Let it be known that I’m not one to freely subscribe to the received wisdom that Harry Redknapp is some kind of roguish impling that should be cherished for his pithy remarks or Cockney chirruping (a fact that I may have previously alluded to on the odd occasion), but that’s not to say that I don’t wholeheartedly agree with his predilections from time to time.
Redknapp has threatened to ‘fight the Football Association (FA) all the way’ should they, in their infinite wisdom, choose to slap him with an improper conduct charge once a full review has been made of the comments that the Tottenham manager made following his side’s defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.
Incensed in the wake of Luis Nani‘s ridiculously convoluted goal, Redknapp set about blaming all and sundry, accusing referee Mark Clattenburg of making one of ‘the worst decisions of all time’ and also hinting that the matchday officials would have colluded to forge a viable explanation should they have been asked for one.
Speaking at a press conference before Spurs’ Champions League tie with Inter Milan tonight, Redknapp was clearly still vexed by the whole situation and threatened that, should the FA bring charges about him for his outburst, he would have no choice but to vomit:
“I would be sick if they charged me. I wouldn’t take that lying down, no chance. I haven’t done anything. I didn’t go up to the referee, I didn’t run onto the pitch, I didn’t chase him into his room.
I got put in front of the cameras within five minutes, I gave my honest opinion and that’s what I saw. I saw a complete mess-up, where no one knew what had happened and no one still knows really.
There’s no way I’d do any more TV interviews. No chance. Don’t bother asking me speak to TV after a game again. I don’t care if it’s in the rules. No chance.
I don’t want to do it. The last thing I want to do is go on TV and talk about the game. I just want to get on the coach and go home. I don’t expect a charge, but if they do, I’ll fight it all the way.”
Redknapp also bemoaned the fact that managers are know contractually obliged to undergo interviews immediately after certain matches regardless of the result:
“The FA wants it both ways. They want us to talk about the game, but not talk about it. I could just come out and refuse to talk about anything.
If they want to make an issue of what I said then I’ll make some issues, too. If people are going to make big issues about you telling it how is, tell it how it wasn’t and we won’t have any problems. I’ll just say I didn’t see it.
If I can’t come on TV and answer a question in a truthful manner when I’m asked, then we shouldn’t be dragged out to TV two minutes after a game. When I’m asked a question I give a truthful answer – [Clattenburg] made a right mess of it and I stand by that 100%.”
The FA are obviously chasing instant reaction but, rather perversly, will punish anyone who’s ‘instant reaction’ isn’t calculated, complementary or just completely facile to the point of non-entity.
Managers should be free to levy whatever criticisms they see fit. We, as a viewing public, should be allowed to veto and judge the veracity of their comments rather than have the FA continue to act as some kind of Big Brother-style gatekeeper – acting solely in the interests of sterility.
By the same principle, matchday officials should be made openly accountable for mistakes (or contentious decisions of any kind), with explanations and atonement ready for airing straight after the game – as well as being open to praise if it should be required.
Although, once you consider that the FA is an organisation that seems to maintain it’s empire with useless rhetoric and double-standards, it’s hardly surprising that a little bit of parity and integrity is rather hard to come by these days.