by on various media sources. All highly depressing.

  1. Sheffield United are investigating allegations of racism by their fans at their home game with Bradford City last monday.
  2. Coins were allegedly thrown by Bradford City fans towards Sheffield United striker Billy Sharpe in the same game.
  3. Stuart Milleker, an alleged ” Notts Forest fan” has been banned from attending football matches for three years after entering the field in the game versus Derby County and attempting to grapple a Derby player.
  4. Fraser Fyvie, a Hibernian player, has been banned for two games for feigning a face injury in a successful attempt to get a Rangers player sent off. 

The most depressing part of this story above is the cheating by Fraser Fyvie and the even more depressing part is that few saturdays go by where I do not visualise cheating in this guise in a game that I see. Sometimes total simulation and more commonly gross exaggeration of an injury, usually timed to help the team in a difficult or final moments of a game.

What occurs to me is that often the punishment does not fit the crime. Players, managers and fans all are quick to point out the failings of referees. Myself included. Keith Stroud in his performance in the Reading v Brentford game two days ago was exceptionally poor. However what chance do they have with the ” clever” feigning of injury by players like Fraser Fyvie? One also presumes this is the not first time he has attempted this party trick and presumably been successful before. His behaviour also means that if becomes more difficult for referees to stop a game for injury if in the back of their minds is a ” cry wolf” scenario. Why has he not been banned for three years? Why only two games?

Football is a game and is played both on and off the pitch with volatile emotions. But it is a game. Players should not cheat, fans should not try to harm players and racism in 2015 is simply moronic. IMG_0998

 

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