Martin O’Neill has, with tongue firmly in cheek, suggested that “prison sentences” could straighten out some of his Nottingham Forest charges.
The Reds boss was responding to questions regarding the club’s disciplinary record.
Which has been rather woeful.
Forest are the only side in the Championship to have moved into triple figures for yellow cards this season (103).
They have also had more sendings off (seven) than any of their rivals.
All told, a haul of 488 disciplinary points puts the Reds over 100 clear at the top/bottom of the table, depending on how you want to look at it!
With O’Neill admitting as much.
Quizzed on how he plans to eradicate the misdemeanours, the Northern Irishman has said in the Nottingham Post: “I do plan to make the fine system more rigid. It will be very penal as well… as in there might be prison sentences.
“Perhaps the PFA might have something to say about that. Perhaps the players would too, but it is a situation we need to look at.”
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
Putting players behind bars for tripping an opponent or arguing with the referee may be a bit severe but…
If HMP Nottingham Forest were to be constructed on the banks of the Trent, who would be among the inmates?
Jack Colback would probably be first through the door.
The on-loan midfielder is facing up to another inevitable suspension after collecting 14 cautions.
One more and he must serve a three-match ban.
Jack Robinson is also into double digits in terms of bookings, so may benefit from a period of rehabilitation.
What of the others?
If the rules are relaxed and sentences are not based purely on card counting, who needs a bit of time to mull over their actions?
And what if we broaden the boundaries to include those from Forest’s recent past?
How about Andrea Silenzi for wrongful impersonation of a professional footballer?
Fawaz Al Hasawi, Irving Scholar, Kris Commons, Henri Lansbury, David Platt, the list is endless.
Lock the door and throw away the key.
And with Governors O’Neill and Keane at the helm, it is safe to assume that nobody will be channelling their inner Michael Scofield in an effort to break free!