Belfast Telegraph

Bernstein slams managers' conduct

Managers are setting a "terrible example" to players and the general public with their behaviour on the touchline, former Football Association chairman David Bernstein has claimed.

Bernstein, who was made a CBE in the New Year Honours, would not specify individual cases but said there had been a number of high-profile incidents in recent weeks where managers had been seen berating officials and behaving badly.

He told Press Association Sport: "There needs to be improvements in the areas of respect. Some fantastic work has been done but there seems to be a particular problem with the behaviour of managers.

"I have been involved with football for a long time and I do understand the pressures they are under but nevertheless when you look at the constant protesting on the touchline, the harassing of the fourth official and the comments afterwards, it doesn't do anyone or the game any good.

"It has been especially noticeable in recent weeks but it is an ongoing issue and it is a terrible example for their players, let alone the general public.

"I think it is time managers assumed a much greater level of responsibility for their behaviour."

In the last week, Stoke boss Mark Hughes has been charged by the FA with improper conduct after being sent from the touchline against Newcastle, while Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers could be in hot water over his controversial remark after the Manchester City defeat about referee Lee Mason being from Greater Manchester.

Bernstein, who stepped down as chairman in July, said video technology would help ease the pressure on referees but he did not envisage the sport's world governing body FIFA embracing any such developments in the short term.

He added: "I am a great believer that video technology needs to come in to help referees, and that would calm everybody down.

"I pushed for it when I was FA chairman but it was like banging your head against a brick wall.

"I think it will happen, as it did with goal-line technology, after another terrible high-profile incident, but I think it will happen later rather than sooner."

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