Hands Off In The Box: The Daily Mail’s Campaign That No-One Wants
THE Daily Mail has campaign. It wants readers to:
Join Sportsmail’s Hands Off In The Box campaign by parading the logo at matches.
You can just see football fans holding up the Daily Mail’s logo with pride. To date, the only newspaper referenced at football matches is the Sun. Liverpool fans upset over the Sun’s Hillsborough coverage ask fellow fans not to buy it.
Can the Mail be an altogether diferent kind of unifying force for the fans?
It’s unlikely, especially when the Mail’s mission statement to end grappling in the penalty box features this killer line:.
For too long, referees have failed to punish players for blatantly stopping opponents from scoring. It’s time to end that.
How dare these useless refs allow one side to prevent he other from scoring! It’s a disgrace!
Because campaigns are one of the four way in which a newspaper attempts to stand out from its rivals (the other three are: shape, cover price and boobs) the Mail desperately needs this to work.
Join Sportsmail’s Hands Off In The Box campaign by parading the logo at matches… you could also win an England shirt signed by Jamie Redknapp, Jamie Carragher and Martin Keown by tweeting your support
Ah, good old Carragher and Keown, two noble exponents of the hands off approach to defending.
(There are no records of Jamie Redknapp ever having tackled anyone.)
Who else is backing the Mail in its bid to undermine the referee and alter the rules of the game? The Mail thunders:
Those who commit these offences are quite simply denying the football-watching public more goals.
Said like a true fan of the globalised game, where the only good match is one with lots and lots of goals.
And although this has been going on for years in the Premier League, the sight of Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo manhandling Chelsea’s John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic on Sunday was a new low.
Really? That was lower than this from when Bradford City played Sheffield United?
Dan Willis adds:
It was more reminiscent of a wrestling match than a top-flight football game as the Chelsea duo were grappled to the ground with a combination of headlocks and pull downs. More astonishing was the fact that referee Phil Dowd did nothing to stop them, waving away claims to what seemed to everyone else to be an obvious penalty.
Sportsmail has decided that enough is enough.
You can back our campaign by printing out our downloadable Hands Off In The Box logo and proudly displaying it at matches.
You can also back our appeal on Twitter by tweeting your support along with the hashtag #HandsOffInTheBox.
And you can stand proudly with others who before very long will be sporting T-shirts and armbands.
WHAT THEY ARE ALL SAYING ABOUT IT ALL
Everyone’s talking about the Mail’s campaign!
John Terry, Chelsea captain
‘Me and Branislav Ivanovic were double headlocked at every corner.’
Tsk! Getting John Terry in a headlock. No-one wants to see that, do they? Do they? Do they?
Let’s hear who else is right behind the campaign:
Colin Pascoe, Liverpool assistant manager
‘Grappling. That is the new word is it? It is the referees’ interpretation and we’ll leave it to them. That’s what the referees and the officials are paid for. They make decisions. So whatever they decide is grappling, or holding, it’s in their hands really. Did I do it as player? No, I was a winger and didn’t have to mark anyone.’
It’s up the ref, says Pascoe.
Print that out and wave it at the match. Proudly.
Oh, and what did the Mail says about the Chelsea v Manchester United “new low”?
But there is so much grappling in the box these days that the referee possibly viewed it as a fair fight, with the entire quartet offending.
And as the Mail also noted:
Football is getting too soft and the blame lies with Premier League players, according to one of the Conference’s best midfielders.
Such are the facts…