Gus Poyet has called for the FA to rethink their rules after seeing Sunderland hit with a £20,000 fine for failing to control their players.
The charge related to protests over the penalty awarded to Everton at the Stadium of Light. In fairness to the referee, the decision was right as Connor Wickham certainly brought down Seamus Coleman, though at the time it certainly looked dubious.
Poyet, however, has blasted the fine, suggesting it punishes players for caring about winning. He told reporters:
I think there is a fine line between respect and control and passion.
I would call on everyone to be very careful when we charge clubs, and I'm not talking about my team, I'm talking about any club in England.
There has to be a line in there, but we need to accept that it's a game that people want to win.
Don't make your own players, and now I'm talking about England as well, don't make your English players not care about winning or losing a game, about complaining, not complaining, because then when you play internationals you will suffer.
The manager in charge of any team doing everything by the rules is going to be on the losing side.
I kind of see Poyet's point, though it's a little cynical for my liking, particularly the last sentence.
If those are the rules, then they are the rules, but I think it's a stupid rule personally. If the referee considered Sunderland players out of control, he had the power to book them or more. Isn't controlling the behaviour of footballers on a football pitch kind of part of a referee's remit? Has he been fined for failing it control Sunderland players?
And if Sunderland were out of control protesting the penalty award, then why were Everton not out of control for protesting Sunderland's protest? Sylvain Distin ran all the way from centre back to get involved.
It all seems a bit daft to me, personally.
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