Ian Holloway: Referees need technical help, not our abuse

I sympathise with the Scottish strike and I won't criticise men in black anymore – it costs too much

It is hard to believe the Scottish Premier League had to draft in referees from elsewhere because their own are on strike. But I don't blame the refs for not turning up for work. They are getting hammered every week and the problem isn't pressure from managers but pressure from the wider audience.

I've said for the last 18 months that officials need help from the technology available and this strike just proves my point.

Think of it like this. The way refereeing performances are analysed by the media has moved on so much in the last 10 years. TV companies cover games using every camera angle you can think of. Yet none of this is made available to the ref.

Now if you were to buy a television, you'd be fuming if it wasn't better than one made 10 years ago. The old versions are obsolete. They are out of date. So if everything else in life moves on, why can't we help referees move on? Instead they are still being allowed to make the same mistakes they have always made, except now everyone is so much better at highlighting their errors.

The end result is that refs get all sorts of flak and in Scotland it has proved too much. They've walked out. Should us managers help the situation by behaving better? Maybe, and I know I do now because I literally can't afford not to.

I was fined what I thought was an absurd amount earlier in the season and I felt like I was taking food out of my family's mouth by getting myself into those situations. So you won't catch me criticising a ref again. Besides, it is not fair on them because I have the advantage of seeing incidents again; they don't.

Ask the referees and they will agree with me. They don't want to be made to look fools by TV replays so why don't we actually help them and stop letting them look bad?

Now they've clearly had enough and that is a terrible state of affairs because we all lose out. If those other refs hadn't come in from abroad we'd have had no Scottish football this weekend and that can't be right.

Let's all rise up against it. The fan in the street should say "we're not going to a game until we get technology".

If it was France that had been cheated out of going to the World Cup rather than Ireland, I'm sure it would have been changed by now because they are Michel Platini's team.

Human beings make mistakes and we should back off and stop analysing them endlessly on TV. But as that is never going to happen, let's help the refs instead. We have to evolve. And in the meantime don't blame referees. It isn't their fault.

Hard luck, Mr Chairman!

My captain and chairman at Blackpool have finally resolved an argument they've been having and though I've never once worried about it, I must admit it is nice to have it sorted.

I suppose it was a bit of an odd situation for those looking in from the outside but to me it was really simple: Charlie Adam wanted some money he felt he was owed from last season when we got promoted; my chairman Karl Oyston didn't think he owed it.

The matter went to Premier League arbitration and it has now been sorted out. Charlie has got his money so well done to him – and unlucky Mr Chairman. Right from the start I said it would be a storm in a teacup and it was never about Charlie trying to get out of his contract.

It was just a disagreement over money and now it has been resolved we can move on to the next storm in a teacup. In this brilliant but bizarre League there is always another adventure just around the corner.

I'd love the world at our feet

Fingers crossed that we get to host the 2018 World Cup because after what happened in the summer, boy do we need a lift.

Everybody in the country, even the players, were really down after events in South Africa. We see our lads every week doing marvellous things on a football pitch and we had all hoped to have a fantastic tournament.

But what happened, especially against Germany? Good God, it broke my heart at the time. So we need something to cheer us up and what better than to host a World Cup?

Our World Cup would be something else because we certainly know how to throw a party. Think of what it would do for our stadiums. It would be lovely.

And best of all, history might just repeat itself because last time we hosted it, we won the blooming thing.

I'd love to be dancing in the street before I'm too old, celebrating a World Cup win. Who wouldn't? So I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's awarded to us, though the way the voting is conducted still troubles me.

What is the real reason certain people vote for certain countries? Actually we had better not go down that route, I'll only get myself in serious trouble.

I'm a celebrity now... Get the royals and pop stars in here for a chat

This is turning out to be the most surreal year of my life. As if the Premier League and all the madness that goes with it wasn't crazy enough, in the last week I've found myself meeting royalty and an X Factor star.

I still can't get over the fact that the future king of England, Prince William, came to our game with Wolves last Saturday and he was in Blackpool on a stag do! How ironic is that? Come on the Pool. We're just rocking up here!

Then Aiden Grimshaw, a local lad who did well on X Factor before getting voted off recently, came to the club on Thursday and I nipped upstairs for a chat.

I told him I thought he was unique. On that programme they have to cover other people's songs, but I thought he nailed one of them in particular. He made it his own, he was brilliant and I wish him every success.

But it just sums up how mad 2010 has been. Ever since we got promoted the coverage and publicity the club has had has been incredible.

In truth I have found it a little difficult to adjust, especially when I am out with my family. Myself and my wife do a lot together but people are so enthusiastic about saying hello when they see us.

That is great and I wouldn't change it for the world, but it does impinge on our private life in a way I've never experienced before.

It is weird because I don't feel any different to when I was living in a council house and going to the local primary school. I really don't believe I have changed as a person, apart from losing a bit of hair.

All the attention has taken some getting used to, butit is just great that people are so happy about what we've achieved as a club and are saying such nice things. Long may it continue.

McKeith makes my blood boil

Can somebody tell me what planet Gillian McKeith is on? I don't know if you are watching I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! I'm not technically watching it but I have to because the wife likes it.

The other night I was desperate to watch the second half of Sunderland v Everton but the wife wouldn't let me because she wanted to watch the celebrities.

I wasn't very happy but what can you do? I'm like every other man. We like to think we're the boss but we're not, and all of us blokes know it.

But watching that McKeith woman has really been winding me up. She actually said she didn't know what to expect. Is she having a laugh? Surely someone told her they were going to throw loads of horrible stuff at her.

How many phobias can one person have? And I'm telling you, there is no way that faint was for real. When you faint, the blood drains away and your knees don't bend. You go down straight and she didn't. She made that up.

Blimey, I can feel my blood pressure going up as I write! I like Dom Joly the best because he says things straight to Gillian's face. Shaun Ryder's good value and Stacey Solomon seems a nice girl.

I'm just looking forward to it ending so I can get permission from the wife to watch the footie again!

We play United next but it doesn't worry me

I can't begin to describe how proud I am of my lads, and thatis despite the fact that we let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2at Bolton's Reebok Stadium yesterday.

We were absolutely brilliant. We play football the right way and we always go out there to entertain.

I am slightly shocked that we didn't win because at 2-0 up we had some great chances and could have gone four or five goals ahead.

But credit to Bolton for the way they fought back. Their manager Owen Coyle has got them playing well.

They took a gamble towards the end, pushed a lot of men forward and it paid off for them – their equalising goal was brilliant.

But once again we have showed the Premier League what we are capable of and the Bolton players will certainly know a few more of my lads' names after that game.

There is so much hard work still to be done, though, if we are to stay in this division, and with Manchester United coming to Bloomfield Road next week it doesn't get any easier.

It doesn't worry me that they put seven goals past Blackburn, though. I work for Blackpool, not Blackburn.

It is a game that I am looking forward to – and so is everyone in the town. All the B&Bs will be booked up and the town will be really buzzing.

Whatever happens on the pitch, I just hope United will remember us as being tough opponents and a team that plays good football. We certainly did that at Bolton.

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