Lord Mawhinney's suggestion that drawn Premier League games be settled with a penalty shoot-out has been met with immediate and near universal disapproval. A 'brainfart', says fan site Caughtoffside.com; 'Why can't we just have a draw,' says Bournemouth boss Kevin Bond, not unreasonably.
That the sudden-death decider concept has been tried and failed in Major League Soccer suggests the idea is already dead in the water, that fans shouldn't be worried. It isn't, and they should be.
There is a very strong lobby that would support the creation of more set-plays in football. This multinational, billion dollar industry would be delighted to see football provide more drama, more decisive moments, more often. It is the sports betting industry.
It is an industry in sync with new media and has proved capable of accessing global markets. European sports betting revenues are expected to rise from $110m in 2004 to $3bn in 2009, according to a report by the UK's Juniper Research. The global value of sports betting is estimated to rise to $6.9billion by 2009, and this is without the world's two biggest markets, the US and China, officially endorsing gambling. "Should this situation change, then quite clearly the figures would be revised upwards to reflect this," concludes the report.
It is extremely likely this increasing wealth will lead to the bookies wanting a greater say in sports' decision making.
Now, betting on football is not the option available to punters - the UK's leading online bookies offer odds on sports as diverse as AFL, rallying, ice hockey and darts - but football is the world game. And it is ripe for intervention.
Unlike cricket, baseball or golf, football provides only a limited number of bet options. Recent reports from India claim Asian bookies are offering offer-by-offer bets: number of wides, runs scored, number of sixes. Football, a largely free flowing game, cannot match this innovation.
Bookies are trying to spice things up. Football betting has come a long way since the Pools Coupon. Digital pitch-side banners are now inviting punters to bet on the identity of the next scorer, with odds changing mid-game. The sports betting industry is itching to innovate.
As TV switches to digital, and more viewers become comfortable making online payments, it is inevitable we will see closer synergies between the broadcaster and the bookie. Sky, paying big bucks for the Premier League, and with no more than two teams ever in with a shout of winning, has plenty of second-rate product it needs to spice up. The sports betting industry may be only to keen to help enliven a mid-table clash between, say, Middlesbrough and Reading. Penalty shoot-outs, with the prospect of real-time betting - 'press the Red button to back Lampard to score at 11/4', is an enticing idea. 'It matters more when there's money on it,' as Sky's very own Sky Bet puts it.
Don't expect the bookies to start shouting their support for change, but only a mug would bet against them. The bookie always wins.