Professional Footballers’ Association deputy chief executive, Bobby Barnes, has slammed the FA’s decision to ban Wayne Rooney for two games because he swore after scoring a hattrick.
“It is always talked about the money these type of players earn, but it is not about the money, it is about not having the success, not living up to the extraordinary high expectations, it is almost a fear of failure,” said Barnes. “That is why it was such a release of pressure, enormous pressures on this young man’s shoulders over a whole year. Obviously it was not an ideal way to react, but while I would never condone it, I can understand it, and a two-match ban is totally disproportionate. It is unprecedented that the FA has taken action after a player has said something into a TV camera. This is totally different to what Didier Drogba did in the Champions League. He followed the referee, and was sorry for his actions afterwards. Wayne has not been disrespectful to any official or opponent, and I feel there has been a lot of discussion about what might happen next season. But the game needs to set parameters so everyone knows where they stand: for example, if you take your shirt off, you know you will be booked. There is no precedent for this, and Rooney needs to be treated differently. I would suggest a severe reprimand and suspended sentence, but surely not a two-game ban when he was clearly not intending to cause offense and apologised immediately afterwards. No one is saying what he did was right, I am not, but let’s give Wayne Rooney a little bit of understanding.”