Still slams the rules over Rooney red card

Luke Rooney is sent off
Luke Rooney is sent off

Hatters boss John Still believes the rules need to be changed after Luke Rooney will be banned for his side’s home game against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

The winger was dismissed in the final moments of Town’s 2-1 Capital One Cup defeat against Swindon on Tuesday night for what referee Graham Scott perceived to be a dive in the Robins box.

Television footage has since shown that there was in fact contact, but as it was a second booking, Town can’t appeal and the one match suspension stands.

Still said: “It’s a complete injustice and my thoughts go with Luke Rooney because he was fouled.

“When we saw the DVD it was two penalties, he got fouled once, managed to stay on his feet and got clipped again.

“Do I blame the referee? No, I don’t blame the referee, he did what he thought was the right decision, but thought the situation that allows that to happen that you can’t appeal, is absolutely crazy.

“Someone makes a mistake and you suffer. How I turn that around to highlight how it could be, lets say it’s the second last game of the season and we then need a point to stay up and go up and our best player can’t play, but he’s done nothing wrong.

“That’s not right. I can’t for the life of me work out who makes these rules up? Who sits there and decides that he hasn’t done anything wrong but he still can’t play, I think to be honest, they’ve got no idea about football.

“We accept it because it’s the rules and I understand that, but is it right? Not in a million years.

“It’s like the person who decided we could speed the game up by being allowed to take the goal kicks on either side of the box. What the hell has that ever got to do with speeding the game up?

“Who comes up with these rules? I really don’t know, I’m at a loss for it. When I finish doing the job I’m doing, I want to become one of those people and find all of these rules that they come up with that makes it so awkward for everybody to understand.

“Because I would say that if you had 100 per cent of football supporters and said should a player be banned if he’s been tripped in the box for a penalty and the referee doesn’t give it and sends him off for two bookings, is that right or wrong? 100 per cent would say it’s wrong.

“People that do this in football will say it’s right and you know what, it’s the people’s game. Never lose sight of who the game is for, it’s for the people, for the supporters, if it wasn’t for the supporters, none of these people would be earning all this money because no-one would be coming to watch it, Sky wouldn’t be showing it.

“But at the end of the exercise, we’ve been penalised, because someone somewhere who obviously hasn’t got a clue about football decides he’s done nothing wrong, but he’s banned.”

Still thinks that it would be an easy thing to alter with a simple post match discussion between referee and assessor.

He added: “What I agree with is rectifying a mistake. The referee hasn’t set out to send Luke Rooney off, the referee thought he dived, which if that’s what he thinks, I’ve got no problems with it at all.

“I thought he close enough to see it, but if he hasn’t seen that we’ve got to go with that.

“But when it’s all over, someone’s got to be able to say, hold on a minute, we’ve looked at the DVD.

“Even if it isn’t the referee, if there’s an assessor there, he gets the DVD, he looks at it, goes back to the referee, says I’ve looked at this, I’d like you to have a look at it as I don’t think it was a penalty and it’s easy, it takes two minutes.

“I understand if he doesn’t give the penalty, but to send him off, we’ve suffered twice and we’ve done nothing wrong.

“We can’t get the penalty back and I understand that, but the player can play the next game.”