POSSIBLY the most talked about incident at the Reading versus Cardiff game last week was the sending to the stand of Cardiff’s volatile manager, Neil Warnock.

The reason seemed to be his constant haranguing of fourth official, Andy Woolmer, who he has since criticised.

Warnock has an enviable record as a manager of Championship teams, but this doesn’t give him the right to act in this manner. He claims to have taken the referees course, but his behaviour on many occasions shows that if he did, he learnt very little.

What do club officials think they are going to achieve by harassing the fourth official? Do they expect him to say, ‘I’ll get the referee to change his decision as you don’t like it’?

The Laws of the Game spell out what’s expected of the occupants of the technical area. They must behave responsibly and remain within its confines, with only one person at a time authorised to convey instructions. How often do you see that observed? Why do they flagrantly ignore the Laws?

Gathering around the fourth official is also counter-productive. His duties are well defined in the Laws. As well as his other duties, which incidentally include informing the referee of any irresponsible behaviour by any technical area occupants, the fourth official is expected by the Laws to assist the referee with offences, when he has a clearer view than the referee.

Remember the 2006 FIFA World Cup final when Zinedine Zidane head-butted his Italian opponent, Marco Materazzi? Although he sent Zidane off, the referee didn’t see the incident, he was making his way back to the centre circle.

It was relayed to him over the radio system by the fourth official. Imagine if the occupants of the Italian technical area had surrounded him at that moment, complaining about the referee and blocked his view of the headbutt.

If club staff left fourth officials to concentrate on observing the game, a few more incidents of player’s misconduct might be spotted.