Was writing my Blog for publication tomorrow, and found that I was writing at length about the events last Saturday at the Newry Showgrounds, so I felt I might as well put them up here as a seperate entity.
I noted with interest, the media coverage of the Newry v Larne game this week. Call me a cynic, but if something like that happens in another sport, will it be the lead story on Nolan, asking if that sport is “out of control”?
People seem to forget that there were 14 Irish Cup ties on Saturday which weren’t abandoned due to fighting, so it’s important to get a bit of context, something like that is not a weekly occurance. I’m not expecting football to get an easy deal from the media, but I certainly expect a degree of fairness when reporting it. That said, the events at Newry on Saturday were well out of order.
I’d originally dismissed it as a bit of handbags when hearing the radio commentary, but viewing the photos later on, it was clear how serious the incident was. Anto Lagan will have no complaints if he ends up in court over his involvement.
If he does, I hope he doesn’t bleat about how he is being a test case over it, because it took place on a football pitch. It may be true that the media profile of the incident has contributed to the police involvement, but, if you don’t behave like that, you don’t get arrested. Simple really.
What hasn’t helped matters is referee Raymond Crangle, who has appeared to revel in his media profile this week, leaking his report to the Belfast Telegraph before the IFA Disciplinary Committe has met to discuss punishments to those involved. Yes, there is a public interest in this case, but not until those involved have been punished.
Once those involved have been punished, it is not unreasonable for the IFA to issue a statement detailing exactly why those who get banned are banned, but not before the committee has met. Totally irresponsible from Raymond Crangle, you can’t but ask why he did it, and what he thought he was going to benefit from it.
In a perverse way, this might have helped in the bid for more Irish League coverage on TV, as BBCNI must be kicking themselves that they didn’t send a TV crew to Newry on Saturday.