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The Guardian on Paul Ince
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GynnSquarePhoenix Offline
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Post: #1
The Guardian on Paul Ince
Paul Ince behaviour should not be masked by Blackpool

The Blackpool Gazette printed 10,000 Paul Ince masks for Blackpool's game against Wigan Athletic so fans could "show their support" as he began his five‑match ban from setting foot in the stadium on match days.

Ince has done a fine job, but the idea should have been scrapped as soon as the Football Association released its full written findings into his disciplinary hearing and a picture emerged that would fit snugly into one of those police documentaries about what happens when testosterone mixes with stupidity at chucking-out time on the Golden Mile.

It is an enlightening read, starting off with Ince being sent from the dugout in a match at Bournemouth, having accidentally struck a spectator when he threw a water bottle in frustration. After waiting for the referee in the tunnel and demanding to see the fourth official, Mark Pottage – "Where's your busy fucker of a fourth?" – various witnesses recount him "violently" shoving Pottage in the chest, two‑handed, into a wall. As stewards bundled him away, his "eyes were bulging" and he could be repeatedly heard shouting: "I'll knock you fucking out, you cunt." All this, by the way, after Blackpool had actually won 2-1 and were top of the Championship.

Apologies for the swearing, by the way. It is this newspaper's policy not to use asterisks and hopefully that doesn't offend the man himself. Ince, you see, told the hearing "everyone who knows me will vouch the c-word is a word I do not use nor accept being used by any of my players, staff or friends". Even better, Ince said he "felt intimidated" when he saw Pottage approaching. Alex Rae, his assistant, pointed out that Pottage was "6ft 2in or 3in tall". Ince, he said, was "shocked and intimidated".

Unfortunately for Ince, there is not a referee, linesman or fourth official out there with previous when it comes to bashing up managers. Ince, on the other hand, has now had six disciplinary cases in four years and, if this was Sunday league, he would probably be banned sine die.

No public apology from Blackpool though, just a tribute from the local newspaper and a statement from the club that they "acknowledge" the ban and will try to make sure it "does not affect our short- or long-term objectives". That's the spirit.
19-10-2013 22:26
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seasider Online
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
They are probably right but who cares, we beat the 'champions'.
19-10-2013 22:30
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Womble Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
Fuck em, did that tosspot Gaughan write that drivel ?
19-10-2013 22:34
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S88bfc Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
Why is this reporter so bothered anyway? Nobber perhaps?
The press don't give a toss about Pool normally.
20-10-2013 07:21
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Pubclown Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
The article is bang on. Seems Blackpool fans don't like people telling it how it is regarding Ince. The bloke is a twat and always has been. The mask thing yesterday made us look like we support Ince's violent behaviour by wearing the masks. Liverpool fans were slated when they did the Suarez support for his racism. I know the two issues are different but they amount to the same thing.

Ince deserved his ban.
20-10-2013 09:12
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Bally Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
(20-10-2013 09:12)Pubclown Wrote:  The article is bang on. Seems Blackpool fans don't like people telling it how it is regarding Ince. The bloke is a twat and always has been. The mask thing yesterday made us look like we support Ince's violent behaviour by wearing the masks. Liverpool fans were slated when they did the Suarez support for his racism. I know the two issues are different but they amount to the same thing.

Ince deserved his ban.
Spot on. Ince was punished for his unacceptable behaviour. That should be the end of it. The masks were small time and embarrassing. Rival fans will be laughing their bollocks off at Pool fans
20-10-2013 09:35
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seasider Online
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
Pubclown, I was going to post before about Suarez. Quite similar even if different issues.

I didn't think it was a good idea but at the time, the fact a charity did well out of it makes it ok doesn't it? The article fails to mention that.
(This post was last modified: 20-10-2013 09:38 by seasider.)
20-10-2013 09:37
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Cheesyleps Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
Are football fans supposed to be the arbiters of a moral code or are we simply tribalistic cheerleaders of our clubs? Whatever happens the natural instinct is to close ranks and back your own. Fuck what everyone else thinks about you.

Is what he did really that bad? Will any punishment be forthcoming for 'Arry after threatening a supporter yesterday, repeatedly swearing and being held back by the 4th official? Doubt it. Was Ince's conduct really that much worse or was it just because a referee was involved? What does a player need to do to get a 5 game ban? Pretty much kill someone these days.
20-10-2013 11:26
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Themodmaster Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
(20-10-2013 11:26)Cheesyleps Wrote:  Are football fans supposed to be the arbiters of a moral code or are we simply tribalistic cheerleaders of our clubs? Whatever happens the natural instinct is to close ranks and back your own. Fuck what everyone else thinks about you.

Is what he did really that bad? Will any punishment be forthcoming for 'Arry after threatening a supporter yesterday, repeatedly swearing and being held back by the 4th official? Doubt it. Was Ince's conduct really that much worse or was it just because a referee was involved? What does a player need to do to get a 5 game ban? Pretty much kill someone these days.

The officials of the game uphold the laws of the game, like policemen uphold the laws of the land on the street.

So as an experiment, next time you see a copper, shove him into a wall and tell him you will "knock the fucker out", and then come back on here and tell us how it went.
20-10-2013 11:32
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afineandprivateplace Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
(20-10-2013 11:26)Cheesyleps Wrote:  Is what he did really that bad? Will any punishment be forthcoming for 'Arry after threatening a supporter yesterday, repeatedly swearing and being held back by the 4th official? Doubt it. Was Ince's conduct really that much worse or was it just because a referee was involved? What does a player need to do to get a 5 game ban? Pretty much kill someone these days.

I think what he did really is that bad - if one of the tribalistic cheerleaders had done that she would have likely faced criminal prosecution and been banned from the ground for life. If it had been in amateur football, as indicated above, he would also likely have been banned sine die. The officials are constant targets for abuse and their position is continually undermined and this is problematic for the game as a whole. It seems that we (the spectators and commentators are the moral arbiters and more than that, are being encouraged to give decision making powers to those not on the pitch as television seeks more direct power to compensate for its financial input - but I am sliding off topic).

In terms of a manager who demands discipline and self-control from his team, he clearly lacks in those departments himself. If results do start to go against him these types of incident will be looked at very differently both from within and outwith the confines of the club.

I'm disappointed that he didn't take more responsibility and simply acknowledge his actions initially but very few people have the courage to do that.

As Albert Camus once siad, “Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football,” the game, as do most sports, still has that capacity but largely it appears to be about money and prestige - the love of victory outmuscling and stamping on the love of the game.
(This post was last modified: 20-10-2013 12:01 by afineandprivateplace.)
20-10-2013 12:01
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Tominey's Boyfriend Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
It is the job of the football association to punish Paul Ince. It is the job of us, the fans, and the club to support our manager and team.

If Ince being absent causes us to win the next four games as well, he can punch, kick, kill or set fireto any dickhead referee he wishes for all I care.

That article implies we should not support him and part if the reason is that he was a naught boy in previous jobs. Typical nonsense from the Guardian. The masks were a bit of fun.
20-10-2013 12:51
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Tominey's Boyfriend Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
I cannot type on an iPad
20-10-2013 12:52
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seasider Online
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
Having thought about it, the Suarez incident is quite different. Liverpool players were actively wearing t shirts in a blatant show of support. The motive behind the masks wasn't really a show of support, it was simply a joke from an internet messageboard. I don't think Trinity Hospice (was that the charity) would care about the motives. We must have raised a good few quid for them as a result.
20-10-2013 14:12
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Cheesyleps Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
(20-10-2013 11:32)Themodmaster Wrote:  The officials of the game uphold the laws of the game, like policemen uphold the laws of the land on the street.

So as an experiment, next time you see a copper, shove him into a wall and tell him you will "knock the fucker out", and then come back on here and tell us how it went.

N.B. Italics are used to identify direct quotes from the FA report. Any emphasis in bold during this post is by me.

Apart from the absurdity of the comparison, if a copper had placed sanctions upon me that were entirely out of proportion to my actions I would have cause to remonstrate with him. Had that police officer then acted in a physically threatening manner I would be entitled by law to defend myself regardless of his 'position of authority'. A view the FA (being up their own arses as usual) don't believe is correct:

68. We considered the push by Mr Ince on Mr Pottage to be very serious and that whether the provocation was real or perceived, the professional footballer or Club Official should not lay a hand on the Match Officials.

So a match official can offer a real threat to me but I cannot touch him at all? Utter twoddle.


Aside from that there are the usual issues with FA disciplinary committees and the processes they allow to be followed by match officials closing ranks. Balance of probabilities isn't a process followed by courts as it is not rigorous enough.

To the case itself. There are several issues with the evidence supplied. Key to the whole decision is the conduct of the 4th official himself. As Alex Rae told him: You caused that.

Did he position himself in a confrontational way and then identify himself in an aggressive manner? I can't fully say as we don't know how close he stood. According to Pottage (the 4th) he was immediately behind him, conceding in cross examination that he was 1 or 2 feet. Langford (the ref) says he was half a yard away, Jerden (call him lineo 1) doesn't clarify a distance only saying he was directly behind Ince. Crouch (lineo 2) also uses the exact same phrase directly behind but when cross examined says that it was over a metre between them. Ince and Rae both maintain it was approximately 6 to 12 inches.

Not sure about you, but someone standing somewhere between 6 and 18 inches immeditately behind me (consistent with Langford, Pottage, Ince and Rae. The 1 metre claim of Crouch is completely inconsistent with all of the others) has certainly invaded my personal space and generally in a situation such as the one here would only do so in order to provoke a confrontation. Had Pottage maintained a distance dictated by acceptable social norms he wouldn't have been in direct reach of a push. It would have required Ince to move towards him in a lunging manner which Jerden specificially notes It wasn't a lunge.

Ince's words, when related to the infamous "knock you out" phrase are widely repeated by the officials, but there is no indication of what any of the officials say to him at any point beyond Pottage's use of "I'm here." In normal circumstances (and as is perceived by the FA, this isn't an aggressive phrase) but place it in the context of someone purposefully moving up behind you and standing unusually close to you. Depending upon the tone of voice and level of volume used (something neglected to be mentioned by the officials, despite being very concerned with Mr. Ince's tone of voice) could be perceived as aggressive, confrontational and threatening.


All around the inconsistency of the evidence supplied by the officials is very surprising, especially considering the procedures they are routinely allowed to follow in these situations. After the incident they sat down to compile and agree upon a timeline of events before taking home a copy of each of their notes as they asked Bournemouth officials to photocopy the handwritten notes compiled of the recollections of the incidents for the Match Officials to take away. Considering this it is surprising that they can't even agree upon Ince's demeanour when approaching the referee with him being variously described as: irate, aggrieved and wanted to know why he had been removed from the technical area or approached the referee, Mr Oli Langfod [sic] in a confrontational manor [sic] asking why he was sent to the stand or even It was quite amicable at that time.

So which was it? Aggrieved, aggressive or amicable? All very different accounts.

That extended even to whether Pottage was carrying anything in his hands (something that may contribute to the reasoning on why he was moved backwards by a 'defensive' push rather than the assumed aggressive shove) with some of the officials claiming he was carrying the subs board and flags whilst others say he definitely had nothing in his hands. This wasn't questioned by the FA.

Essentially, it isn't all as cut and dried as they like to make out and five minutes reading the report would show that whilst the FA disciplinary procedure isn't fit for purpose as has been shown time and again in the past. Regardless of all the above Tominey put it more eloquently: He's our boss, we'll back him.
(This post was last modified: 20-10-2013 14:48 by Cheesyleps.)
20-10-2013 14:47
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Spielmacher 10 Offline
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RE: The Guardian on Paul Ince
Another journo having a pop at Paul Ince (and Pool fans) in today's paper. The Millwall supporting, Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times:

Masks can't hide Ince's shame

"Football supporters sometimes behave like half-witted thugs, but rarely do they go to such lengths to actually look like them, as Blackpool's fans did yesterday.

Some hundreds of them were wearing Paul Ince masks, in support of their manager who had just begun a five-match suspension for behaving like Paul Ince. The loveable little cheeky chappie was barred not just from the dugout but from the entirety of Bloomfield Road, which you might have thought would be an immense benefit to his team and to any sensible Blackpool supporters.

A 32 page report issued by the FA set out the circumstances that led to Ince's ban. The FA found that Ince initiated an angry confrontation with match officials after a game at Bournemouth last month, which Blackpool actually won. The row featured a spectacularly offensive tirade against Mark Pottage, the fourth official, who had sent Ince to the stands during the game. Ince, it was claimed. shoved Pottage and yelled: "I'll f****** knock you out, you c***." Ince denied using the 'c-word' but the FA found him guilty of three charges, including "behaviour constituting violent conduct." Fair enough, you might think.

But the local rag and local radio station got together to produce the masks, fearing that the loss of Ince's immense talismanic presence would have an adverse effect on the Tangerines as they battled with local rivals Wigan Athletic. The editor of the Blackpool newspaper described Ince as a "motivational powerhouse" while the local equivalent of Alan Partridge gushed: "It's going to look brilliant with the stands awash with the manager's face. I can't wait." I suppose we should applaud such loyalty, but Ince is as gobby as he is thuggish and when you consider what the former England international actually did in order to earn such a stringent ban you begin to suspect that it was not nearly stringent enough.

Managers often challenge officials, of course. But I doubt that many of them have done so with quite the verve, gusto and wit of Ince, whose exile to the stands resulted from him hurling a water bottle which hit a steward.

A supporter who acted the same way as Ince would unquestionably be banned from the club for life and would almost certainly face prosecution. Earlier this year, the Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris (himself a former ref) pleaded with the authorities to "get tough" with coaches and players who intimidated or threatened officials - and by getting tough, he meant prosecutions. Mr Ince should be relieved to have been treated with such indulgence.

I suppose the Blackpool supporters would respond by saying "it's only Incey being Incey" or some such Panglossian toss. "He wears 'is heart on 'is sleeve, does Incey, he just can't help it," you can hear them chuckling to themselves. They might add too that he is one of those players who is loveable only when he plays for your team, and then, he can do no wrong.

You hear this about quite a few players, of course - Marlon King, for example, and Lee Hughes. It is even possible that the supporters of Swindon Town are right now saying much the same thing about their latest unexpected acquisition, the wannabe gangsta blud, Nile Ranger. It was also said, once upon a time, about the likes of Craig Bellamy and Robbie Savage (indeed, oddly enough, it's said an awful lot about Welsh players in general, such as Mark Hughes and Terry Yorath and - anyone remember him? - Trevor Hockey.)

We've had one or two of this sort of player down at the Den, players who combined what seemed to be a somewhat dislikeable personality with unrestrained thuggery on the pitch - Pat Van den Hauwe and Kevin Muscat spring to mind. I couldn't stand them - Muscat, in particular, was a horrible presence and the suggestion that what appeared to be pronounced psychopathic tendencies suited Millwall never quite cut it for me.

The question that bothers me is what are those Blackpool fans going to do with all those masks once the manager has returned to the dugout, or further down the line when he is sacked? I suppose they could forward them to the next location at which the man washes up. Please don't let it be London SE16."


Seems that Mr Ince has quite a few enemies out there. It's a rubbish article, full of inaccuracies and, again, no mention of the charity side of the masks. Being lectured about our behaviour by a Millwall fan really sticks in the craw!!
20-10-2013 17:29
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