To be fair, I support the principle of fining / charging players and managers with disciplinary charges if they publicly insult referees or the system in general – there is very little to be gained from such actions and all it does is bring the game into more disrepute (if bringing attention to the problem was going to solve it, do you think players would still dive?).
So regardless of whether Ferguson and Queiroz were right or not, they shouldn’t have spoken like that and a fine is merited. I hope they don’t contest it, just pay it and get on with the season.
However, the other side of the equation is accountability on part of the system itself, and that is where we lack the most.
“Managers get sacked because of things like that and he’s going to referee a game next week. He [Hackett] is not doing his job properly and he needs to be assessed. I’m assessed as a manager, players are assessed, referees should be assessed properly by the right people. That performance should not be accepted by our game.”
Referees need to be assessed each time they give incorrect decisions, not just when their decisions are highlighted enough in the press to force the FA into damage limitation on their public image. Graham wrote about this on Wednesday as well, and while the problems facing the FA are great (not enough referees, limited by FIFA in terms of what technology they can use, etc), they need to do a better job in facing their mistakes and making an effort to improve relations with players and managers.
You can’t ask for respect if you’re not giving it back.
On a sidenote, there are MANY managers who bitch about referees and would publicly support the latest ‘respect for referees’ campaign without skipping a beat. I don’t know why the press is linking Keano’s comments to Ferguson – Keane is above the need to make such a veiled criticism against his former manager – but it sells, doesn’t it?