Players Need To Know The Rules


How can players earn so much when they don't know the rules. Every year I had the new rule book with highlighted changes from the year before. This is just basic and you actually enjoy the game more knowing the rules.

Last night there was more controversy in the match between Manchester City and Aston Villa. The first goal that was scored by City showed the Villa defender losing a ball he was getting under control when a player returning in an off side position nicked it away.

The truth is the players and management of Aston Villa can complain saying this was unfair, but it was quite legal. I am not shocked or surprised to be honest as very few players and fans know the rules properly.


This was also the case when I refereed rugby matches as the lack of knowledge with the rules by players who are professionals is pure negligence. I don't only blame the players but I also blame the clubs as it shows pure ignorance and a level of amateurishness.

Players are paid an absolute fortune and surely they should know the rules as well as the referees. I think in any profession to be the best you need to be equipped with the right knowledge otherwise you will be caught out at some point.

I have seen rugby matches where players don't know the rules or certain rule changes that have happened in between seasons and are left embarrassed. I do think what we have seen over the years warrants all professionals in their chosen sport to pass the officials exam so at least they can understand everything that much better.

Tis would also allow then to ask the correct question of the match official when it came to a controversial moment. There is nothing wrong with questioning a decision if it is done in the correct manner by the skipper of the team. At the end of the day the match officials only want the correct decision made. There is nothing wrong with over turning something as it shows you are the bigger person as we are all human.

Last night the Aston Villa manager was o0ut of line complaining as it clearly showed he was unaware of the ruling which happened to have been right. In this instance because the defender was given the opportunity to play the ball first it allowed the returning player who was originally off side to be back on side as the game was live again. The only way it would have still been off side is if the player played the ball first before the defender touched it.

This is not crazy and nothing strange as the defender had the opportunity to clear the ball upfield. We all learn by our mistakes and how many more rules don't the players know. There is no excuse and clubs maybe should spend a little longer i the class room seeing what their players know and don't know.


The problem comes when there are too many rules in a game. Football is a simple game but they are constantly tweaking bits here and there. Clubs should be up to date on all changes but there is no need for so many of the technical rules in football.
Rugby is different as it is a technical game but for the most part simple is better.
Offside is offside and that should be it. Let the games flow and keep the frees to aminimum.

I do agree but those are the rules and players need to know them. We have some funny ones in rugby as well that an offside player is put onside if an opposing player touches the ball. I saw one case where a player was 50 m off side injured when a charged down kick happened to come to him where he picked the ball up and touched it down. Crazy but in the rules and players need to know them.

If you want to pay me 100k a week i'll read anything you need me to.