Football referee Rob Styles, who was the match official at yesterday's game at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers, was arrested by police last night after he was found to be wearing a red Man Utd shirt under his referee kit.
Styles was already expecting a 'dressing down' from the Referee's Association on Monday, after a diabolical decision to award United a penalty when Cristiano Ronaldo was tackled fairly by Jlloyd Samuel.
Bolton manager Gary Megson said:
"It was never a penalty. He's a tosser, that Styles!"
When Mr Styles left the field of play to go for a shower, he was accompanied by two police officers for his own protection, but when he removed his black referee's jersey, he could be seen to be wearing a Manchester United shirt with his name emblazoned on the back.
One of the policemen, PC Arthur Gubbins, takes up the story:
"I followed the suspect to his dressing-room, where I noticed that he was, in fact, wearing a Manchester United football shirt, with his name 'Styles' on the back of that jersey. I cautioned him under the Respect Programme, and informed him of his rights. Then, he was stuffed into the back of a Panda car and removed to an extremely secret location for a good grilling."
Respect is The FA's programme of activities to combat unacceptable behaviour in the game at every level - on the pitch and from the sidelines.
The main aim of Respect is to promote better relations within the game by tackling abuse towards match officials, and to reduce the stream of referees leaving the game through that abuse. (Source: FA website)
The questions on football manager's, players' and fans' lips tonight though, are:
"How is it possible to have respect for the officials when they, themselves, are cheats? How can the referee's decision be accepted respectfully, when it is known by everyone to be wrong? And how long will Rob Styles have to officiate games in League Two before he is back making more ludicrous, bizarre and wrong decisions in the Premier League?"
Referee Styles politely and, no doubt, smugly, declined to comment.