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Oh dear .... watch out you managers, coaches and subs!

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A communication despatched to referees - what fun is left in the game is gradually being eroded away!

27 October 2008


Contributory League Match Officials

Members of Contributory League Review Board

Contributory League Assessors

Dear Colleagues,

Team Officials Conduct within the Technical Area

It has been brought to the attention of The Football Association by the members of the Contributory League Review Board that in early season matches some Match Officials are failing in their duties and responsibilities by not dealing appropriately with unacceptable team officials’ conduct in the technical area as outlined in The Laws of the Game and competition directives.

There are very clear guidelines regarding the conduct of team officials within the Technical Area, which match officials are instructed to follow:

• If a manager/coach/team official berates either the referee or assistant referee or fourth official in a very public way in contravention of the Laws of the Game, he should be removed to the stand, and reported to The Football Association.

• If a manager/coach/team official breaches Competition Rules Only by not adhering to the assistant referee or 4th Official’s instructions to return to the bench after giving instructions and having a suitable length of time to see if they have been carried out, they must be reported to the appropriate competition.

Although it is the overall responsibility of the referee as the leader of the team, on many occasions it falls to the assistant referee to monitor and control the conduct of team officials in this highly charged environment.

I know from personal experience that you may say that ‘I don’t want to cause the referee any trouble’ or ‘I can manage this’. However, the image of the game and the appropriate competition is visibly affected and you have a clear responsibility to take the appropriate action.

May I remind you of the Standardised Rules contained within the Directives and Competition Rules for the Contributory Leagues 2008-2009 distributed at the beginning of the season to all Match Officials, Clubs and Assessors?

8.22.1 In all Competition Matches, the number of Clubs players and officials seated on the team benches, in the designated technical area, must not exceed 11 unless the team bench facility provides more than 11 individual seats.

8.22.2 Only one person at a time has the authority to convey tactical instructions to the players during the match. This person shall be the team manager or the team coach. He is allowed to move to the edge of the technical area to issue instructions to his team but then must return to his position on the bench immediately after giving these instructions.

8.22.3 All team officials and substitutes seated on the bench shall be listed on the official team sheet when it is submitted to the Match Officials. Only those persons listed on the official team sheet shall be permitted in the technical area.

8.22.4 The occupants of the technical area must behave in a responsible manner at all times. Misconduct by occupants of this area will be reported by the Referee to The FA, who shall have the power to impose sanctions as deemed fit.

8.22.5 With the exception of the team manager, the team coach and any substitutes who are warming up or warming down, all other personnel are to remain seated on the trainer’s bench. The team manager or team coach is allowed to move to the edge of the technical area to issue instructions to his team, but must then return to the trainer’s bench. The time has come for match officials to control the Technical Area firmly and fairly, by removing from the Technical Area those who act irresponsibly and reporting clubs who breach any of the standardised rules as outlined above. If this means that more team officials are reported to The Football Association and more clubs are reported to the respective competitions so be it.

As you can see I have also sent a copy of this letter to the Contributory League Assessors and I am instructing them to make appropriate comment within the assessment regarding any lack of action on the part of the match officials in this area, with a reduction of mark if necessary.

The Football Association, Contributory Leagues and Clubs themselves have a responsibility to regulate the conduct within the Technical Area. If a match official does not take the appropriate action on the day and/or does not submit reports to The FA or respective competitions then action can not be taken against those individuals responsible for damaging the image of the game and undermining the authority of the match officials.

Thank you in anticipation of your firm and professional response to this very important aspect of the game


Neale Barry

Head of Senior Referee Development

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Agree absoluitely, Dave: this is the sort of self-important, posturing piffle from the F.A. that ruins two or three games a season, when match officials imagine the crowd has come to watch them instead of the players.

I don't mind, cos since I've given up being a secretary and a linesman I can do what I like and put it down to Tourette's Syndrome. Down St Just the team boxes are already in the stand anyway and the linesmen run through such technical areas as there are. Mother's often in there with her crutches swinging and collisions are part of the entertainment.

Well, I say stand, but since the roof got blown off you can stand in the field next door and still shout your head off without missing anything anyway. And even when they build it back up you can gallop up and down on the back of a cow and still s :drink: ee the game.

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