The relationship between fans and the person coaching the team can be a difficult one. Either you’re beloved to the point of cultish devotion, or they’re willing to blame and can you at a moment’s notice.

The latter is far more common, because the former requires sustained success that’s rare in any sport. Anything less than that, be it decent to mediocre to outright bad, is likely to lead to the coach being the first scapegoat should things go wrong.

Heck, even Joe Maddon wasn’t safe from criticism after the Cubs won the World Series. But if there’s one thing fans detest more consistently than a coach, it’s officiating. So when League 2 team Morecambe F.C. manager Jim Bentley was fined £1,000 for protesting a red card, his team’s supporters had his back.

Via SI:

Bentley was ejected from a recent game for objecting to a red card on one of his players. His protest earned him a two-game suspension and a £1,000 ($1,200) fine. That’s a pretty solid chunk of change, especially for a guy working in the fourth tier of English football, so the fans got together and pitched in to give Bentley a big stack of cash. 

They handed Bentley the dough after Saturday’s 4–1 win over Notts County, and his reaction was absolutely priceless. 

And there’s video of the donation receipt, too:

That’s just really cool for Morecambe fans. Morecambe currently sits 17th in the League 2 standings, six spots out of the relegation zone. Hopefully they can stay up, because fans like this deserve to see their team do well.

[SI]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.