Thank goodness for Alan Hansen. The former Liverpool defender turned BBC pundit has made use of two of his favourite words, grit and determination, and urged Fifa to ban the current offside law. He says no-one in the Western World understands it and that the law itself is in utter chaos. Despite this, and a couple of examples of correct but seemingly baffling offside decisions at Euro 2008, the Premier League’s Head of Refs, Keith Hackett, says everything is fine and it’s the TV pundits who are causing the problems by not understanding the rules. Hackett alleges that the key area of confusion is currently determined by the PIG criteria – if a player doesn’t Play, Interfere or Gain (an advantage) he is fine.' Mr Hackett needs to get out more. The initials he quotes do play a part in the offside law, but only because Fifa have made a PIG’s ear of it. It exists only because people like Mr Hackett are happy to follow the party line and back them on it.
Many of us will have a view on Kevin Keegan’s abilities as a top flight manager, but as a human being, it’s hard to find fault with him. Not many of his colleagues would have been' prepared to give Joey Barton yet another chance but Keegan is backing the troubled midfielder to turn his life around. Barton, who was released from prison yesterday after serving just over 2 months of a 6 month sentence for assault and affray should thank his lucky stars he has a boss like Keegan, be the first in and last out of training everyday, give up the booze, lose his undesirable friends and find a few worthwhile causes to back with his £50,000 a week salary. Then he might be deserving of the opportunity Keegan has given him.
Even after his idea was laughed out of court by virtually everyone in authority within the game, The Premier League’s Chief Executive Peter Scudamore insists that his plans for a 39th international round of PL matches are far from dead. This, you may remember, is the absurd idea for England’s clubs to pack their bags during the season, jet off to all parts of the world and do battle for league points. Scudamore insists that he’s confident such a scheme will work due to the pulling power of the Premier League. Perhaps he should take a look at how many fans Chelsea attracted in their friendly against Chengdu in football mad Macau the other day. Mind you, he’ll have to look closely as the figure was a paltry 5,000. If ever an idea was dead in the water, it’s this one. Move on Peter.
Luton Town have been given the OK to start the new League Two season after the club’s new owners, LTFC 2020, accepted the deal offered to them by the Football league last month. And what a deal it is. LTFC 2020 will be allowed to remove the club from administration, providing they pay creditors 16p in the pound, and the club will start off at minus 30 points. I’ll run that past you again. Minus 30 points.' To put that in perspective, Mansfield and Wrexham were relegated from League Two last season despite amassing 42 and 40 points respectively. Chester City survived on 47 points. So, using that as a template, Luton will have to show the form of a Top Six club merely to stay up. Perhaps they could better use their time searching on their Sat Nav’s for the likes of Kidderminster, Histon and Northwich as they’re the type of teams they’ll be up against in 2008 / 2009. The Blue Square Premier beckons.