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Football League: Just Say No to Penalty Shoot-Outs

By John Nicholson

Last night news broke that the Football League board is considering a proposal to outlaw drawn games, enforcing a penalty shoot-out to decide every game instead. Whoo hoo! Nurse, get the screens please! The lunatics are taking over the asylum again.

I’m not sure who actually sits on the Football League board but they must be smoking some strong medicine. This is right up there with some of Sepp Blatter’s more hallucogenic despatches from the UEFA Home For The Bewildered. Perhaps the people who sit on this board having absolutely nothing better to do with their time other than dreaming up crazy ways to mess around with the game. Maybe they were just out on one almighty bender and, giggling and snickering, wrote down a few mad ideas on the back of a fag packet which somehow became a press release.

How about putting the goals on wheels as well? I know, I know, let’s make goals scored with your arse count double!

Why not make everyone wear Flying Helmets, stick a carrot up their arses and run around in high heels too?

Ok that is just a typical Saturday night out for me, but sometimes it seems as if the game authorities are clinically insane or whacked out their gourds on mescaline.

With all the important issues facing modern football, the very last thing that needs attention is the win, lose or draw principle behind the game.

They seem to believe that this mad idea will make the game more exciting without grasping the notion that football has been massively popular all over the world for over 100 years with the principle of being able to draw games in tact. No one ever thought, I know let’s abolish draws that’ll make the game more fun. Why? Because it bloody wouldn’t that’s why.

While in some sports the idea of a tie is a strange exotic concept, in football it has always been part of game. Football fans don’t need to see a resolution to every game; in fact, a draw can in certain circumstances be felt as a victory of sorts if a lowly club achieves it against a league leader.

The Football League board don’t seem to have realised this, nor have they grasped the fact that if you resolved every tied game with a penalty shoot out, a lot of sides would just play for the draw just to get to the lottery of a penalty shoot out. And what exactly would having a win or loss to every game achieve? The leagues from the Championship downwards are already very competitive. This season, up to 9 clubs still have chance of promotion or play offs. Unlike the Premiership it is a real competition.

In all probability enforcing a result would make the gamer more conservative and negative because a penalty shoot out evens up the odds of you winning even if you play rubbish for the rest of the game.

But I’m doing this madness to much justice to even discuss it. I’m sure the people who came up with this notion have already woken up with a hangover!

John Nicholson writes each week for Football 365 and EPL Talk. You can listen to John’s wonderful stories on episode 30 and 45 of the EPL Talk Podcast, as well as purchase his excellent Footy Rocks book and order one of his unique rock’n roll T-shirts.
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