Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Linfield boss Healy wants a better relationship with League officials

By Alex Mills

David Healy has called for a truce between Irish League referees and managers. The Linfield boss began a six-match touchline ban earlier this week which will keep him out of the dugout until his team's final game of the Danske Bank Premiership season at Cliftonville.

Healy has been in the dock three times this season. He saw red against Crusaders on New Year's Eve after entering the field of play at Seaview, was sanctioned by the IFA over remarks he made to referee Raymond Crangle at half-time in the Blues' defeat by Coleraine on January 3 and he was off again after speaking out of turn to a fourth official at the end of the Portadown fixture on February 17.

Although the book was thrown at Healy by the IFA, he reckons more continuity is required between managers and officials, both on and off the pitch.

"I'm no saint - I get carried away and I'm very, very passionate," admitted Healy, who joined the Blues in October 2015. "I understand some referees are taking charge of big games early in their career, but I'm in the early stages of my career as a manager.

"Supporters and board members don't see what goes on at a club - they only see results, so I'm accountable."

Healy admits he was wrong to step onto the pitch at Seaview and wrong to speak out of turn to Crangle. But he fights his corner after his dismissal against Portadown when the fourth official indicated four extra minutes at the end. Healy says it should have been eight.

"I said it was embarrassing," said Healy. "I watched a re-run of the game as I scrutinise every fixture. It justified my findings.

"In the 47th minute, it took 47 seconds for Portadown to take a corner. There were three breaks in play that lasted one minute 25 seconds, one minute 23 and one minute 21. There were four subs in the second half, and both teams scored. Marcio Soares then took 54 seconds to leave the pitch after being substituted.

"So four minutes was a joke, it should have been double that. I'm no saint, but referees get away with things like that. They are not accountable to anyone.

"I knew straight away it was wrong. Do I get a telephone call from anyone to say I was right? No chance, because nobody is accountable. No one is prepared to hold up their hands.

"We need continuity between managers and officials. I know the referees have taken a bashing this year, but if there is going to be an arrogance from the top right down, it's not going to help.

"I've offered my services (to meet up) because I'd love to get to know some of these people. I want them to be aware of my personality and characteristics.

"Most of the managers in this league are former players, or coaches that have built a rapport and a relationship with referees. I'm the new kid on the block, learning as I go. The standard is poor, so why can't we make it better? Don't talk about it, do it."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph