The 10 Greatest Excuses for Losing a Football Match

While writing a piece on the worst lies told to get out of a football match, we came across a lot of hilarious hair brained excuses for teams loosing matches so we thought we’d share some of the finest examples.   And boy are we glad we did as there are enough to write a book on, these are our 10 favourites.

Lack of Ball Boys – Jose Mourinho

excuses for losing a football match

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager, and current Man United manager (for the next few weeks anyway) Jose Mourinho, once cited Barcelona’s lack of ball boys as a reason why his Madrid side lost to them.

Drama queen Mourinho, who always has creative excuses for losing football matches said after his side’s second leg Supercopa loss at the Nou Camp:

“Real Madrid gave a spectacular performance from the first to the last minute. We came here to play. What I’m about to say is not a criticism, I’m just stating a fact: there were no ball-boys in the second half, which is something typical of small teams when experiencing difficulties”.

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I forgot – Rio Ferdinand

excuses for losing a football match

Yep, that’s was Ferdinand’s excuse for missing a drugs test?

Convincing?   Well, the FA weren’t, they banned him from football for eight months and gave him a £50,000 fine.

That was the last time her forgot!

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Damn Noisy Frogs – Ukraine


Ukraine blamed their 4-0 thrashing at the fans of Spain in the 2006 World Cup not on a poor defensive display, but on the poor tailless amphibians.  

Defender Vladislav Vashchuk claimed: “Because of the frogs’ croaking we hardly got a wink of sleep. We all agreed that we would take some sticks and go and hunt them.”

Maybe he should give up football and go hunting frogs..

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No Michael Jackson – Fulham owner Mo Fayed

excuses for losing a football match

Fulham were a great source amusement over the course of 2013. Their final humiliation – having signed a terrible striker for a ludicrous amount of money from Greece, came when the club were relegated to the Championship – Club Fayed blamed the removal of the stadiums Michaeel Jackson statue.

Yes believe it or not Fayed claimed after that fateful relegation that the side would not have lost as many games and gone down if they hadn’t chosen to remove their “lucky” Michael Jackson statue, that he had for some reason commissioned to stand outside of the ground.

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Haunted Boardroom – Bradford FC

Boardroom problems and infighting can really drag a clubs performance through the dirt.  But ghosts??

In 1996 Blackpool let a two goal lead slip against Bradford at home at Bloomfield Road, and crashed out of the play-offs.  Inevitably it wasn’t their players’ fault, as the club’s fans pointed to the influence of the ghost of Lord Nelson – who clearly must have been a Bradford fan – who was haunting the boardroom, as the oak panelling in there was salvaged from his flagship.

When all else fails ship in the supernatural!

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Blaming It on the Kit – Alex Ferguson

excuses for losing a football match

Sir Alex Ferguson once very famously blamed his side’s abject defeat to Southampton in the 1996 game that saw the Red Devils defeated 6-3.

They wore the a rather gaudy grey kit for five-and-a-half matches, losing four and drawing one. They only wore the kit for the first half of a match against Southampton on April 13, 1996.

When United went in at half time 3-0 down, and Ferguson ordered the players to change into their blue-and-white alternative away kit.  And what a difference it made, they scored a goal in the second half and only lost 3-1…

Sir Alex Ferguson said afterwards: “The players don’t like the grey strip. They find it difficult to pick each other out. We had to change the strip.”

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Blame Friday

In most dramatic finish to a football league season in 1989, Arsenal went to Liverpool on the final day knowing they had to win by two goals to win the league.

If they didn’t, Liverpool would be the 1989 English Champions.

In one of those “you couldn’t write it (but you probably could)” moments, Arsenal won 2-0, with the second goal coming deep in injury time.

Liverpool defender Alan Hansen said they lost the game because it was played on a Friday and not a Saturday.


Blaming It on the Crowd Making Noise

Sutton United striker Adrian Bradnam once blamed missing an open goal on the crowd making too much noise.

Maybe he thought his back garden would be a more suitable venue.

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The World Cup (6 months before it happened)

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is renowned for his imaginative excuses, and we could add another few from him on this list.  He once blamed a poor run of luck in the league on World Cup despite the fact that it hadn’t even kicked off when Newcastle’s slump began – and nor when it ended with the end of the season.


excuses for losing football

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan referred back to Charles Darwin when tasked with explaining his country’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

‘Genetically we are behind’, Strachan said after Scotland’s qualifying campaign ended with 2-2 draw against Slovenia. ‘In the last campaign we were the second smallest, apart from Spain’.

Choosing to ignore Spain’s three consecutive tournament successes in 2008, 2010 and 2012, Strachan continued: ‘We had to pick a team to combat the height and strength at set-plays.  Genetically we have to work at things, maybe we get big women and men together and see what we can do’.

Hope you enjoyed!

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