Official Scandal

Premier League referee claims players get booked on purpose

Men who play football for a couple of hours a day cheat to avoid grueling schedule

Steve Bennett

Just before Christmas, John Terry put in a studs-up challenge that saw him dismissed from Goodison Park. The ban meant the Chelsea defender was able to spend Christmas at home with the wifer and kids, instead of preparing for Chelsea’s Boxing Day with West Brom.

At the time, we asked whether JT had seen red on purpose, and our accusation doesn’t look so far fetched in light of the scandal that erupted in yesterday’s News of the World. According to ref Steve Bennett, Premier League players frequently get themselves booked so they can’t take longer holidays and spend Baby Jesus’ B-day at home:

Glancing from side to side, Bennett whispered: “He’s come in the dresser beforehand . . . he came into the dressing room on my mother’s life and said I need one more yellow card. So I gave him a yellow card and, ‘No, no, no, no,’ he says, ‘On the pitch’. It’s up to you.”


“As a fan, they f*****g rip you off. You don’t know half the things that go on. You don’t know half the things that go on.”


“All I’m saying is the foreigner players probably do it more because they are never used to playing games over the Christmas period, because all over Europe there is a three- week, four-week gap.”

Premier League bosses have said “We will be asking Bennett for an explanation,” and we hope that this means they will be demanding a list of all the players who have deliberately cheated. Anyone who endangers the careers of others just so they can have some time away from the world’s greatest job needs to be named and shamed.

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