If you are going to stick even the slightest nut on a player, expect to get in bother, especially if you are a referee, a pillar of the establishment.
And even if it was not quite a Glasgow Kiss, Darren Drysdale initiating a spot of rutting with an Ipswich Town footballer was always going to land him in hot water.
With his dive and dissent, Alan Judge might have riled Drysdale but refs simply cannot go calling it on physically with diminutive, journeyman, lippy midfielders.
As much as you might want them to.
It has always been one of life’s mysteries why any man or woman would want to subject himself or herself to being degraded by professional sportsmen or women on a regular basis.
Tennis umpires fascinate me most, sat in a high chair while spoilt brats spit venom at them.
How one has never clambered down and put on the brats’ rackets to good use, I’ll never know.
But perhaps it is some sort of character trait and, quite obviously, there seems to be a general acceptance amongst football’s refereeing fraternity that taking some colourful verbals is part and parcel of the gig.
It is probably why they have never embraced the microphone route.
Indeed, it has been well documented some referees enjoy the to-and-fro and like to give it back, although at times that has not always gone down well with some players.
Remember Bournemouth’s Dan Gosling calling for Jon Moss to apologise for ‘sarky’ comments he was alleged to have made during a defeat for the Cherries at Sheffield United?
They can be sensitive souls, just as their managers can.
Paul Lambert, of Ipswich Town, confronted Drysdale after the Judge incident.
Fair enough. This is the same Lambert who, after a defeat to Lincoln City earlier in the season, said: “We didn’t lose to Lincoln, we lost to the man in the middle.”
Leaving aside the slant against the referee’s professionalism and integrity, this is a manager who has now lost ten out his last 18 matches.
Have they all been the man in the middle’s fault?
No wonder referees such as Drysdale might get fed up.
In empty stadiums, the foul-mouthed dissent towards referees has been evident.
For example, there was this charming gem from Andy Robertson to David Coote at the end of a draw against Burnley at Anfield last July.
“You didn’t see f****** anything. You didn’t see anything all game apart from f***** booking me in the last minute.
“F*** me, what is the point of having youse in the middle. F*** me, honestly.”
This type of tirade is, presumably, what Dean Ashton had in mind in his cutting, brilliant broadside against foul-mouthed dissent on talkSport, when he said: “The abuse referees receive from all of us is disgusting. We should be ashamed of how our sport acts towards officials.
“You can’t speak to people on the street like that so why a referee?”
And he is absolutely spot-on.
Drysdale had to be sanctioned for his aggression towards Judge.
But the only surprise is that it has taken a modern referee this long to lose his rag.