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Ref's Memoir Tells How Coaches Work Game Officials

Retired French referee Bruno Derrien has published a memoir, "Down With The Referee," telling how managers and coaches cultivate their relationships with match officials. According to the book, "the canniest coaches manage their relationships with referees as studiously as they do with their players," writes Ian Hawkey.

Derrien tells, for example, how Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson came to the referee's locker room at the end of a Champions League game at Old Trafford, when his club had beaten Olympiakos of Greece 4-0. "You had another really good game tonight," Ferguson told referee Gilles Veissiere, before handing the Frenchman and his assistants each a United replica jersey. Derrien, the fourth official that night, said there was nothing against the rules in Ferguson's compliment, but that it left an impression on him as an eye-witness.

Derrien also reveals how long-serving Auxerre coach Guy Roux would ask to check the match ball before every game, giving him the chance to casually remark to the refereeing team: "I've got a couple of really quick wingers. You wouldn't believe how often they get called offside when they're not, they move so fast." As Derrien puts it, this left the linesmen "well warned. Or even manipulated?"

Read the whole story at Times (U.K.) »

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