Divers & feigners get British drinkers' goats

Diving, dodgy refereeing decisions and players faking injury have topped a new list of annoying subjects that are most likely to get pub drinkers sounding off into their pints.

Nationwide research by Blackthorn cider has found that male pub-goers have very firm views on the way it should – and shouldn’t – be when it comes to a host of bar-room subjects, and football is the most common topic discussed in alehouses.

There has been a public outcry about diving this week after Blackburn Rovers' Martin Olsson admitted he cheated to get a penalty against Burnley last weekend because he knew referee Mike Dean "gives lots of penalties."

Everyone will be watching this weekend to see whether Dean awards any more spot-kicks in the potential title decider between Manchester United and Chelsea, and any diving will be sure to anger supporters.

Commenting on the results of the Blackthorn survey, former Arsenal and England midfielder Ray Parlour said: "The one thing that is likely to get me sounding off into my pint is diving in a game and players faking injury - it is nothing more than cheating and it needs to be eradicated from the game completely.

"I would suggest a six-game ban, or worse - that way the players just won't do it! It is a bad example to the younger generation coming through and there is just no need for it"

Bob Cork, master cider maker for Blackthorn, added: “There’s a lot of wisdom to be found in pubs – it’s a place where men feel comfortable expressing their views on the way they see things.

“Our research demonstrates that there are some very definite views on the way things should, and shouldn’t, be – and when it comes to subjects like football, I think we now know what the average man in the pub thinks.

“Hopefully these new findings will start even more debates over pints across Britain tonight."

Blackthorn’s Top 10 Footie bug bears: 1.        Players faking injury 2.        Diving 3.        Dodgy referee decisions 4.        Flash footballers 5.        Ridiculous opening ceremonies 6.        Foreign ownership of clubs 7.        England being knocked out of the World Cup in the semi finals 8.        Going out on penalties 9.        The ‘Prawn Sandwich’ brigade 10.      TV pundits

Away from football, former-WAG Katie Price and ‘Low Battys’ – jeans worn below the backside revealing the wearer’s boxer shorts – are the most irritating subject guaranteed to start a heated debate in any pub.

The survey is part of a campaign by Blackthorn inviting men to ‘Thorn’ anything they feel isn’t the way it should be.

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