MirrorFootball's lip readers expose the weekend's post-Rooney expletives
Published 23:00 11/04/11 By David Collins
If FA chiefs thought their two match ban on Wayne Rooney for swearing into a live TV camera would make players mind their language, they were in for a shock.
A string of millionaire Premier League stars turned the airwaves blue at the weekend effing and blinding their way through televised games on Sky Sports and Match of The Day highlights on the BBC.
We hired expert lip readers to watch the weekend’s football on TV, and reveal what the players were saying on screen.
Newcastle skipper Joey Barton told the ref, the opposition and even his own players to “f*** off”, while Wolves manager Mick McCarthy helped out one of his players by telling them to “f*****g stay there”.
Rooney reacted to the ban for his outburst after scoring against West Ham by moaning: “I am not the first player to have sworn on TV and I won’t be the last. Unlike others who have been caught swearing on camera, I apologised immediately.
“And yet I am the only person banned for swearing. That doesn’t seem right.”
Former team mate Gary Neville defended Roo, saying: “If swearing is outlawed from football and is a crime worthy of a two-game ban, there will be nobody on the pitch.
“I think everyone accepts that it’s been part of football in the crowd and on the pitch for the last 100 years.
“It’s the culture and it’s part of football.”
Our game-by-game investigation reveals football faces a battle to clean up its act.
Wolves v Everton - Sky Sports 2, Saturday, (12:30 - 2:30pm)
48mins - Wolves boss Mick McCarthy spots one of his players moving out of position and shouts ‘f*****g stay there”.
73mins - Everton striker Jermaine Beckford is caught on camera saying “f*** me” while sitting on the bench after being substituted.
Blackpool v Arsenal - Sky Sports 1, Sunday, (1pm to 3.30pm)
41mins - Pat Rice, assistant Arsenal manager, seen shaking his head after Abou Diaby missed a chance when they were 2-0 up, saying”f*****g, f*****g”
57 mins - Blackpool midfield ace Charlie Adam shouts “f*** off” at the referee after he was fouled.
Aston Villa v Newcastle - Sky Sports 1, Sunday (3.30 - 5.30pm)
8mins - Newcastle striker Nile Ranger shouts “f*** off” after being pushed while going for a header
22mins- Newcastle’s hothead midfielder Joey Barton repeatedly shouts “f*** off” after fouling Ashley Young. Villa scored from the resulting free kick.
27mins - Joey Barton informs the ref after being penalised “He f*****g pushed me”
47mins - Joey Barton cajoles his teammates saying “f*****g (indecipherable)”.
58mins - Newcastle striker Nile Ranger tells officials to “f**k off” when penalised for being in an off-side position
Match of the Day - BBC1, Saturday (10.15pm)
Tottenham v Stoke - Spurs’ beanpole striker Peter Crouch shouts “f*** off” twice in joyful celebration after scoring his first of two goals in Spurs’ 3-2 win.
Midfielder Matthew Etherington, for Stoke, complains to the ref “f*****g useless, f*****g useless” after he was fouled
Etherington makes a bad tackle, is given a yellow card and tells the ref to “f*** off”
TV Swearing Premier League of Shame
Number of times our lip readers saw them using the F-word on screen
JOEY BARTON (Newcastle Utd) - 4 (at least)
MATTHEW ETHERINGTON (Stoke) - 3
PETER CROUCH (Tottenham) - 2
NILE RANGER (Newcastle Utd) - 2
PAT RICE (Arsenal coaching staff) - 2
MICK MCCARTHY (Wolves manager) - 1
CHARLIE ADAM (Blackpool) - 1
JERMAINE BECKFORD (Everton) - 1
The official Laws of the Game handbook used by the FA stateS that “using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures” is a sending-off offence.
Lesley Johnstone, of the Association of Referees, has been a football ref for the last 10 years.
He said: “It is a compulsory red card for foul and abusive language. At the grassroots level we do not tolerate this kind of behaviour. I don’t know why players get away with it at the professional level.
“It should be a straight red. It goes to the very heart of your control over a game.
“If someone swears at you and you don’t take action, then that is undermining your authority.
“Players may start to think they can get away with anything and that can become dangerous, especially when you’re talking about two-footed challenges and leg-breaking tackles.”
The FA said players could be charged following our investigation.
A spokesman said: “The FA will not comment on individual incidents. The FA reserves the right to issue charges where appropriate and where it is able to do so retrospectively.”