Having sifted through the Football Association’s five-page, extremely tedious appeals procedure, we can conclude that Max Power’s red card was lobbed out because the referee did one of the following.
Either Craig Hicks: “Came to a decision to which no reasonable such body could have come” or “imposed a penalty, award, order or sanction that was excessive.”
So much for Mr Hicks. I hope we won’t see him any time soon, along with Mr Coote who had that very interesting evening when Peterborough visited the Stadium of Light in October.
But to err is human and all that. So even though we don’t want to clap eyes on Mr Hicks ever again, bear in mind he didn’t want to be incompetent (and cost Sunderland two points), so forgive: but not forget.
After all, a great deal of anger was misdirected at Power in the immediate aftermath by Sunderland supporters themselves who had only seen the incident once, or perhaps only heard commentary of it.
Apparently some of the callers to BBC Radio Newcastle after the match were furious to the point of abandoning reason. Again, this is forgivable as they were speaking without the benefit of hindsight.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and the very reason we have video replays, as well as appeals.
More difficult to overlook is that some people were still railing against Power on Monday, even after his appeal had succeeded; undeterred and drivelling about it “still being a rash challenge” and so on.
This can only be attributable to one of the loopier strands of cognitive bias, or a weird inability to admit to being wrong. Either way, such people can’t expect the rest of us to take them seriously.
The most surprising aspect of the whole affair was the FA. The association has long been renowned as an establishment where sensible ideas go to be disembowelled.
This time we’re left wondering what went right.
Based on unpleasant experience, there was no reason to assume they would make a decision based upon blinding obviousness. So you may want to cut out and frame the next sentence.
Well done the FA.