Professional football stadiums will have to use much smaller pitches than are currently used for playing matches if FIFA, the governing body of the sport, passes a new rule currently being considered in Zurich. The idea to make the professional soccer pitches smaller came from Tottenham's Harry Redknapp who says they should be nearer the size of the football pitches the amateur and school teams have to play on every week.
"When the scaats from the professional clubs spot a lad playin' brilliantly on the small pitch" explains Redknapp, "it don't autermatic'ly foller they'll be able to adapt their game to the larger professional pitch. So what 'appens is that we end up gettin' the wrong kind of players coming along for their trials. Gawd knows 'ow many David Beckhams we've missed out on whose potential couldn't be noticed by the scaats when watchin' 'em playin' on a small pitch"
FIFA President Sepp Blatter is in favour of Mr Redknapp's suggestion although a final decision will not be made until an alternative suggestion, by Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, has also been considered by soccer's governing body.
Arsene Wenger suggests it would be better to keep the professional pitches at there current sizes (they differ slightly from club to club) and instead simply increase the number of players in the professional game from eleven man teams to a new larger fifteen.
"Keep the eleven player teams at the amateur level" says Arsene, "but increase the teams to fifteen players for professional matches played on the larger pitches. That way thirty players would be on the larger professional pitch (a total of 30 instead of the current 22), creating similar crowded pitch conditions as they'd been experiencing when playing matches on the smaller pitches with just eleven player squads."
"Yeah, I'm aware of Arsene's soppy idea" said harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane this morning. "But the geezer's as fick as two planks. Fifteen player squads just wouldn't work. The problem ain't just that the young lads from the schools 'nd amateur teams find it 'ard to switch to the less crowded bigger professional pitches. What I've fand is that they 'ave great ability to pass a short ball arand but when it comes to askin' 'em to kick a ball across the bigger pitch to a players feet 'ere at Whie 'art Lane they're about as useless as a five bob note. Scaats can't know that by watchin' 'em twiddlin' abaat wiv a ball on a pitch the size of a postage stamp. 'Alf ov the young lads the scaats bring along 'ere I've fand need a pair of bins to even be able to see from one side of the pitch at White 'art Lane over to the uvver side of it. Mind you I s'pose a few of 'em 'ave fand a place over at Arsenal's graand lately.'
"Anuvver fing wiv Mr Wenger's fifteen man squads" said Redknapp, "is that it's already 'ard enuff as it is for Fabio to find eleven English players from the Premier league to play for England let alone fifteen. I'm not even sure if we 'ave fifteen English players in our premier league. Nah, I'm not just takin' a knock at Mr Wenger just fer the sake of it - the poor man's got enuff problems as it is, but nah, you can take it from me that this fifteen man team idea of 'is wouldn't suit our English game at all. Even the bleedin' refs wouldn't be able to find anywhere to stand on the pitch for gawds sake."