4:10pm Wednesday 9th September 2009
By Lawrie McMenemy
OFTEN over the years, especially as more than one of my grandsons takes part in that other game called rugby, I have my leg pulled when watching them play.
Die-hards of the 15-man sport poke fun at some of the goings-on which they have read about in professional football.
I can’t wait to see some of them in the coming school season after the Harlequins fiasco.
You could try to laugh it off when you see that one of their staff paid £3.95 for some fake blood capsules from a joke shop in Clapham Junction which were then to be used when a player needed to feign injury for a blood substitution.
Joking apart, though, it is obviously one of the most serious problems to have hit the good game in its long history.
Apart from the fact that nearly everyone involved in any sport takes an interest in other professions, the thing that stuck out to me was that Harlequins hired lawyers to try to stop the punishment going as far as expulsion from a particular competition or a points deduction by using the Tevez affair as an example Their argument was that it would not be appropriate because ‘a substantial number of innocent persons would have thereby suffered a serious detriment.’ If in fact that argument meant West Ham did not have points deducted over the Carlos Tevez affair, how come the likes of our beloved Saints and others in the lower divisions have got to accept without any argument starting a season so far behind the others that unless they get wins in the first month the talk is more about avoiding relegation than getting promotion?
Could it be there is one rule for the Premiership and another one for the rest?
Obviously since the Premiership broke away there has been huge differences in the injection of cash in particular.
But surely when it comes to harming the innocents, and by that I mean loyal supporters, it should be the same argument for Harlequins and West Ham.
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