Letters (30/03/15)

By Jove, we think you’ve got it. We’ve been getting letters on, quite literally, a daily basis. One a day. More of this please. How are we supposed to know what we’re doing wrong when you just sit there silently, sipping your scotch, smoking your cigarettes and refusing to make eye contact? We’re trying to save this marriage, Goddammit. What are you doing? 


Dear Sir,

Alex Stewart’s series on Football Manager has done more to re-ignite my desire to play the game than anything else. I haven’t played FM since about 2007 because of… well… life really – but inspired by Bristol City’s ascent into European football I’m going to buy the game this evening and commence a journey of my own (probably into the doghouse to be perfectly honest).

Alex clearly has a knack for both playing the game and writing about it, and given his imminent completion of the 5 year plan, how about we set up a new challenge for him. Maybe even create some kind of voting system to come up with the next challenge. My nomination is for the current debacle that is Parma – take them back to the success of the Tomas Brolin days. Or to save AC Milan from their string of incompetent managers and back into a team challenging for the Champions League.

At least that way, I can read and pretend I’d do just as well when in reality I’ll struggle to complete pre-season before the household chores come-a-calling.


Rich Fenner

ED’S NOTE: That’s a nice idea, but we’re going to get Alex to continue writing the Bristol City story for a little while yet. We want to see how this one turns out. 


Just to say that the recent series of “Football Manager Meets Moneyball” has been simply superb!

I was a massive fan of the Championship Manager series (particularly 97/98) and lost many a week stuck in front of my PC as a 13/14 year old.  Considering that we had an active internet connection it is testament to the games’ quality that I didn’t spend that time  doing “other things”.

Unfortunately I grew out of CM when it become more in depth (and coincidentally I started to notice girls!).  It started to feel like a job and something that was a burden rather than something to get simply joys from (still talking about CM….not girls!)

In the interim I have dabbled with other light simulators like FM handheld, Football Chairman and even downloading CM97/98 and running it within DOSBOX on my laptop.  None of these really proved particularly satisfying, either they were not feature rich enough, didn’t keep my attention for long enough or didn’t work particularly well (I am looking at you here DOSBOX!).

Anywho, this recent series has made me seriously consider delving back into the football manager series and giving it my full attention.  I would like to say thanks for reigniting my interest!

Now I just have to see if my laptop supports it….


Sam Owens


I don’t oppose the use of video technology but I don’t think it should be used on match days to influence the outcome of a result.If the officials don’t see something then they can’t act upon it, regardless of whether it was filmed, or Tina in row ZZ saw it.

Referees making mistakes is part of the beauty of football, anyone making mistakes is. Steven Gerrard’s slip against Chelsea at the end of last season was heartbreaking to Liverpool fans and those young enough to see Liverpool’s title charge as a romantic throw back but fantastic news for Chelsea and Manchester City fans and anyone who remembers football before Sky and Manchester United rode off into the sunset arm in arm. It was a mistake, a delicious, blood-curdling mistake and it was part of the game. What would you have us do, begin the move again from Sakho’s pass? Other sports lend themselves to technology better because of their set-piece nature. Even rugby has breaks in play so often the game won’t end until the ball is out of play. Video referees exist in ice-hockey but only for disputed goals.

A better option would be retroactive decisions, both positive and negative, regardless of what ends up in the referee’s report. This would allow divers, stampers, those awarded red cards incorrectly, to all be corrected by an appeals panel without affecting the speed of the game and still maintaining a level of pressure on referees (the outraged, baying crowd should still be able to have an effect on the game) without it being overbearing. Combine functional decisions such as did the ball go over the line for a corner with existing technology like hawkeye and you have a much more workable system. One that doesn’t effect the fan’s experience on a match day.

I’m sorry for such a rambling email (there’s some decent points in there somewhere!) but everybody wants to legislate to change the match day experience and the only things that should be altered in that respect are the price of tickets and safe standing.

All the best,

Liam Ager


Couldn’t agree more with Andy on this, still thought I’d address a couple other arguments I hear from people;

1: “We’ll have nothing to talk about in the pub afterwards”. We live in a world where there’s over 9 hours of top flight English football on a week, if you can’t find anything to talk about you either have very little interest in football, or the Premier League is utterly doomed and we should instead spend our time and money broadcasting professional tiddliwinks.

2: “These decisions even themselves out over the season”. First argument against this is the fact that it is wrong, there is absolutely no way that every single wrong decision throughout the season somehow even themselves out perfectly among the 20 league teams. The second argument is why? If we have the technology to get things right first time, why should we let them apparently even out when we can simply get them right.

In 2013/14 the difference between 12th and 13th was 2 points and £1.2million in TV prize money, a figure that is only going to go up in the coming years. Getting decisions right is a really big deal and we should be trying to getting as many right as possible, if video technology will help, then I’m all for it.

Chris Parker

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Letters (30/03/15)
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