I CAN’T let the subject of eccentric Championship managers go without giving a mention to Neil Warnock, on the back of his frankly bizarre interview at the end of Crystal Palace’s 1-1 draw at Bristol City.
If you didn’t see it (and I’m afraid the video on Sky Sports’ website only gives you a taster), Warnock launched into a quite magnificent rant against referee Richard Beeby, who awarded Bristol City a late penalty and then played five minutes of stoppage time, during which the Robins equalised.
By the end of Warnock’s interview, you could have been convinced that it was the biggest conspiracy since the Roswell incident.
(My understanding of the Roswell incident is pretty sketchy, but I believe that too involved a dodgy penalty.)
“They go back to their jobs, referees, and give no thought about professionals like us having to work as hard as what we’ve done tonight,” said Warnock, apparently unaware that Premier and Football League referees are now full-time professionals.
“‘So what? It’s only a penalty, it’s only a penalty it’s only a goal, it’s only an extra minute. I’m enjoying myself’. Dear me, it’s disgraceful.”
The intriguing thing about all of this is that Warnock is himself a qualified referee.
I was about to write something suggesting that Warnock have a go on the whistle himself, only to discover that he is about to do just that.
Warnock has agreed to referee a testimonial match for former Plymouth striker Mickey Evans at Home Park on April 29, between two teams of past and present Argyle players. (You can find out more about the night here.)
Good on Warnock for agreeing to do it. I’ll be interested to see what kind of job he makes of refereeing. I bet he’ll give a TV interview slating himself afterwards…