No, I'm not talking about stopping play in any way. I know this thread is about the issues mentioned that the FA are looking at, but I am talking only and specifically about having the time controlled by a fourth official, as someone else raised it as something the FA should have looked at as well, which I agree with. It would not impact the game in any way - no advert breaks, no reviews, nothing - and would only serve to prevent most time wasting. Yes, you stop the play any time the ball is dead, giving you about 60 minutes of actual play, which is roughly what we get at the moment. Every game will have as much actual football played as any other game. No-one has yet suggested how this would be a bad idea.
Football isn't a stop-start game. A few examples:
Foul committed but the ref plays advantage but nothing develops. Clock stops. The advantage play now needs to be cancelled and teh clock re-set to when the foul occurred. Are there two clocks? Not a problem in the real game because it's all within the natural flow.
Ball goes dead for a free kick. The team that won the free kick wants to take a quick one but the clocks stopped. Can they take the kick? Who restarts the clock? Surely all play has to be re-started by the whistle to ensure accurate time-keeping.
Does the whistle restart when the ball starts moving (in active play?) otherwise the team in possession can still waste time by fannying around at the free kick - taking multiple run-ups, starting a run-up and then stopping and moaning that the wall isn;t right.
Corner kicks - when is the ball in play? The ref blows for the corner kick to be retaken but the taker fannies around a bit - stop the clock? If so when? And what happens of the ref's blown to take the kick but there's some argy-bargy in the box and he has to take action? Does the ref re-set the clock back to when the argy-bargy started? But then the ball isn;t in play yet but the ref's blown to start the clock again.
The ball goes out for a throw in. Clock Stops. Does the clock restart when the player takes his run-up or when the ball actually re-crosses the line? If the time restarts when the player has the ball in his hands but hasn't thrown it then that's not counted as the ball being in play. So to waste time under your rules, the player does what they do now, run too far down the touchline so the ref sends them back, the players jockey around and the player drops the ball so another player can take the throw. Has the clock stopped? Do you go back?
Keeper ready to take a goal kick - again, does the ref/timekeeper start the clock when the goalie's foot connects with the ball?...
It changes the nature of football. I want to be at the match for two halves of 45 minutes with maybe 3-4 minutes added on max except in exceptional circumstances. I get to watch about 60 minutes of the ball in play and I couldn't give a flying fuck if it's accurate to the nth degree. I would like to get off and have a pint or two after the game, not have to sit and watch the fucking clock stop and start with no idea how long a half might last, never mind the fact that the TV companies will start adding in commercials at breaks in play.
And if there's a problem with time-wasting the ref just has to do his job using the tools already at his disposal.