Date: 4th June 2007 at 9:08am
Written by:

Graham Poll, the biggest melodramatic showman ever to grace the English turfs, has retired at the end of this season but he’s not leaving quietly.

The now ex-referee, always to be known of his fabulous card tricks demonstrated at the World Cup (Croatia v Australia: does anyone remember the actual result, apart from Croatians and Australians?) has taken up the habit of blasting just about everyone he’s ever had any business with.

Jose Mourinho was next on his menu and the Chelsea manager, not the most popular person on this site, has got his share in remarkable manner.

You might remember the pair of them having some kind of a shouting match on the sidelines during the non-event that was the Chelsea v United league game at Stamford Bridge. Well, Poll’s taken Mourinho’s comments to his heart it seems.

‘He knows what he said to me and it was just absolutely disgraceful,’ Poll told BBC1’s Inside Sport.

‘I wouldn’t repeat what he said. I’ve thought long and hard about it and I just wouldn’t repeat it. It was a disgraceful personal comment about myself and an opposing manager.

‘I was that shocked to hear it and he knew he had gone too far.

‘That’s why he sent himself off before I had the opportunity to do so.

‘It was the very personal nature of what he had said. It was something I never thought I’d have the misfortune to hear.’

Let’s make something clear. It’s quite imaginable that Mourinho had really said something very offending. As for that ‘opposing manager’, put up your hand if you think it’s Sir Alex. OK, you can all put your hands down. So he might have offended the boss, true. Why do I believe he did?

We’re talking about the man who produced a shameful comment about Ronaldo being uneducated, the man who had called Mike Riley a ‘filha da puta’ (if I remember correctly: I can’t speak Portuguese) then defended himself by saying he says that 50 times a day.

But really, that’s not the point. The point is that Poll’s moaning has become just as boring as Mourinho going on about how only injuries prevented them from being the greatest thing since sliced bread. One might think that a man whose career has been sliding downwards spectacularly in recent years (I’m talking about Poll, not Mourinho) would have the grace of stepping down with some dignity.

But of course that’s not his style. After the World Cup, he’s been terrible this season in England and now he’s finally gone, we can’t forget him for good. He’s attacking Barwick, Mourinho, Terry, Chelsea, McFadden, the whole FA and everyone who gets to cross his path nowadays. And of course it’s possible that he’s right in some cases and that some of these people deserve criticism. But it’s a bit rich coming from him methinks.