Junior/Youth U15s "Fergie Time" red card!


Big bad baldy in all black!
Had a somewhat "entertaining" U15s match today.

Two closely matched teams, some good football from both sides despite a "heavy pitch" that didn't suit two teams trying to play passing football. Home team probably had the better of the chances, but it's the away team who hit them on counter and go 1-0 up. After the goal, home team step it up and put the away side under a bit more pressure. Ball gets played down the line and in the corner of my eye can see the away team CAR has his flag up, I wave play on as from my position in between the line of the 6 yard box and penalty area, I believed the home attacker ran from behind the defender after the ball was played, ball gets knocked behind by the challenging defender. I point for the corner despite a few defenders claiming it should have been offside because the CAR flagged. Taking my position for the corner, away CAR is still flagging and then shouting "ref I need to speak to you". Was thinking to myself here we go, he's going to moan I over-ruled him, went over to speak to him and I explained why I over-ruled the offside call. He said fair enough, but insisted one of the home players had sworn at him. I explained I never heard anything from my position, however I spoke to the player he accused and said to him he's accused you of swearing at him, I never heard it so it's your word against his, but if you did and I heard it, I would have to deal with it. I have ref'd the player many times before and judging by the look on his face, thinking he probably did swear at the away team CAR, so he's probably got away with one... Half time, CAR comes over again for a half time "chat" and he say he and the other parents are in agreement that I am the best referee they have ever had! :D

2nd half starts off pretty much as the first, attack, counter, counter-counter... Last 20 minutes gets quite scrappy. Home team getting more desperate for an equaliser, away team getting more desperate to hang onto their 1-0 lead. In that 20 minutes, lost count how many times I hear "How long left ref", which in the last 10 minutes is every time the ball goes out. With the substitutions and the away team not exactly quick at getting the game restarting, thinking at least 2 minutes of time added on, which becomes 3 with more substitutions from both sides.

Last minute of added on time in what had up until then had been a closely fought, but genuinely fair card free game, home team mount one last attack in search for an equaliser. Home and away player player go for a 50/50, home player comes with ball and plays it out wide, but it gets cleared for a home throw. Something in my head tells me to keep an eye on the 2 players who went for the midfield 50/50, who are making their way towards the away team penalty area. Away team defender gets goal side of home attacker and starts "staring down" the attacker, who has his back to me. As I move closer towards the pair ready to separate them if necessary, away team defender starts repeatedly swearing at the attacker and then gives him a shove in the chest. I called over the defender, who's still swearing and insisting he was fouled. I informed him I felt it was a fair 50/50. pull out my book from the top pocket and explain to the player that his behaviour and language is unacceptable, it's at that point he decides he hasn't said enough and questions my decision making and abilities as a ref, so decided not to be "last week's ref, sack off the "no surprises BS" and whip out a straight red! Cue a few gasps from the sidelines and a couple of "well done ref" from home players. Red carded player takes what seems an eternity to walk off, throw eventually gets taken, it's cleared high and not so handsome, blow full time!!...

Handshakes all-round start, away manager come over and I explain my reasons for the red card. At this point, player's mother comes storming over, demanding an explanation why her little chub has seen red, I tell her I am not interested, but she continues spouting off, so I then tell her to go away or she will get reported as well. Away manager then also tells her to go away...

The "Fergie Time" incident probably made me go from the best referee they had ever had to the worst! :D

Sorry for the long winded waffling, getting my head together before hitting "submit" on the WGS report.


Well-Known Member
Only 'serious' threats I've had when refereeing youth is from the parents - as you found, they can be very 'protective' of their (not so) little ones!

Tino Best

Well-Known Member
I have been quite lucky and not had any abuse from parents yet, but would deal with it straight away. I was once approached by a parent after I had dressed down a 11 year old for repeatdly using foul language. His mother came over, but there was a retired observer there. He had been asked to attend the game as the last one had been a very bad tempered affair. He informed the irate mum that her son was lucky to receive a telling off and could have received a red card. The language was directed at himself and his own team mates. At older age groups I do let industrial language be used but this was 9 aside and I thought unacceptable. If it had been directed at the opposition or me I would have dealt with it differently.


Big bad baldy in all black!
Didn't exactly surprise me (player's mother is a career complainer) that couple of days after the game received an email from FA asking for my "observations" as away team had lodged a formal complaint about me and the "grossly unjust and unfair" red card!

If it was an attempt to get the red card overturned, they shot themselves in the foot with their "witness statements" (manager and player's father) by admitting the player swore at his opponent and questioned my impartiality.

Saw on FA website that player was given a 2 match ban. :redcard:


The Enlightened One
Had an U16s game the other week....game went fine, hardly a poor challenge all game....blew for full time, players start shaking hands.....then words are exchanged between a small group of players, to which one decides to spit at an opponent.....
Hadn't left the pitch, so easiest red card all season.

6 match ban!