It's the Flood Warden

Last updated : 10 January 2003 By Tony Scholes

It is a bright dry day in Burnley just one day before the game with Ipswich but even if we had a deluge there would be no danger of the game being called off with this man in charge. When he allowed the Portsmouth v Leicester game to go ahead recently at a flooded Fratton Park it came as no surprise to those Burnley fans who witnessed the farce he allowed to take place at Macclesfield in 1998.

Already this season we have come across him at away games, the 2-1 win at Derby and the 0-0 draw at Rotherham and on both occasions he has seen fit to get his yellow card out on numerous occasions, 6 times at Derby and 7 at Rotherham, including the booking of Gareth Taylor at Rotherham after just six seconds.

He hasn’t exactly favoured Burnley in those games either. At Derby Ian Cox, Tony Grant, Ian Moore and Mark McGregor were all yellow carded along with two Derby players and at Rotherham besides Taylor we had Lee Briscoe, Brad Maylett, Paul Weller and Dean West booked with two Rotherham players. And Ronnie Moore dared to suggest he had hounded Alan Lee.

As a consequence of his actions with ridiculous bookings for Cox (at Derby) and West (at Rotherham) these two players are now out suspended for tomorrow’s game.

But we shouldn’t be too concerned about these performances because even he surpassed himself when he took charge of the Stoke v Coventry game in December. On that occasion he used his yellow card on no less than 13 occasions, yes 13, with 7 to Stoke and 6 to Coventry players.

Two of those given to Stoke players were the second yellow cards for Wayne Thomas and Brynjar Gunnarsson and Stoke ended the game with nine players. The two managers, Tony Pulis and Gary McAllister have both lodged formal complaints.

His 18 games this season have seen 90 yellow cards handed out with 42 to home players and 48 to away players. To add to that there have been 7 red cards.

We cannot expect a game without a good number of cards, it is just the way Hall referees games.