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Southend United manager Phil Brown calls for radical shake up of time keeping of games
SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has called for a change in the way matches are being timed.
Brown has been frustrated by opposing teams’ time-wasting tactics, highlighting Morecambe as particular offenders.
And he now wants the ball to have to be on the pitch for a certain number of minutes before each half is allowed to come to an end.
“I initially watched the recording of our game with Morecambe to see where we went from, but I couldn’t help but notice how their players killed off the game,” said Brown.
“On average their goalkeeper was taking 25 seconds for every goal kick he took.
“If you take 20 goal-kicks and take that long before kicking every one of them and then do the same with throw ons then it’s no wonder that on average the ball is only in play for 60 minutes of every match.
“I don’t think that’s enough and a ground-breaking thought for me is having a minimum amount of time that the ball is actually in play.
“If we say that is has to be in play for 35 minutes before a half can end then that could be a way forward and I think it would be a positive thing for the game.”
Brown has already discussed the idea with David Allison of the Professional Game Match Of Officials group and has also sent him a recording of Southend’s match with Morecambe.
And former England and Manchester United striker Michael Owen fully agrees with Brown’s proposal.
“The sooner the authorities sanction a clock, like in most other sports, to stop and start play during the game the better,” said Owen, on his Twitter page.
“Otherwise we will continue to have players wasting time using various means. It also offers greater transparency and gives referees less things to worry about.
“Games would probably last a bit longer but that would soon decrease once the players realised that they can't waste so much time.
“There would obviously be no injury time played as the clock will stop during substitutions.
"But I can’t imagine managers would be in favour as their tactical substitutions in the last few minutes of a games to run down the clock would no longer work.”