It’s easy to blame the referee for the poor performance of your football team. He’s got scapegoat written all over him. Or perhaps he walks around with a notice saying “Kick me” stuck on his back. It’s a thankless task, especially at non-league level. I’m reminded on one of those wacky “Far side” greetings cards where two stags are having a chat and one has a target emblazoned on his chest. “Hell of a birthmark, Hal”. That’s referees – walking targets.
Why would you do it? For a start, you get called all the names under the sun by supporters, and at non-league games, these echo around empty stadia. Your parentage is called into question. Your off-duty hobbies. Your integrity. Your honesty. You name it, the man in black gets it thrown at him.
And then there’s the players and managers. Non-league players’ interaction with the officials is quite appalling…
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