BILLY'S CONTRACT lists a few of his unfavourite things

My Fellow Monkey Business readers, in common with millions of other people across the globe (as well as in Darlington), we all love football. Or do we?

I always look forward to going to a game. Even in the depths of our worst home form ever, under Mick Wadsworth, along with 5,000 odd (and I mean 'odd') would attend every match full of hope and perhaps misplaced optimism. However, during the game itself, allowing for the cold and foul weather and the transvestite standing next to you, when things are not going as planned you end up frustrated, angry, full of vitriol and hate of your fellow man. Things come out of your mouth that you would never normally utter in civilised society (ie a Jane Austen novel).

And following is yet another defeat which results in another weekend ruined and written off for both you and ultimately your family. What makes us go to the match week in and week out?

Even today, when Pools beat Carlisle 4-0, you would think everything would be smelling of roses, but for parts of that game some fans were goading, shouting abuse, swearing and spewing forth criticism on an industrial scale. Basically, the average Dr Jekyll becomes Mr Hyde. This made me think of many of the things I dislike about Football."Assistant referees. What is that all about? They are, and always will be linesmen or linos to the footballing fraternity."

Read on dear reader...

1) FIFA. Makes the EU look totally honest and transparent.

1a) Sepp Blatter. Nuff Said.

2) The FA. Though not tainted by corruption like FIFA, nonetheless, like FIFA they are a largely incompetent organisation (fixture lists spring to mind) who are full of their own importance and bury their heads in the sand when controversial decisions have to be made. Their main role in life seems to be 'kow-towing' to and not upsetting Alex Ferguson in any shape or form.

3) Poor Referees. I have a lot of time for referees as it is a job I would not do. No way Jose. But poor or inconsistent referees should be taken to task. My pet hate with refs is the habit of the pedantic ones who blow for everything no matter how small to the point of ruining the game. I have yet to see a ref good or bad after awarding a free kick makes the defending team's wall retreat the full ten yards. Ten feet if you are lucky, but not ten yards. Never mind goal line/video technology, along with his whistle and red and yellow cards, every referee should be issued a 30 foot Stanley Powerlock retractable measuring tape.

3a) Assistant referees. What is that all about? They are, and always will be linesmen or linos to the footballing fraternity. It is only the BBC that persists in calling them referee's assistants. Mind, the BBC have also taken to using kilometres instead of miles when describing distances, and using centimetres instead of inches when talking about rain/snowfalls in the weather forecasts. We live in Britain not Germany for God's sake (rant over).

4) Teams no longer take to the pitch like Gladiators to the roar of the crowd, and now have to line up with all this stupid handshaking nonsense.

5) The Premiership. Don't mind it in principle. I would love to see Pools there one day. But it is their insatiable greed and arrogance and not giving tuppence for the smaller clubs that most fans do not like.

6) Time wasting.

7) Cost of Food and drink at a match. £2 for a cup of tea! How much profit is in that? Cost including electricity to boil the water, tea bag, milk/sugar and a cardboard cup? 0.011 new pence I reckon! Profit margin increases dramatically with Bovril, as there are no overheads relating to milk or sugar. If The Royal Bank of Scotland operated on these profit margins they would be debt free.

8) Players wages which ultimately drives up the cost of attending matches.

9) Three here for Pools:

a) Defenders playing head tennis with each other when they should be playing ball to feet.

b) Not knowing what to do when we get a throw in, (hopefully this will change under Neale Cooper).

c) Lack of ball boys around the ground to keep the momentum of the game in full flow, particularly when the advantage is with Pools. Also to throw the ball back quickly to the opposing goalkeeper who is intent on timewasting.

10) Fans who shout for handball when an opponent clearly chests the ball down.

10a) Fans who do not appreciate/compliment the opposition. If an opposing team scores a good or spectacular goal against your team would you applaud that skill? I know if I were a Luton fan who had just witnessed Hugh Robertson's 'hammer blow' against my team I would have stood up and applauded that goal, and given the lad a cigar for his effort. A few weeks back I think I was the only person in the Town End clapping an opponent’s move and goal against Pools.

11) Premiership teams who show no respect for the FA/League cup by fielding weakened teams when playing against lower league sides.

12) The England Team and set up (See no. 2 The FA).

13) Stewards at away games. Actually I will revise that to read specifically stewards at Leeds United.

14) Leeds United Fans. Once upon a time I would have said Leeds United and their fans, but nowadays Leeds are like a Leicester or a Birmingham, bibbling along doing nothing in particular (though not as nasty/dirty as in the seventies). They do that very well and are generally nonentities in The Championship. Their fans bar a few exceptions could be used as extras for a series of 'Life on Mars'.

15) The word Soccer. I have just looked this up in the dictionary and it says ‘Association Football.’

16) For Every Scotty Parker there are sadly numerous Joey Bartons/Lee Cattermoles/ El Hadji Dioufs/John Terrys.

17) Boro

All in all, when I look back at all the above, and possibly another 100 reasons which I can't be bothered to list, I wonder why I, or anyone else for that matter, bothers going to football matches at all. It is all 'chew' run by rarf's and chorbers when I think about it! But hey ho, roll on next Saturday, it is Bury away and I, like several hundred Poolies will be travelling down along with my mates to Gigg Lane with Neale Cooper’s blue and white army. Football - I love it!