By Chris Wright
John Brooks, the linesman who told Joleon Lescott to go over and show a bit of gratitude to the fans who’d paid £62 to get in to City’s game against Arsenal on Sunday after the final whistle, has been mysteriously bumped from his next scheduled game, nor will he be involved with any Premier League fixtures this coming weekend.
Brooks had been scheduled to run the line for tonight’s FA Cup third round replay between West Brom and QPR, but has been withdrawn from his duties – though it’s unconfirmed as to whether the call is directly related to his post-match quip.
Let’s face it: it’s the kind of thing that happens fairly regularly and wouldn’t usually warrant a mention, but we sincerely hope that the withdrawal is nothing to do with what went on at The Emirates. Nothing about Brooks’ comment was inflammatory or offensive in any way and there is, you’d hope, absolutely nothing punishable about what was said.
If it is related, we can sympathise with the FA for taking Brooks out of the spotlight for one game to let the mini-story blow over, let the tabloids fixate on their next crusade and keep the focus firmly on the game, but if it does come to light that they have deemed his actions to be insubordinate then, frankly, there’s no hope left – football is turning well and truly beige.