Podcast 19: Innovations in football

On this week’s show we focus on some innovations in football; new ideas to ‘improve’ the game of football

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On this week’s show we focus on some innovations in football; new ideas to ‘improve’ the game of football. There is also a worksheet for this report which can be downloaded here.

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Despite what the traditionalists might say football is a sport that is constantly evolving. Three points for a win was deemed too radical for some back in 1981 when it was first introduced in England but it’s now accepted as the standard manner of rewarding victories around the world. Other innovations that have changed football in recent years include the banning of the tackle from behind, the reduction of back passes to the keeper, the addition of extra substitutes on the bench, the introduction of yellow and red cards and probably the most controversial allowing players to have more freedom in their contracts. These and more have all revolutionised the game in one way or another over the past 20 years or so. So, on this week’s main report we asked a panel of football experts what they thought of some of the possible innovations that possibly lay ahead in the game.

Idea 1: So what do think about a 39th game in the Premier League being played somewhere abroad, around the world?

Ridiculous! Absolutely ridiculous. It’s just a money grab by the Premier League and it just doesn’t make any sense. Any way you look at it it doesn’t make sense: for teams being relegated, for teams going for the title. Just ridiculous.

Totally unnecessary to get players logistically off playing in Katmandu or where ever. It’s just a no goer. I think it’s just about money and I don’t like it.

The 39th game seems to be a money making agenda, so personally I would say no. It’s not a good idea.

Idea 2: What about the idea of using foam to measure out the 10 yards a wall should be back in a free kick.

I think experimenting is not a bad idea. I have doubts whether it would actually end up being any good. I think there’s a lot of problems… Like you know, if there’s a problem with the free kick and they retake it, do they have to spray again or something like that. But it’s worth a try I’d say.

To be honest I had to clarify the question with Damon. And when I heard it, it’s just so ridiculous that a referee is going to stand there and spray a line which hopefully will last a minute. What happens after a minute if the ball isn’t back. Do we get more spray? I mean it sounds as if we’re getting too American for me, so the answer is no.

Keeping players back with spray at set pieces is not just a bad idea – it’s a ludicrous idea. Definitely no good.

Ideas 3 and 4: And another match official on the goal line? Or how about goal line technology like videos and replays?

This one, I reckon… actually Platini has said a lot of rubbish especially towards English teams over the last few weeks, but actually this is not a bad idea. I think every week you hear managers complaining about referees missing hand balls or blatant penalties. And maybe this will help clear this up.

Platini… well he should be quiet because he’s been moaning a lot recently about everything and not really saying very much. But the whole idea of extra officials on the goal-line, we don’t need an extra official, we just need to use technology. And we’ve got the technology, we can 99% of the time see, as spectators, what happens immediately, so I don’t know why a fourth official can’t watch a monitor and give an answer. We don’t need all this extra stuff.

Having extra officials on the goal-line may be a good idea. I’m not opposed to that, but I think goal-line technology may be a better idea. Using technology to work out if the ball has crossed the line seems to be a good idea in this day and age.

Goal line technology… I think If you have two officials on the line you don’t actually need technology, they should be sufficient, so… and I can understand to some extent keeping the game live and playable at all levels, so that, obviously, when your playing very local leagues you don’t have the possibility of goal-line technology, but you do have the possibility of having extra officials, so it keeps it uniform throughout from the very top to the very bottom.

Idea 5: And lastly what about a salary cap to keep those wages down?

Salary cap? Well again it’s an American thing… Though I agree that the money that people like Terry and Lampard and a few other people earn is obscene and it’s getting out of control, I’m not sure how this could actually work in the context of the Premier League.

I don’t think it’s workable. I think it’s a good idea, but I think the top teams will find ways of  working around it, but I think the motivation for that is good.

Having a salary cap in the Premier League seems to be a very good idea. I think clubs should get more even in players wages and things like that, so yes I think it’s a good idea and it should also be included  in other leagues around Europe and around the world.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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