SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown insists retrospective punishments will not rid football of diving.

New guidelines will see players found guilty of conning match officials handed two match suspensions.

But Brown is not a fan of the initiative.

“I’m not really one for retrospective punishment and I’m not really a fan of this either if I’m completely honest,” said the Blues boss.

“I can understand the line they’re going down with this and nobody likes to see somebody diving but where do you stop?

“Are we going to go back to the game it happened in and change the score-line retrospectively too?

“I’m not really too sure what it’s going to change and for me the referees and match officials just need to improve so they can spot what’s going on.”

Blues’ narrowly missed out on the League One play-offs last season as Millwall pipped them to sixth place on the final day of the campaign.

The manner of the Shrimpers’ 1-0 defeat at the New Den in mid-February still hurts the former Hull City chief.

But he believes human error should always be part of football.

“Part of the reason we all love football is the talking points,” said Brown.

“In the stands and in the pubs people are questioning referees, the players and the manager and I don’t think that should be taken away.

“The Millwall match still springs to mind when talking about these kind of issues due to the red card Will Atkinson got and us not getting a penalty when Jermaine McGlashan was fouled late on.

“In hindsight you could say our whole season boiled down to that afternoon.

“But this panel isn’t going to change instances like that so I think we’re starting to issue punishments just for the sake of it.”

Other managers, including Brown’s close friend Sam Allardyce who is now in charge of Crystal Palace, has called for television replays to be used instantly to decide whether or not a player has dived.

However, Brown would not like to see that happen either.

“I don’t think I’m old fashioned but we could end up just watching the whole game through television if we start introducing things like that,” said the 57-year-old.

“It will be interesting to see how this new idea works and what happens.

“But I still just think we need the officials to do better.”


English football is introducing retrospective bans of at least two matches for players who deceive referees by diving to win a penalty or get an opponent sent off.

The new rule wasn’t met with overwhelming support, however, as Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce called it “utter rubbish.”

The new offence of “successful deception of a match official” is based on a law already used in Scotland.

The measure was approved at the Football Association’s annual general meeting and means video footage will be reviewed by a panel in cases where simulation is suspected.

Incidents will be reviewed by a panel comprised of an ex-manager, ex-player and an ex-referee, who will watch the footage independently.

If they are unanimous in believing a player deceived a match official, that player will be hit by a two-game suspension.

A statement on the official FA website said: “This process would be similar to the one used now for a red card offence (violent conduct/serious foul play/spitting at an opponent) which was not seen at the time by the match officials but caught on camera.

“In this situation, three ex-elite match officials review all the available video footage independently of one another and then advise the FA as to whether they believe it was an offence worthy of instant dismissal.

“In accepted and/or proven cases of simulation and/or feigning injury, the offending player would receive a two-match suspension.

“Although attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled is a cautionable offence for unsporting behaviour, the fact that the act of simulation has succeeded in deceiving a match official and, therefore, led to a penalty and/or dismissal, justifies a more severe penalty which would act as a deterrent.”

“We’re committed to cleaning up the game. From 2017-18, players who successfully deceive officials will be punished: Reports have also said the English Football League, League Managers Association, Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association all supported the initiative.