What is the point of the pre-match football handshake? Who is to blame for this nonsense?
Should we blame Michel Platini? Why not? After all, he was a superb footballer but, as an administrator, he is set to make Sepp Blatter sound sensible.
I know of players shaking hands with opposing players they loathe. I know of players (other than John Terry) who are shaking hands with fellow professionals whose wives or girlfriends they do know, or have known, on an intimate basis.
On the other hand, you have players crossing palms with their best mates who they were out on the town with only a night or two earlier. What is the point of that?
I was against the introduction of this piece of pre-match nonsense from day one. Why? Because I know that footballers and sincerity are strangers to each other. Shaking the hand of an opponent you do not like, or worse, is not going to make a player less likely to try and do damage to that person during the following ninety minutes.
Can you imagine if we’d had this funny handshake club in the 1970’s? We’d have had Billy Bremner shaking hands with Kevin Keegan. Norman Hunter saying ‘how do you do?’ to Francis Lee. Ron Harris would be wishing Peter Lorimer and Eddie Gray all the best for the forthcoming game.
It is as nonsensical today as it would have been then. Of course those aforementioned players wouldn’t last 45 minutes on the pitch today.
Football is no longer a contact sport. The hard men of Leeds, Chelsea and many more clubs of the 1960’s and 1970’s would see red very quickly.
Mark Hughes was an excellent striker for Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea among other clubs. He was no shrinking violet on the pitch. He also knew how to leave his foot in. He was not to be messed with and gave as good as he got from defenders.
Now a manager, he says that the pre-match handshake should be scrapped.
Hughes has told League authorities that handshakes should not take place before matches.
Hughes said: “We all fully support the Respect campaign, it’s done fantastic work and it’s to be commended but maybe this part of showing respect is, at times, fundamentally flawed.”
“There should be discussion in terms of how we show respect and is this the best way to do it? I think it’s open to debate. Maybe, it [the handshake routine] could be after the match, who knows?
“On the occasions when it was scrapped [last season], I thought it helped the situation. Everyone shook hands at the end and it wasn’t a problem.”
In my own opinion there are much more important issues to sort out in the modern day game. Blatant cheating for a start off.
What is the point of a player who dives in the penalty area shaking the hand of the defender who will make no contact with him?
One who knows only too well prior to kick off that he will try to gain an advantage over the other player.
A player who fully intends to get his opponent booked or sent off. And yet they line up to shake each others hand. Who are you trying to kid?
Not one fan believes this is some genuine, heartfelt, sincere footballing tradition. It is a waste of time and an insult to our intelligence.
Stop it – now!