Pundit Pat Nevin Would Like To See Ballboys Gone From Football

Chris Wright

24th, January 2013


By Chris Wright

After last night’s palaver at the Liberty and the accusations of racism leveled at Oldham’s Lee Croft not so very long ago, pundit and former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin has told BBC Breakfast this morning that the PFA should now be thinking long and hard about dropping ballboys altogether…

Pat then went on to repeat those sentiments on a Chelsea TV phone-in and on BBC Radio Five Live, where he admitted that, faced with Hazard’s predicament, he would’ve “100% tried to kick the ball out from under the ballboy.”

Who hurt you Pat? Who hurt you?

Nevin’s a fantastic, insightful pundit and we usually hold his opinions in high regard here on Pies, but surely he’s being a little over sensitive here? Nixing ballboys seems a little knee-jerk if we do say so ourselves. They’re hardly a blight on the game now are they?

What do you reckon Pies fans? Does Nevin have a point?

Posted in Chelsea, Opinion, Swansea City

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If it were me, I would have stamped on his head for being such a little t**t, I don’t think ball boys should be banned, but they need to learn what their job is, to speed the game up, not slow it down.

    • Chris says:

      @Anonymous: It’s painfully obvious that they’re acting under instruction when they do slow it down though. Multi-ball swaps are always lightning quick for the home side and dawdling for the away team. Maybe that’s what needs to be addressed?

  2. Zam says:

    It’s extra funny because Chelsea started ballboys.

  3. Mr. Chopper says:

    That’ll be Pat dropped from MOTD2 then… HOW DARE HE HAVE AN OPINION ON A FOOTBALLING MATTER?

  4. Nuno says:

    That is the problem Chris, ballboys are supposed to be neutral elements of the game, that didn’t happen last night. One thing is not throwing the ball rapidly, other thing is lie on the ball, holding it and delaying the game.
    Not sure what the rules say but IMO Hazard should get something like a 4/5-game ban (like if he kicked a player in a dispute for the ball) and Swansea should get an hefty fine. That will teach clubs to not ask ball boys to delay the game and make them eliminate the ballboys that do so.

  5. Jamie says:

    Here’s some ideas. One, new rule that gives a maximum age ballboys/girls are allowed to be. Two, instead of clubs providing ballboys, they are provided by the FA. That way they will be neutral and the club is incapable of giving them instructions to waste time or otherwise.

    • Chris says:

      @Jamie: Problem is it’s a lot easier for clubs to source their own ballboys. It’d just be too much of a faff for the FA to round up eight neutral kids for every fixture.

  6. muppets says:

    i agree with nevin. There is no malice in what hazard does, although he’s clearly frustrated. hazard kicks the ball, never making full contact with the ball man; and even so there is barely any force behind the kick.

    The ball boy/man himself boasted on twitter before the game that he was going to waste time. He acted pathetically lying on the ball and then pretending to be hurt.

    Out of the two i genuinely think the ball man behaved the worst and overall the incident was just a bit laughable – people are taking it too seriously. When I saw the thing about the police I was flabbergasted.

  7. Gordy says:

    Would Pat (ex footballer does not means he’s an expert) be happy if Hazard had kicked another player for holding on to the ball at a free kick, corner etc? Players are the biggest cheats and this boys actions were irrelevant, you cannot go around kicking kids just cause you feel like it. Now it’s ban all ball boys / girls – pathetic excuse from a pampered ex footballer. Surely the answer is Professional ball boys Pat!! – could be nice little earner for overgrown schoolboys (ex players). Or just let the players fetch their own ball back – like that will happen.

  8. usrick says:

    Ballboys (and ballgirls) do provide a useful service, especially at venues with substantial room between the pitch and the grandstand. Nevin is correct that ballboys should not be intentionally influencing the game but that can be accomplished by having someone from the home side instruct them before each match how they are to perform their duties. Then, if and when necessary, punish the club for inappropriate ballboy behaviour as occurred at Swansea.
    Allleged racist or otherwise inappropriate comments to ballboys or ballgirls aren’t really a ballboy/ballgirl issue – they should not be given any less protection from such abuse than are stewards, photographers, supporters, or anyone else near enough the players for such comments to be made.

  9. p says:

    I’m with Alex Fergus– oops I mean Gordy, the boy could’ve been killed!!

  10. Inno says:

    Pat Nevin is just jealous the ball boys are taller than him

  11. Jared says:

    @Nuno, you’ve got to be kidding me. A ball boy is NOT a player and has not accepted the risks of being kicked at on a pitch. Were the kid’s actions (and likely Swansea’s management) ridiculously cynical? Of course, and if changes need to be made, perhaps the FA’s efforts should be put toward reducing these incidents.

    However, that NEVER excuses a player from kicking at, or even touching, a ball boy, regardless of whether he was going after the ball or not. Players get their justice for what goes on on the pitch by going to the officials. Period. If the officials don’t award extra time or do something to rectify the situation, then Chelsea would have the ability to follow up on that misconduct. I find it so silly that people are even remotely trying to defend Hazard’s actions because “the ball boy was in the wrong.”

  12. Cosa says:

    Nevin jizzes blue, if hazard and given him and slap in the face he would defend him.

  13. KingB3113 says:

    Yes, it’s annoying when ball bays act slower for the away team but that’s part of the home advantage and I see nothing wrong with it.

  14. KingB3113 says:

    Ball boys giving the away team slow delivery is annoying but it’s part of the home advantage and there is nothing wrong with it. (Obviously what the Swansea kid did was OTT though)

  15. […] Remember back in January, when Eden Hazard toe-poked a Swansea ballboy in the ribs and the whole bloody world went conker-bonkers for a week, with the ballboy suddenly gaining 80,000 followers on Twitter for being such a laaaaaaaad, Subbuteo forever immortalising the fracas in limited edition figurine form and Pat Nevin, in his role as football’s moral guardian, actually going as far as to call for ballboys to be removed from the game entirely. […]

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