With the new Premiership season only one week old, the controversy surrounding one bad penalty decision has caused financial markets as far away as ASIA to wobble dramatically.
Rob Smiles amazingly, and without precedent, awarded a whole PENALTY to Chelsea in the Liverpool Chelsea match at the weekend, and yet he was WRONG WRONG WRONG.
But let's be reasonable. If players and fans were allowed to judge penalties, it would be hard to see how any referee could ever be right again. After all, nobody actually likes to see a penalty awarded against their team, right or wrong.
But considering all viewpoints in a balanced way, there is nothing new about bad penalty decisions in the game of football. It seems like only yesterday we were talking about the last bad penalty decision. However, being sane and gentlemanly, it does seem that memories in football are as short as the queue to thank referees at the end of the game.
With the game evolving all the time, and moving into a new technological era when so much depends on the outcome of a single match, referees need to make sure that all penalty decisions are good ones that make both sets of fans look at each other and nod knowingly in mutual self-satisfaction that the referee did the job well just for them. Ahh.
No part of our great society is immune to the passions of the game, and referees have a duty to society. They owe it to everyone to make sure that the decisions they make do not inflame the wrong, aggressive, passions, and ultimately bring down Asian financial markets like they did last week.
But bringing a note of caution to this loveliness, with the season only a week old, it is hard to see how referees can avoid more bad decisions. It is in the nature of the game. Free kicks will be taken from the wrong place, players will steal yards on throw ins, and the one that really gets right-minded people in an ass hair tangle, goalkeepers will take goal kicks from the other side to that which the ball went out on.
But rest assured, if this weekend sees another insane decision taken by a petty-minded arrogant man in black hell bent on ruining the financial stability of our country for his own evil ends, then you will be first to hear about it wherever you are.