Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Insidious Workings

I'm seething.

Well, not seething in the way you might imagine - probably an effete Silhillian banging his feet on the floor, grinding his teeth and smashing treasured family heirlooms against the wall. Although, it's not far off that.

I'm flustered and...just..just going to come out with it, I've kept it in for too long and it needs to be said...ready?

We're being cheated

Come on, you know it

You've pondered it too.

It's happening on a weekly basis.

To the point where it's so obvious that's it's laughable.

Is it a conspiracy?

Hear me out...

First they had Blues play every league fixture away from home following a Europa game. Every single one.

Go and have a look at the fixture list if you don't believe me. It's ludicrous.

Madeira, North Africa on a Thursday night? We'll give them....Middlesborough away a couple of days later. Yes, that should ruin them.

The ex-Soviet bloc, Maribor? Forest away a couple of days later will do nicely.

Bruges, Bristol away. Braga, Cardiff away.

So we'd travel to these European destinations, fly for over four hours, play a game, fly four hours back, then land and get on a coach for a five hour trip to somewhere like Middlesborough.

Is that rational?

You tell me.

I'm surprised the players didn't have blood clots. They must have looked like the cast of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves with the long haul stockings on show.

Who's idea was that? And why? 

What's the thought process behind it? 

Why every game away? Why not just give Blues one home league fixture after a taxing European trip? Give us half a chance?

Unless of course......the people who compiled the fixtures knew what they were doing?

Crazy? Maybe...

Southampton have had nine penalties that I've managed to find this season, they might have had more, but they've definitely had at least nine.  That's 9 in 38 games, otherwise known as 'about 25% of their matches'.

Blues on the other hand have had 3.


You're not telling me that Southampton attack three times as much as Blues.


Every week we see Southampton getting soft penalties when we watch their highlights on the Maniche show. At Millwall they got a penalty for their own player handling the ball. The studio fell about giggling. I'm not sure it's funny? I'm certainly not laughing.

Blues are scythed down in the box on a weekly basis and get zilcho. At Coventry last week, Andros Townsend beat his man, ran towards goal and was taken clean out in the first half, every post-match medium confirms it was a penalty, did we get it, did we hell.

And there's been so many incidents like the above for Blues, it's weird, utterly weird. King must be dragged and pushed and thrown in every match, but they won't give him a decision because they don't like him for his off the field antics from the past.

Today at Pompey Zigic is fouled a good four yards in the box, the ref awards the foul and gives a freekick on the edge of the area almost causing a riot.

Mutch has been sent off for nudging a Coventry lad in the back, leading Claridge to shake his vulture neck in disbelief. 

Murphy gets sent off today for a shoulder barge, sending all of Fratton Park into hysterics.

Yet West Ham play Millwall, roundhouse kick the Wall goalkeeper knocking him unconscious, they slot home into an empty net, the ref points for a goal, Big Sam raises his arms triumphantly.

Imagine Blues getting a decision like that.

'It evens itself out' they mew.

I'm not sure it does.

At Pompey today Blues were comfortable, so comfortable. 

Skates get awarded a phantom free-kick and score with the subsequent deflected strike. Then, Murphy gets sent off for a nudge. They fling a cross into the box and punch the ball into the net with their hands, every Blues player turns to the ref expecting a free kick, the ref smirks and awards a goal.

Darren Carter - BRMB's answer to Jamie Redknapp - usually a cool and collected boy/man has to be restrained and held back in the press area by security. His face is red and he's lost his famed restraint.

The fact is: Blues fans and journalists are getting pissed off with this.

But will Hughton do a Fergie and question the competency of the officials making these season-wrecking howlers? Maybe imply they're not physically fit? Will he do an Owen Coyle and piece together a pathetic DVD of perceived ref mistakes?

No, you know he won't. 

Because he's got too much class. But I'm not sure class is what's needed. When you're fighting in mud with pigs and rats, it's maybe time to get dirty and hurl a brick, because Blues are paying dearly for their honesty.

When Blues were due to play Southampton at home, we were on a winning streak, they on a losing streak. A blizzard littered down rendering the pitch unplayable and vision limited. The powers that be demanded the game go ahead, effectively ending any chance of Birmingham clawing back Southampton in the league. The Saints needed not to lose, and in conditions where scoring became an impossibility, they licked their lips with glee. Why did the league let that game go ahead?

I've never known a side try to compete in such stifling conditions before. They're consistently playing against all the elements and all the officials.

Why though? Why are we handed impractical fixture lists, poor officials and a third of the penalties that the teams around us enjoy?

I believe that, as it's London 2012, the FA are desperate for teams in and around the area to return to the top flight.

'Tis embarrassing for the Olympic Stadium to host second tier football after the 2012 games. And how nice if Southampton and Reading could join West Ham [the three teams at the top of the 'penalties awarded' for this season column by the way] in the prem. A global city hosting a global games with tens of premiership venues on its door-step. Investors eyeing up South East clubs, their money for the regeneration project.

The top flight with West Ham and some commuter belt town sides - Bobby Moore's wet dream.

People think this doesn't go on in the English game, but after the spot-fixing scandals in cricket; the blood tablet farce in rugby; the corruption surrounding FIFA; and the fact that match fixing and ref-bribing in football has been outed in leagues as close as Italy - I wouldn't be surprised.

Forget the fact we've sold every squad player and are using the smallest pool of players - if we somehow beat Soho and get promotion it'll be the greatest triumph in the club's history, even surpassing that of the league cup win.

Make no mistake, it's now us v them. But for all the skullduggery going on, this hated platoon can make one last stand and they won't like that much.

Ta ra! 

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