Scene - Howard Webb's salubrious South Yorkshire home, front room spacious and comfortably furnished, huge portrait of Paul Dirac over fireplace. Howard sits on a black leather recliner, rather disconcertingly he is dressed in complete referees uniform, including boots.
ClockEnd5 - So, Howard, I have to start with the Berbatov incident in the FA cup. How do you respond to the general belief that he dived?
Howard Webb - Well, John, I accept that in this universe he may have dived, but its my responsibility to cater for every reality, not just this one.
CE5 - So in another universe he didn't dive?
HW - Exactly, he was genuinely fouled but I didn't give a penalty and booked him for diving. You see a Premiership referee has to weigh up all actions and make a decision for that particular universe, he will get it right in some universe. To get hung up on just one reality is just being trivial.
CE5 - So the reality of one universe over another is irrelevant?
HW - Yes, there is every possibility out there, some where football doesn't even exist. Some where it does exist but there are only two teams, Man Utd and Liverpool for example.
CE5 - Yeah I know that one its called Ireland!
HW - We, in the referees association, will be putting forward a radical new proposal to play all matches behind closed doors, with no TV cameras and no reporting of any kind.
CE5 - What? How will that work?
HW - Simple, really, if nothing can be observed then every decision will occur simultaneously on every reality . There will be no need for linesmen or 4th officials, goal line technology nothing , just a ref. Since at a quantum level the ref can be at position A or position B or both at the same time, he can quite easily cover all the pitch and see everything, every possibility and take appropriate action and still be 100% correct.
CE5 - But what about the players wont they be observers?
HW - There will be no players.
CE5 - No players?
HW - No, the players will be just theoretical, so wage bills will be reduced, no more agents and exorbitant transfer fees and crucially the squad will be virtually injury free.
CE5 - And are the FA keen on this idea?
HW - We're going straight to FIFA with this one, John. Sepp Blatter already thinks theres too much football in football, and he's very keen to take away player power which he thinks is ruining the game.
CE5 - Ah! That explains why Qatar got the World cup.
HW - Of course, there can be no problem with summer heat if the football is purely theoretical. We could have the World cup on the Moon if we wanted to.
CE5 - Hmmmh!
HW - Can we wrap this up? I've got organ practice.
CE5 - I didn't know you were musically inclined Howard?
HW - I'm not. I'm going to watch some porn. Mind that step on the way out it's lethal.
CE5 - If I go down will I get a Penalty?
HW - Not in that shirt you wont!
So there you have it folks, controversial views from a controversial referee. The thing about it is I have the disturbing feeling he may be right.