Graham Poll sets the record straight

Graham PollLet’s be honest… we all love a bit of controversy in football, don’t we?

Whether it’s a dodgy off-side decision, a disputed card or a contentious goal, there’s nothing better than a bit of debate with your mates after the game.

And wouldn’t life be dull without it?

Whether it’s your local park on a Saturday morning or the bright lights of the Champions League final, football is an unpredictable game.

We’ve all been left baffled by a ref’s decision at some point in our amateur games but, unless your league is way ahead of those we play in, you won’t have had the beauty of  the benefit of TV replays to help find out if it was the ref’s mistake or, just as likely, that everyone else failed to understand the rules properly!

But with Club Website you don’t need TV replays as we’ve got out very own ref to sort things out!

Having spent a long career at the very top of the game, Graham Poll is no stranger to controversy but – one or two high profile blunders aside (don’t mention three yellow cards!) – he is widely regarded as the UK ‘s top official of the last decade and one of the very best in the world.

Now Mr Poll is on hand each and every month to set the record straight for our readers in The Club House, Club Website’s monthly e-newsletter.

Get involved

If you want to ask Graham a question about an incident you’ve seen, you can do one of two things. Either:

  • Enter your question to Graham in our new comments section below, or
  • Email [email protected]

Graham answers the best questions each month in The Club House, while his ‘Question of the Month’ wins a personal signed copy of his bestselling book, ‘Seeing Red’.

July’s Question of the Month – submitted by Neil Lane

Seeing Red“My son plays in goal for an U7 team and at the weekend his team had a free kick against them just outside the box. The manager from the other team got one of his players to stand in front of my son. He is small so could not see round this boy.

“The free kick was taken and scored without the GK being able to see the ball and the goal was given. Are players allowed to do this at this – or any – level?”

To see Graham’s answer to Neil’s question and the rest of this month’s top ten teasers, check out July’s Club House.

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Keep your finger on the pulse of the latest updates to our service, plus stay on top of all the latest news from Club Website and the big wide world of amateur football, including this regular feature with Graham Poll.

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Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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  1. Joseph Strain on July 21, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I am currently the manager of a 7-a-side team. After already doing a season of non-compeditive football i have witnessed some really bad refereeing and bias towards referee’s own teams. It’s a league where everyone is arguing over different rules so if you could please send me a set of your rules i will hand them to our local league secretary to copy and hand out to every team. Then we can maybe cut out the bias and dodgy refereeing of our league, and maybe the kids will enjoy a bit of fair play grassroots football. Thanks.

  2. Club Website on July 22, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Joseph – thanks for your comment, but not sure Graham has time to write a whole new set of rules for kids’ football!

    Biased refereeing is no good so, if refs refuse to stick to the Laws of the Game, why not allocate a half each to a ref from each side… that should even out any slight bias!

  3. Gerald Williams on July 22, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    A defender plays the ball back to his goalkeeper, who plays the ball of his chest on to the floor and then picks up the ball. What is the decision?

  4. Alan Barnes on July 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Another one of Graham’s three card tricks. Under sevens do not play 11-a-side therefore there is no offside rule.

  5. Lee Glave on July 23, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Graham, we had a corner that was crossed into the box where one of our players was on the goal line and tapped it in and the ref gave off-side? Is he off-side from a corner kick? Thanks.

  6. Kyle McClelland on July 24, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    In a champions league group stage, if all the teams draw with each other 1-1 or 0-0 or so on then, after all matches in the group are played, what two teams progress?

  7. Adrian Bunker on July 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    From a throw in the defending team throw the ball back to the goalkeeper. Can the keeper pick the ball up or should they kick it off the floor?

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