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PFA Call For Netting – Fences Next?

10 years ago

The head of the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association), Gordon Taylor, has called for protective netting to be put up following the coin thrown at Rio Ferdinand in the Manchester derby.


“It could have been a very serious injury to Rio Ferdinand so I think it is a real wake-up call to the football authorities, to try and prevent that happening.

On option that’s been talked about is netting in vulnerable areas; when a player’s taking corners, behind the goal, or behind the managers’ dugouts where the substitutions are.

I think we’ve got to look at that seriously, so long as it doesn’t affect vision, and of course nobody’s talking about bringing fences back. Football is there to be enjoyed by the whole community”.

Surely for the netting to be any use to stop coins it will have to be quite dense and is guaranteed to affect the fans’ view of the match. Like any wrongdoing the answer is to catch the people responsible and punish them, not punish the 99.999% of the public who are doing nothing wrong.

Maybe Gordon Taylor should be looking closer to home and sorting out issues like the endemic cheating by his members and the total lack of respect shown by so many to the match officials. While of course we have had instances in the past such as Jamie Carragher throwing coins back into the crowd and he wasn’t even charged with misconduct by the FA. Fans (quite rightly) can be banned for life but what about the players?

With these type of things it is often the thin end of the wedge and if we let them stick nets up because of a handful of coin throwing incidents then why not the justification for fences, to stop people running onto the pitch as has happened this season, as they still do in other countries?

Obviously the Hillsborough angle should alone mean we never see another fence in this country but anybody who watched threw the daft fences that were at St.James’ Park and the rest of the Premier League, would testify to how much it affected watching the match.



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