Southampton making unnecessary enemies over Lallana-gate 3

Maybe in time, more details will emerge about the incident between Adam Lallana and Mark Clattenburg, but for now Southampton have been left looking fairly ridiculous.

We’re led to believe that the decision to register a complaint was made not by Lallana himself, but by someone within the club, and if that’s the case it’s put the player in a really unfair position. Lallana, whether supportive of his club’s stance or not, has become the public face of this incredibly petty incident, and he will ultimately bear the brunt of the public’s reaction to it.

“An official insulting any player, no matter his intentions, is clearly not acceptable behaviour. For this reason we do not accept the verdict of PGMOL in relation to this case, and do not consider the matter to be over.

‘We do not feel it appropriate for Mr Clattenburg to officiate any of our matches until this matter is properly resolved.”

That was Southampton’s response to the PGMOL’s dismissal of their complaint, and it suggests that the club reject the judgement of the incident rather than the series of events which have been reported.

What Clattenburg allegedly said was mildly unprofessional, but it’s really not more than that, and Southampton’s aggressive opposition to the PGMOL is only really going to work to their detriment.

Next time Southampton play live on television, you can be certain that all the amateur lip-readers will be out, and even the slightest hint of foul language from one of their players - the type which occurs in every game, every weekend, at every level - will be afforded enormous coverage.

…and how do you other referees are going to respond to any petulance or dissent from Southampton players in the immediate future? The club have potentially put themselves at a disadvantage, and over an issue which is so trivial that isn’t particularly smart.

There’s a difference between taking a stand over something and unnecessarily making enemies.

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