Is the price of success really all worth it?

By Danny Caro, October 25, 2013
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It only takes one person to ruin it for the rest. It only takes one person to do something silly and tarnish a club’s reputation.

These are things that must be addressed at the club who find themselves at the centre of unsavoury backpage headlines this week.

A raised hand. A raised boot. It’s happened before. But a raised flag. What’s that all about?

The chairman of the MGBSFL told me this week that the league is "powerless to act on incidents if the referee doesn’t see it. Only the FA can. We’re hamstrung. It’s in their remit," he said.

Injuries are part and parcel of football at any level, but what if someone suffers a serious injury and the referee doesn’t see it. Things can escalate very quickly in football and it’s no surprise that people are pulling out of the game en masse at grass-roots level.

The numbers have been falling for the last few years. Is it all worth it? That’s what some must be thinking. Players walk away as they’re unhappy with the facilities, the state of pitches and the standard of refereeing, but safety is paramount.

I believe at local league level, now is the time for managers to start enforcing the law themselves. The MGBSFL police, if you like. If a referee doesn’t see a serious incident but the manager or a teammate does, a little word in the ear of the offender often does the trick. If it doesn’t work and you can see the red mist descending, you take him off.

I’d like to think most people know right from wrong and, in the defence of Athletic Bilbaum, who have a strong reputation, they’ve been pretty cooperative with Redbridge and both parties are keen to move on.

As for the bigger picture, I would like to see the local leagues given some power back. In the week when the FA Facilities Fund and Premier League announced they would pump £102m back into grass-roots football, reaction to serious incidents must be top of the list as the good guys need all the encouragement they can get.

Last updated: 8:47am, October 25 2013