Mark Halsey has defended his decision to send off Aston Villa centre-back James Collins a full 48 hours before Alex McLeish’s men take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.
In what is already being described as “a laughably obvious premise”, the Welwyn Garden City referee insisted he had no option but to give the Welsh defender his marching orders when he had a dream about him not washing his hands after going for a pre-match “twosies” in the away dressing room toilets.
Although Halsey immediately brandished a red card, the real life Collins was not made aware of the decision until he received an email the next morning stating that his appeal had been unsuccessful and that he must now sit out Sunday’s clash with the Premier League-topping Red Devils.
An incredulous Collins told Football Burp: “I appreciate that Mark was merely taking what he deemed to be the appropriate action within his interpretation of the rules, but to be shown a red card for doing something totally uncharacteristic as a figment of his own imagination – well, it burns to be honest with you.
“I’d ask the FA to use some common sense in this case and at the very least reduce my red to a yellow.”
When informed of Collins’s words, Halsey said: “Perhaps if he’d reduced his brown to a yellow then I wouldn’t have had to take action in the first place.
“It’s disgusting – what if a United player had to swing him around by the hand to send him off balance, or high-five him ironically for deflecting one into his own net off a controversially awarded free-kick? These are immaculate creatures we’re talking about here, so it’s my job to ensure that they don’t come within so much as fifty feet of a Welshman’s faecal matter.
“I understand James is upset but he should appreciate that he was very lucky to avoid a pre-emptive red earlier in the week when some bloke who looked a bit like him threw a wobbly at me for nabbing the last bag of frozen Yorkshires at Iceland, so he should just accept his punishment and ensure that he keeps a distance from my unconsciousness in the future.”
He added: “I mean, who the f**k are Aston Villa anyway?”
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