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Fair Play or Unfair Play?

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Just noticed this article on the BBC web site about Fulham looking likely to take the extra Europa League qualifying round spot with their high position in the Fair Play League; http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/13409159.stm.

How long has this stupid idea been going on for? It makes a mockery of teams who get stuck in each week who show commitment. If Liverpool get hold of this, then next week, if they fail to qualify, whats the betting they complain to UEFA and the rules get changed again to suit them!!

Fulham beware you have been warned! Or is it just us they shit on?
Antony Matthews, Darwen, Lancashire     Posted 16/05/2011 at 11:02:37

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Grant Smith
1   Posted 16/05/2011 at 16:04:26

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Fulham likely to qualify for Europe this year via the fair play league... what a joke!
GJ Butler
2   Posted 16/05/2011 at 16:04:26

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It's quite ironic really. In an attempt to reward fair play, Uefa have succeeded in promoting the exact opposite.

I don't know the figures, but if Fulham are only two bookings less than say, Everton, then they are hardly going to go into the last game of the season throwing their bodies on the line and could practically offer their opposition a walk-over. 'Don't worry about being thrashed 5-0, just stay on yer feet'. I wonder if they'll move it to international football and offer a place in the European Championships to San Marino for being too slow to foul any of their opponents and thus go through a whole campaign having not conceded a foul.

Either way, they're taking a prestigious tournament and making a further mockery of it. It's the only cup competition I know of that you don't know who all your possible opponents could be from the start ? because 8 rejects who weren't good enough to qualify for the Champions League get to join you in the knock-out stages.

Shaun Brennan
3   Posted 16/05/2011 at 16:29:01

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They always offer Fair Play places out to what's deemed the fairest leagues.

Nothing new there. We could all play to those rules.
Chris Keightley
4   Posted 16/05/2011 at 16:42:24

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To be honest, I don't know why we are complaining ? they are possibly going to nick seventh and, if Stoke get revenge on City, we could finish 9th: Fulham will only need to be beat Arsenal 1-0 and see us lose to Chelsea 2-0 to take seventh from us ? very possible on current form!!!
Tommy Byrne
5   Posted 16/05/2011 at 16:46:14

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After the fare we have had to endure this season, what happened to the Inter-Toto???

Blame that useless Russian ? it's just not fair for that useless bunch of clowns. Fair Go. Fair dinkum, furk it...

Peter Dancer
6   Posted 16/05/2011 at 17:32:45

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They've been doing this for ages. Not new news at all. Don't really see the point of complaining about this, wouldn't exactly say no if they offered it to us, would we?
John Ford
7   Posted 16/05/2011 at 18:54:28

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Perhaps a Champions League place for selling the nicest cakes.
Brian Waring
8   Posted 16/05/2011 at 18:54:46

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I wonder if we were in Fulham's place, this thread would have ever been started?
Antony Matthews
9   Posted 16/05/2011 at 19:25:18

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Like another poster posted, Brian, the competition is a joke when a team can qualify for being "fair". Imagine if the Champions League had qualifiers who were allowed entry because they had the least bookings than anyone else. I'm not pouring sour grapes on Fulham, but it makes a mockery of the competition which should be as it is A COMPETITION (compete). By the way, we will be in Fulham's place next week if we lose against Chelsea and they win their match. :(
Steven Hepworth
10   Posted 16/05/2011 at 19:59:55

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Considering that Fulham are clearly competitive, as they are currently in 8th and that the Fair Play concept has been around for ages, I'm not sure what the point of this thread is let alone all the moaning!
John Ford
11   Posted 16/05/2011 at 20:01:47

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Brian, it would have been a slightly different thread... sommat about the embarassment of qualifying on the grounds of good behavior, interspersed with a few "don't care how we qualify" etc etc.
Andy Crooks
12   Posted 16/05/2011 at 20:20:45

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The idea of a fair play place is right up there with the most ridiculous football concepts ever. The Champions League is obscenely corrupted by cheating and it will be fitting if Barcelona, a fine but cheating side, win it for the next fifty years.
Paul Rimmer
13   Posted 16/05/2011 at 20:28:08

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They play the first qualifier on June 30 and play 8 games before August 25th if they get through, I think. We haven't got the squad for that ? sad.
Steve Guy
14   Posted 16/05/2011 at 21:06:44

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IF we had qualified for Europa via this route then what's the betting half our squad would be injured by the start of the actual season? Or knackered? Or both?

'Appy 'Arry admitted motivating his players to beat the RS by stating they'd have to give up 3 weeks of their Summer hols if they don't finish 5th and qualify for the Europa proper as opposed to umpteen games against Blue Circle level sides in Cyprus or wherever.

I know Spurs fans who are dreading the extra games and they've got a squad that can cope! EFC? No chance, we'll be doing well to cope with our usual early exit from cup comps and the weekly EPL fixture.
Alex Kociuba
15   Posted 16/05/2011 at 21:32:32

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For a moment there Steve I thought you meant Cyrus the Greek architect who lived in Rome in the times of Cicero.
Matteo Rosingana
16   Posted 17/05/2011 at 01:45:59

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Is this the same Fulham who got to the final of this same competition last season? They've shown that they can do better than Everton in Europe. If it was the other way round we'd be claiming we had more of a right to the place. Nonsense. Good luck to them. Let's get better at football and qualify by the proper means eh?
Dermot Ryan
17   Posted 17/05/2011 at 02:10:05

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Everton want the Europa like they want a (collective) hole in the head. We are well out of it.

Let's focus on the two leagues that matter.

And let's have a cull this summer. If not the manager, then some of that dross we've had to endure in a blue shirt.
Matt Traynor
18   Posted 17/05/2011 at 04:23:07

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If Fulham do qualify via Fair Play, and repeat their feat of getting to the final, it will be an extra 23 games played.

Listening to the commentary at OT the other week when we lost, the commentator mentioned it was our 40-something game of the season, and Man Utd's 60-something.

We barely have a squad to compete in a full Premier League season!
Tony J Williams
19   Posted 17/05/2011 at 09:32:17

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Talking about fair play, I see that James Morrision has come out and admitted he told the ref that it wasn't a dangerous challenge by Bilyaletdinov and no contact but the ref still sent him off, not 5 or 10 minutes after the same player had clattered Hibbert with an exact same challenge but the ref deemed it worthy of nothing but a talking to.... because he was already on a yellow ? shithouse ref.
Mike Allison
20   Posted 17/05/2011 at 11:20:30

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You have to play 8 matches to get into the Europa League group stage, starting in July. Good luck Fulham.

Incidentally, the Fair Play League is about far more than yellow and red cards. It involves respect shown to referees and opponents, treatment of opposing officials on matchdays, and so on. All-in-all, I think there are 7 or 8 categories that teams are scored on and the league is an overall ranking of these.
Norman Merrill
21   Posted 17/05/2011 at 11:59:02

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Dermot 17. Well put mate. I want a much improved display on a regular basis, in league and cup performances, and lets see how we go from there.

Our squad is nowhere big enough to be playing games on a Thursday and Sunday, with all the travelling involved.

Andrew Ellams
22   Posted 17/05/2011 at 12:34:06

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What would make this really ridiculous is that if Fulham have a bad day discipline wise on Sunday then Blackpool are actually next in line to take their place. We could have a scenario where two relegated teams are playing in Europe next season
Ernie Baywood
23   Posted 17/05/2011 at 12:57:58

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Tony, it was a different player but I take your point. Jerome Thomas wasn't it?

Mike - I was wondering when someone would cotton on that its not just about fair play.

One of the criteria is positive play... I thought that would be just the sort of thing to get a toffeeweb thread really flowing.

Table to end April is here:

http://www.premierleague.com/page/FairPlayTable
GJ Butler
24   Posted 17/05/2011 at 15:17:05

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Cheers Ernie.

There's 8 teams above Man Utd in the 'positive play' category, one of which is ourselves. So to confirm, it's a mockery of the Europa league if a team (any team, including ours) qualifies through this means.
James Hollister
25   Posted 18/05/2011 at 04:33:20

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If you think thats a mockery, then what would you call this:

Uefa, just before the second leg of Barcelona v Madrid, appointed a new head of referees. None other than Collina himself!

Uefa said he would be watching the refree and picking up on any mistakes he made.

How on earth could they ever consider one of the most corrupt refs on the planet?

For me I think the whole sport is corrupt. You have Uefa headed by a corrupt man, and his currupt agents, and then you have the head of Fifa Fat Blatter doing the dirty all the time... I mean seriously, the World Cup in the Middle East... WTF?

On a sidenote, it's probably good that we didn't qualify for Europe in a perverse sense, because this team isn't remotely ready for the challenges and extra games that would be thrown their way. Look at the state of them this season.
Tony J Williams
26   Posted 18/05/2011 at 09:04:06

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You're right James, we would actually need a full squad if we qualified for the Uefa Cup again. Not going to happen soon is it? qualifying and getting a full squad that is.
Mike Allison
27   Posted 18/05/2011 at 18:08:27

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"There's 8 teams above Man Utd in the 'positive play' category, one of which is ourselves."

Does anyone know what constitutes 'positive play' in that table?

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