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Issue 345
23 October 2011
Updated Weekly

FA announce Sky Ref

OLD BAG: This is an archive story from Issue 78 - 10 Jan 2005
Roy Carroll

Press the red button now!

Rodney Marsh

Marsh: Profound wisdom


New technology

Fourth estate to act as fourth official

Broadcasters B Sky B have won the rights to use their technology to judge debatable decisions during football matches with the option of their viewers deciding the outcome.

The decision to use video replays follows the high profile display of comedy refereeing last Tuesday at Old Trafford when Tottenham Hotpsur were denied a certain three points against Man United when Pedro Mendes's speculative shot went through United's keeper Roy Carroll's arms and into the goal.

I'll tell you what, Jeff

As reported elsewhere on this web site, United have moved swiftly to sign a new keeper, and in the meantime the FA have acted swiftly to appoint Sky as official officials.

A statement by the FA read. "After watching Sky Sport News the day after the incident at Old Trafford we at the FA have been suitably brain washed into handing Sky a shed load of cash for sticking cameras in every football pitch in England so that in the unlikely event of a referee actually thinking he might be wrong he can refer to the video."

It is understood that the final decision on contentious issues, such as balls being punched into the goal by idiot keepers, will be left to a Sky Sports council of elders consisting of those rancid ex-professionals from Soccer Saturday with Jeff Stelling, as ever, acting as host.

Quentin's Fortune

However, during live transmissions the decision will be left to the viewers to decide by using Sky's interactive service. Whenever the referee calls for the video replay, Sky subscribers will be offered the chance to vote for the outcome by using the Red Button on their remote control.

Sky Sports Chief Executive Quentin Frecian-Humper was excited about the new deal. "I can see it now." He told The Onion Bag while overseeing the construction of his new money room, "'Vote now to disallow last minute winner.' 'Press Red to give Man U another five minutes injury time.' We're gonna make a fortune."

Four eyes

While the cameras are being fitted and alarmed the FA have issued a new device to all officials by way of a stop gap. "They're funny looking things," according to referee supremo Keith Hackett, "Two transparent objects held together by some sort of metal wiring. Apparently you hook them over your nose and there supposed to help. Amazing what they can do these days."

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Also in Issue 78