Vox Pop: Should football follow Gordon Taylor's plan and dock clubs points for poor disciplinary records?

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The Independent Online
ANDY GRAY

Sky TV analyst

I've got a great deal of respect for what Gordon Taylor has done for the PFA but this is one of the most absurd things he has come up with. If you're going to decide the Premiership on whether you get one referee who is less lenient than another, then that is ludicrous. The system now punishes players by making them miss games and teams suffer as a result. Why punish them twice over? The trouble also is that referees get so much wrong, so how can we leave who wins the Premiership in their hands?

DON HOWE

Ex-coach and manager

I'm not in favour as it could put more pressure on referees. Picture the situation where, in each game, everyone will know that a certain amount of yellow or red cards will lead to points being deducted. Also it might inhibit football matches, because players might be thinking of their team losing points from one bad tackle. Points are hard enough to get and there have got to be other ways to stop indiscipline. It's so extreme it's not true - think what might happen on the last day of the season.

DAN PETRESCU

Chelsea defender

You have to punish the players for what they do and not the whole team by docking points. If this system comes in, each referee will be under pressure not to give too many cards because he will know that teams will lose points. Referees just need to make the right decision all the time. If it is a yellow card offence he should give one and not have in his mind that the team will be punished afterwards. Also, it would not be good if players could not go for tackles because it might lead to losing points.

GARY MABBUTT

Ex-Tottenham captain

If there were teams who were continually going beyond the rules, then you should punish the clubs for that. But if you do dock points you've got to give players the chance of recourse and every decision will be appealed against. It will then be such a procedure that I think it will be too difficult to enforce. It also means everyone would question referees even more. But it could lead to a cleaner game and I'm in favour of punishing teams breaking the rules too much for their own advantage.

ROBBIE EARLE

Wimbledon captain

I think it's a harsh idea. I understand what he's trying to say in terms of cleaning the game up and giving kids better role models. But points are hard-earned and you'll be detracting from results. Once you start going down that road someone has to decide at what stage points get knocked off, and from then on you're opening up a can of worms. Maybe players should get fined more heavily. I think at the moment with players getting suspended, it robs the fans of seeing what they want.

JOHN ALDRIDGE

Tranmere manager

I disagree with the idea completely, especially because referees interpret tackles so differently. They've done enough damage to football by taking tackles out and making it a bit of a fairy game. Everyone just messes about with the rules too often. Players are penalised too much - as a manager I tell my players to be honest and go for the ball. There needs to be more common sense, with part of the problem being that officials have to stick to the letter of the law.

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