When the board went up for 14 minutes, the main stand at Northampton broke out into giggles. And why not? It was a ludicrous thing to see.

I mean, we all knew it was coming but a combined 22 minutes was perhaps a little more than expected. Oh, who am I kidding. It was a lot more than expected. Plymouth had five minutes and then nine in their game with Huddersfield Town which seems much more normal for want of a better word.

I kept saying to the Stevenage guys and Steve and Dean from BBC 3CR, 'it's alright for you guts, you do your interview and go home, I've still got a reaction piece to write'.

But am I going to come out against the new rule? Good grief, no. And here's why.

For years I have been moaning to anyone dumb enough to listen that I thought time wasting was a blot on the game. Last season saw goalkeepers catch the ball easily then flop to the floor like a Victorian lady swooning at a caddish rogue.

Or the players who would run, sometimes more than they bothered in the actual game, just to pick up a ball and walk off with it. Or kick it away. Or throw it over the head of the free-kick taker.

And let's be honest, this isn't the first time the powers that be have tried to stamp out time wasting. The whole back pass rule was brought in back in 1992 to get rid of the same problem.

I do think it will get better as everyone comes to grips with it and I do believe it is one of the easier rules to enforce. A good level of consistency shouldn't be too hard to achieve.

No, this is my problem with it all.

Yet again football, at the highest level of governance, has taken a perfectly simple premise and made it ridiculously complicated.

Take VAR before it. VAR is a perfectly workable system that operates just fine in cricket and rugby and tennis. It is used as aid for a referee, not as a tool to handcuff them.

Rugby is the sport that football could have used for the whole time-wasting issue. There a referee will say 'time off' and a timekeeper will stop the clock, not restarting it until the ref says 'time on'.

There's the first problem. It seems to be the referee who is responsible for the time keeping still (I will need to double check that). If it isn't him, it is the fourth official and both have plenty of their plates to start with, without the FA or UEFA or FIFA dumping more on to them.

Surely there are enough hangers on at county FA's, or retired referees, who can come and take charge of a stopwatch at grounds every other week? They can be linked via microphone to the official (see below) and that way the stadium clock can be stopped and started until we get to 90 and everyone is well aware as to exactly how long is left.

(Note: The 14 added minutes in the second half at Sixfields meant the clock needed to run up to 104. I asked the guys at Stevenage and the clock at the Lamex can't handle three digits. Could be fun)

But as usual, football seems to take the pompous route. Why should we copy off someone else? We can do it ourselves and they should copy off us. Yeah, ain't going to happen chaps and chapesses.

Like I say though, I do think it will get better and I am favour of the rule, as too it seems do a good chunk of all football fans (ignore the moaning from fans watching the Community Shield).

I just wish football would stop shooting itself in the foot though.

Putting a microphone on a referee

Do I want this to happen? Yes, with all my heart. Do I think the public should be allowed to get the ref link and hear what is being said? Yes, with all my heart. Do I think football will ever do it? Not on your nelly.

Why? Simply, it will destroy the product and the FA and Premier League etc do not want anything that will diminish what they are pedalling.

If the referee is given a microphone, you'll hear the abuse that goes on, most of which is aimed at the referee, and suddenly there will fingers pointed at the powers demanding answers.

And if people start questioning the output, then heaven forbid but the money might stop coming in.

They tried it once with David Ellery in around 1989, Arsenal against Millwall. Tony Adams called Ellery a cheat and that was that, never attempted again.

And again, it works in rugby, plus you get to hear the interaction between the TMO (television match official) and the referee. You get to hear how quickly decisions can be made.

I don't think the wind of change has been that strong in recent months though.

Should a referee answer questions after a game?

Dead easy this. Nope, and I'll tell you why.

The only reason people want this to happen is because there has been a decision made that they don't agree with.

I've said this many times. Football is a game of opinions and if I was to be sat next to you at a game, I guarantee we would NEVER agree on every decision, even though we had the same view and the same angle.

Yes, referees make mistakes, but it happens to us all. Take a look at the ones I make in match reports and stories despite my determination to eradicate them before publication.

And the problem you will have is, once you have asked the question 'why did you make that decision?' is, if they reply 'because I saw a foul' then you have no comeback, absolutely none whatsoever.

As I said referees will make mistakes but so too do players and the only time I will change my stance on their being put up for interview is if clubs put up players who were sent off or missed a sitter or scored an own-goal or played poorly.

Same applies to them as to referees but that will never happen so there you go.