Now I was going to spend a little bit of time going into all those intensely annoying techniques whereby professional footballers frustratingly whittle away the seconds (and so deny the paying public of what it is they've actually come to watch i.e. football!), but instead I'm going to point you towards a blog which has already done that in a very comprehensive way indeed:
15 time wasting tactics in football
This gives me the opportunity to offer up my grand master-plan for eliminating this annoying aspect once and for all.
Stop The Clock!
Sounds simple, doesn't it, and in a way, it is.
All you need is a guy with a stopwatch (or, for the more sophisticated level of the game, a guy in the stand with a finger linked to a big clock!) who's been given a set of simple rules:
- when the ball goes out of play (for a throw-in or goal-kick), stop the clock.
- when the ball goes back in play, start the clock.
- when the referee blows his whistle for a foul, stop the clock.
- when the free kick/penalty is taken, start the clock.
- when the substitution is being made, the clock is stopped.
Each half of football will be reduced to thirty minutes (giving us an hour of actual play), which equates nicely with the rough average of 56 minutes of actual football in a current 90 minute match.
It also means that, at the end of each half, there will be a clear and unequivocal understanding of how long is left to play (so no more Fergie-time!)
It will also do away with players feigning injuries, kicking the ball away, last minute substitutions to run down the clock…in fact, many of the things which really piss the viewing public off.
Are you listening, Sepp?