From nets to the man in the middle
One of the weirdest stories of the weekend was that of Steve Harper wanting to turn into a pro referee when he finishes his career. Having done some work for Tyne-Tees on the subject a few years ago it comes as no surprise that someone finally wants to make the leap from player to the 'bastard in the black` (to quote the Tango-tanned Jeff Winter). Harps said:
"You look at all other sports and the ex-players are there. It would benefit everybody if there was a fast-track system and it's something I'd definitely consider. I did some refereeing four or five years ago but you have to let them know the dates you are available and, obviously, being a professional you can't do it. All I said was it's something I'd consider. I know referees get criticised but the standard in this country is pretty good.'