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Final proof that the Premier League is bent; Moyes goes unpunished for slander on Cesc

By Tony Attwood

The FA have refused to act over the wild and unfounded allegations of David Moyes the manager of Everton.

Moyes said after the Everton game that Cesc had abused the ref to such a degree that he (Cesc) should have been shown a red card.  Moyes presented no evidence of the offence.

However it is now clear that there is overwhelming evidence that this attack was nothing more than the ravings of a man desperate to get one over Arsenal, after an agreement that the match had been fixed had gone wrong.

Not only did Moyes present no evidence, against him is the fact that Cesc denies it, that the ref has put nothing in his report (one would have expected at least a mention if it was that bad) and Arsène Wenger has stated that he was in conversation with the ref and so Cesc couldn’t have said anything without pushing his manager aside and butting in.

At one level this allegation thus has all the hallmarks of the Hull Spit incident in March 2009 in which Hull made wild allegations against Cesc, all of which were thrown out by an FA enquiry, after Hull failed to put up any evidence, claiming that their chief witness (their assistant manager) had “gone overseas” and that they “could not contact him”.

This time however Moyes, in a clever and singularly underhand move, has made no complaint and thus the matter rests.  However it is perfectly possible for the FA to charge Moyes with bringing the game into disrepute by making such wild accusations.  Then Moyes would have to prove his point, or withdraw and face the consequences.

The fact that the FA is utterly unwilling to punish Moyes is a further reflection on the FA’s role in a match that will certainly go down in the annals of footballing history as the moment when it became clear to everyone looking at the evidence that an Italian style bias against certain teams is now operating openly in the EPL.  I’ll return to this in a moment.

Moyes has now refused to repeat what Fábregas was alleged to have said, and has instead gone on record as saying “they were disappointing comments from someone who is such a talented footballer”.   This is a further indication of what really happened.  If Moyes knew he was in the right, he would be repeating the matter.

Mr Wenger said, “I believe that it is wrong for Moyes to come out on what he pretends to have heard in the tunnel.  If I come out with what I have heard in the tunnel is the last 10 years, you would be amazed. I think there is a rule in our job to never come out with what is said in the heat of the moment. That usually is respected by everybody.   Cesc Fábregas has not said anything to the referee, I maintain what I say. He has not been charged, so this story for me is over.

“If Cesc is guilty, he would have been charged. He has not been charged by the FA, there is no action against him so I don’t see why we should spend any more time to defend somebody who is not guilty.”

On the issue of another semi-crazed allegation that has been levelled at Cesc of late Mr Wenger said, “When Cesc is on the pitch, he tries to play football – I cannot say everybody who plays against him tries to do that. For example, some people reproach him for not exchanging shirts with a player after the game – but I hope he will not exchange shirts with players who try to kick him for 90 minutes and them come to say ‘please can I get your shirt’.”

As for the referee, Untold approached the match in a scientific manner, making a set of predictions which turned out to be correct about the referee.  The fact that our correspondent “Dogface” made such an accurate prediction before the game based on a statistical analysis shows that quite clearly this match was bent.   The only problem for those doing the bending (the equivalent of Juventus in Italy – and you have to decide yourself which club this is) was that the ref and linesmen were not very clever at their job, and let Everton have a goal that was so stupid that everyone could see it was offside, and that the “played on” rule did not apply because of the need to give the player offside before he was played on.  Walter dealt with this clearly in his analysis after the game.

So there it is: clear evidence from start to finish that some games involving Arsenal are rigged.  Not normally this overtly or stupidly, but the fact that we can predict which ref is bent, and the failure of the FA to act against the manager making wild slanderous allegations shows that the time for debating the issue is over.  It is a fact of life.  Welcome to the Bent EPL.

The most insane bit of refereeing ever seen

Refwatch Arsenal v Everton – it doesn’t look good

Making the Arsenal

82 comments to Final proof that the Premier League is bent; Moyes goes unpunished for slander on Cesc

  • Paul C.

    Tony – I actually think you cross the line when you state that the events of Tuesday night are “proof” of Arsenal’s matches being rigged. You come off every bit as bad as David Moyes in doing so.

    What did Tuesday night “PROVE”?

    – It proved Lee Mason is an incompetent referee
    – It proved David Moyes is a whingeing idiot with some kind of strange vendetta against Cesc
    – It proved, once again, that the English media have it in big time for Arsenal and would love to hound Cesc out of the country as they did Eduardo
    – It proved that the FA will do sweet fa against “one of their own” even if he slanders and insults without evidence

    But to say that Tuesday night proved that Arsenal matches are rigged is nonsense. Such statements are every bit as bad as some that have come out in the media in the past couple of days.

  • Phil

    I dunno Paul, Dogface’s analysis was a little too accurate. naturally it’s a sample of one, but he demonstarted based on a large data set that the ref had presented a clear bias towards Everton. We saw that on Tuesday night, of that I have no doubt.

  • Pid83

    Paul, This match did not prove Mr Mason as incompetent, due to the fact that all the ‘dodgy’ decisions went in Evertons favour, which was predidcted by DogFace prior to the game. Incompetence would have led to both sides benefiting from incorrect decisions but they didn’t. And as DogFace proved prior to the game, if everton had Mason as referee for all games they would be battling for the title, Arsenal would be in a relegation battle, says it all really……..

  • Wrenny

    @Phil

    But is Mason’s bias a natural bias, or paid-for bias?

    I agree with Paul on this one. Dogface’s statistics do prove a bias, but they don’t prove that Mason’s been bought or bunged.

    That’s not to say I am not open to the idea – it’s ridiculous for people to say “it would never happen here!” In the last few years we’ve seen players and refs rigging matches in Germany, Belgium and Italy. Why not England?

    But you need to have proof, and a referee being incompetent or having a bias towards one team, or a type of teams, isn’t proof.

  • Adam

    The term “bent” is actually correct. When an official is corrupt as Mason clearly is there doesn’t have to be a financial incentive to rig the result and I don’t believe that Tony implied there was. If you have personal reasons why you don’t like a club or a player or a manager and you are unable to officiate in an even handed way then you are corrupt and you show your corruption by favoring the opposition over the team you don’t want to win. The mere fact that you take a job knowing that your bias is going to influence your impartiality is yet further evidence of your moral corruption. I can’t quite work out why Moyes has started all this stuff against Cesc unless it really is to detract from his team’s performance. After all, isn’t he one of those managers who is always ranting against the officials himself. Moyes, Hughes and Brown. Anyone see the link?

  • Paul C.

    Yeah, I would agree with Wrenney as well. If you want to say Mason was incompetent or biased that is fine. I’ll go along with that. But to say that the episode “proves” that the PL is fixed is going too far. To me it is gutter journalism, the same gutter journalism we’ve seen from the English media in their treatment of Cesc in the past few days, just at the other end of the spectrum.

    Me? I love it. Keep the “bias” and “incompetence” coming. Arsenal always play better when we are against the world. It makes winning all the more satisfying. When the referee can give a blatantly wrong goal against you and you STILL come back and win, that is fantastic. More of that please. Screw them all.

    WE ARE ARSENAL.

  • shakabulagooner

    There has to come a time when some form of independent audit/scorecard for refs and video evidence will have to be countenanced if the beautiful game, presided upon by FA, is not to become completely discredited.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think that Moyes knew that his “friend” Mason would be in the line of fire. So he pushed the attention to Cesc who would have said something about his “friend” Mason. That is the reason why he came up with this.

    He diverted the attention, with the little help from Sky, the media who pay/and live from the EPL, from the biased ref performance to the Cesc theme. This was I think a massive cover up operation from Sky and Everton to prevent questiongs being asked.

    They knew there would be questions asked about the ref and now the media can ignore this horror show from the ref.

    It would be interesting to know if the sky reporter said something to Moyes before starting the cameras in the style of: “Please, come up with something to focus on apart from the ref please”.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Adam, I totaly agree with you.

    If Mason is bought by someone than this is a disgrace and the people who are involved should be banned.

    If Mason is an Everton fan and is doing this because he is a fan than he should be fired or he should become ref in a league where Everton is not involved. Then he should come out in the open with it and declare: I am an Everton fan. In fact I think all refs should give up ALL their favourite teams when they start refereeing and this should be kept in the books of the Fa so they can prevent supporters to blow the games of their own club. And this records should be made public from the moment a ref starts games so that everyone can see which teams could be favoured by a ref.

    So if I would move to England and would become a ref I would say that Arsenal is my favourite team and I would never get involved in a game in which Arsenal could have any interest in.

  • FinnGun

    Video technology would make biased and corrupt refereeing more difficult.

  • Billy

    I watched the interview after the game and I don’t remember that Moyes said that Cesc said anything “to” the ref in the tunnel, but that Cesc merely said bad things “about” the ref in the tunnel. So Wenger’s defense does little to dispel the accusation.

    That being said, it seems a little chicken—- to make a comment like this without backing it up with evidence. Especially since as Wenger says, there is an unwritten rule to not publicly speak of what goes on in the tunnel. Moyes seems to be following that rule by not repeating what was said, but mentioning it leaves the media to wildly speculate about what Cesc could have said.

    Personally, I like Moyes. I like watching Everton play and I like that he whole-heartedly admitted that the linesmen got the offsides call wrong (and Richard Keys and Andy Grey think women don’t know the offside rule), but I do agree that this was dirty move on his part, though after holding Arsenal for so long and then losing, I might be bitter as well.

  • Paul C.

    Walter – now THAT I can definately believe!!! There is no doubt that everyone is doing their upmost to divert everyone’s attention from the appalling decision that was given. I cannot believe there has not been more focus on that but, as you say, Moyes and the media have done a great job of making Cesc the story rather than one of the worst refereeing decisions in modern footballing history (I call it one of the worst because seldom could a referee and linesman have had a perfect video replay to ensure they got the decision correct and yet still managed to screw it up!!!!).

    THAT is the story here. Not corruption or fixing of games. The story is the ridiculous diversion of the story from an incompetent referee.

  • gulp

    You can argue as much as you want, the majority of sky watchers like it the way it is. Nobody cares wheter Cesc is really guilty or not. The fact is hes a dirty degos and Moyes is an honourable PL manager. Cesc is untrustable and Moyes is trustable. Cesc is a lier and Moyes is not. Cesc is foregin and Moyes is not.
    Cesc maybe a spanish world cup winner but Moyes IS A ENGLISH HERO!

  • Dark Prince

    Its very clear that there is a bias amongst the officials, the media and the FA. The reasons seem to be the fact that Wenger is french and Arsenal is the team with the least amount of English players. This type of bias has also been felt by some of my friends who support Manchester City. But in our case its on a higher level. Its a clear case of racism which unfortunately is felt all around the world in different levels. But in England, its indirectly in full swing.

  • nicky

    Paul C
    I agree entirely with what you say. There is much suspicion but not yet proof that there is “fixing” within the EPL. Until it can be proved (and it will, one day) care must be taken not to fall into the trap of wild accusations which only provide ammunition to our enemies to fire back at us. Meanwhile we can only hang fire until a clear case of wrongdoing arises and then take advantage of it, for the future good of the game.

  • Ham

    @Paul C, in my part of the world, Africa. The incumbent rigs the elections and asks for evidence, which you can only get from the electoral commission which is of course controlled by him. Then if the “loser” (actual winner) wishes he can appeal in the courts with judges appointed by himself. Do you reckon with a similar set at the FA we can get anywhere?? Its plain for all to see there is corruption and rigging in the EPL!!

  • Ham

    Himself the incumbent

  • Gf60

    “Bent” isn’t justified. We won. Had no good goals disallowed; no penalties awarded against us; no red cards.

    “Totally bloody incompetent” I could live with. “Moyes acting like an asshole”, equally.

    Is there an anti Arsenal bias? Almost certainly but I suspect that much of this was due to some injudicious comments made earlier in the season.

  • Paul C.

    Ham – sorry, I must be a simple folk you know, but I do not see corruption and rigging as plain and simple for all to see. Remember that Arsenal had David Dein high up in positions of power for years and he never made any suggestion that there were any dark forces fixing games against Arsenal. And Gazidis has currently gotten himself into most of the PL decision making processes and once again he has not suggested that there are any dark forces within the establishment arrayed against Arsenal.

    Is there media bias against Arsenal? Absolutely.
    Is there extreme xenophobia at times in England? Absolutely.
    Are referees sometimes incompetent and maybe even biased? Without a doubt.
    Is there extreme jealousy that Arsenal can be succesful within a budget where other clubs are completely unable to do so? Yes.

    But you say it is plain for all to see that there is corruption and rigging in the EPL. Please substantiate your claims. What evidence do you have that makes it so plain for all to see that there is corruption and rigging? When you compare it to the documented and proven corruption and rigging that has taken place in some African elections then that is a pretty huge accusation.

  • Yommex

    What all these will do is that it will make ‘them’ go back to their drawing board and devise some more ingenious way of robbing Arsenal without being detected. On a serious note, I think the good side of this is that it is going to be extremely difficult to have this kind of officiating against Arsenal this season again which is some form of good news.
    Have you noticed that when Manchester United play first, their result is about the same with Arsenal’s? When they draw, Arsenal must also draw. That accounts for what we saw at Wigan as the refereee was under the instruction that Arsenal must not win the game since Manchester United played a draw against Birmingham the previous game. Go check it season after season, the pattern remains the same.

  • A Casual Observer

    lol – Tony you are a twisted firestarter! 😉

  • Armin

    Fact that Dogface can predict referee behavior, fact that every year you have hunt on one player, almost in same stage of season may be proofs that things could orchestrated.
    Somehow puzzles fit too good together to be without purpose. I don’t say there is reason to be paranoid, but its obvious “those who make decisions” would rather see someone else on top than Arsenal.

  • IvoryGoonz

    If anyone was to complain it would be Cesc for defamation.
    But luckily our Captain is smarter than some and will keep quiet.
    Dogs who bark like Moyes are nothing but a disturbance and giving them ANY kind of attention is just pooring water to their mill.
    Don’t play the traditional medium’s game, just ignore it.

  • gooner80

    I really think some people delude themselves into thinking that match fixing doesnt take place, that decision goes beyond human error this is a top flight linesman. For god sake if that was a person of another profession such as a doctor they would be sacked for gross negligence most people would be sued or face some reprimand for such a basic error

    some people choose denial as i said earlier we was supposed to drop points the other day.

    the question is how do we get beyond this we cant always score 3 to make sure the official cant mess us up, I feel sickened by the obviousness of the state of the game, all premier league teams are equal but some are more equal than others

  • nicky

    Yommex
    The last para of your comment is mind-boggling. Surely the trend you claim cannot be true. I’d like to see some stats.

  • Northbanksey

    Cesc should get a public appology from Moyes & face a heafty fine from the FA or Cesc should considder taking legal action against him.
    The mounting problem for Cesc is that “mud sticks” & most people only hear one side, which is normally the negative one.
    “Oh! He’s the guy…. that spat at a manager…insults officials…doesn’t give shirts to other players…is always diving…etc etc”. The problem for Arsenal is that too much of this & a return to Spain in the summer looks even more guaranteed, just to get away from this bullsh1te.(now there’s a conspiracy theory!!)

    Likwise, the linesman & ref should appologise to Arsenal FC & be given instruction as to the rules of the game that they clearly don’t know.

  • IvoryGoonz

    @nothbanksey:
    No nuts no glory, fleeing to Spain is not an option under the circumstances you invoked.
    It would just add another label on Cesc as “no combativeness”.
    Reversed P.
    Let’s win that title shall we?
    Then we’ll be proud of our team who won it against all odds…

  • Northbanksey

    Regardless of a belief (or not) in any conspiracy theories I think we need to be supporting our captain over this…so for those who make it along to Arsenal matches, in the case of decisions like the “ofside” on Tuesday evening, I’m suggesting a new song.
    Sung to the same tune as “you’re not fit to referee” I suggest..
    “How much are you, how much are you, how much are you being paid,referee..how much are you being paid”.

    Come on you Gooners!!!

  • IvoryGoonz

    @northbanksey:
    That lyrics would just attract attention to it.
    And eventually fines to Arsenal FC.
    You’re better off petitioning to get FA to investigate refs’s finances…

  • StoneRoses

    I think the worst foul in the match was Fabregas achilles snapping tackle from behind. The Untold Ref Watch suggested that it should have been a yellow card. A corrupt/bent/biased/bribed ref could well make a case for a red.

    Mason saw the foul, gave a free kick, no card. Flies in the face of some of the above arguments.

  • Wilsheres dad

    or..even better..

    Have they paid you
    have they paid you
    have they paid you, referee
    Have they paid you ,referee

  • ugandan goon

    what a coincidence?
    all the dailies run with the david moyes accusation and take huge lumps out of our captain and not a one breaks rank to discuss the unbelievable decision making or even mentions the ref by name!
    just taking the focus of the debate to pure speculation while the juicy bone of contention lies ignored shows that editors up and down the land have stories that they’ll touch and those they stay well clear of.
    could this be called systematic? i am sure we all know that the quality of journalism has deteriorated slightly in the last few years because newspapers have given up the pretence of impartiality or even investigation, all stories seem to be sponsored by an interest or worse the media feeding off itself!
    whenever corruption raises its ugly head there is a reticence to speak the truth that naturally leads one to wonder how many are included when the inevitable closing of ranks begins, i am not sure the hacks that write this stuff are anywhere near the centres of power but i am certain they know which side their bread is buttered and if they didnt they would know soon enough.
    why people jump down tony’s neck for calling it, god knows but i notice they all agree with him except for the semantics!

  • Davi

    I do think the referees are genuine, but a lot of them are influenced by the media. It’s easier not to give fouls to arsenal sometimes because the media has been going on for years about how arsenal are soft, and if the ref gives the foul, he’s liable to be shouted at by opposing fans or put down by the opposing manager or commentators.
    Similarly david moyes has seen how phil brown’s assistent can just make stuff up without any repercussions, and how managers like pulis and alardyce can say whatever they want about our manager, no matter how personally disrespectful. He was annoyed at losing the game, so thought “why not?”.
    I think the referees are weak and terrible at their jobs, in the main, but I dont think it’s due to match fixing.
    Howard webb is the worst of the worst, but it’s his weakness that is the problem. Not only did he not send off de jong in the world cup final, he did NOTHING about spain’s CONSTANT DIVING. He just buried his head in the sand (and he was somehow PRAISED by the english media). He is clearly biased towards Utd, but I think it’s to do with the fact that if utd win, even if he’s been helping them the whole game, people will say “they would have won anyway”, because we’re all led to believe they’re the best team in the world.
    It was brought up on this site that arsenal have only conceded one goal more than Utd this season, which really shocked me to tell the truth. It goes to show that where Utd are (perhaps rightly) praised for their defensive strength, arsenal are practically ridiculed for their defensive weaknesses. And yet we’re only one goal away from them!
    The problem is media bias, which perhaps does have it’s roots in money (xenophobia sells at the end of the day), and referee weakness. I think it’s a bit far to suggest that they are paid off at this point.

  • “Italian style bias against certain teams”? So does that mean we should start calling the Fergiebastards “Juvenchester United”?

  • Shard

    I agree with stone roses to an extent. Not with the Cesc ‘tackle’ being the worst, but with the general idea that the referee could have caused us much more harm. Could have sent of Van Persie; not called fouls while we were defending corners etc. I still think he was incredibly biased against us of course. I would have thought it was for ManU’s benefit, but Dogface had called it for Everton so I don’t know about that. Overall I think, the goal was totally against us, but the rest was ineptitude, and worryingly, ineptitude which was not massively different from what we see almost every game of ours.

    As regards the being a corrupt league, one thing I am certain about is that ManU are ALWAYS ALWAYS favoured.

    I would say, most of the ‘fixing’ is done very cleverly and the media is most definitely complicit in it. We never even hear of so much that passes of as bad decisions, and even the ones that are noticed are not allowed to remain in public memory for long.

  • critic

    but discussion on THAT goal is still going on between me and walter. Nothing is proven yet.

  • Shard

    2 or 3 years ago, when the title was between ManU and Chelsea, I actually hoped Man would win it rather than Chelsea. It’s cos I absolutely hate chelsea. (though Ancelotti has curbed their evil to an extent) But when I saw a ManU game against Wigan with just 2-3 matches left I wanted Chelsea to win because I could see that its been fixed. The referee was Steve Bennett- a very card happy ref at the best of times but he refused to send of Scholes for a clear tug (a second yellow), denied Wigan 1 or 2 clear penalties, and gave ManU a penalty that wasn’t. On that day, I lost all respect for ManU’s ‘achievements’.

    Why are ManU favoured and who all are involved is another matter. But if it’s Ferguson’s doing, does that qualify as good management? After all, winning is everything, isn’t it?

  • gooner80

    it was almost as if moyes was finding an excuse to distract the world from the ref

    clockenders should take a banner to each game and display it when they are up to their old tricks.

    I agree with some of he comments about they will find more subtle ways to cause Arsenals demise probably a hatchet job two yellow card that are called “slightly harsh”

  • Shard

    All that said, it’s still a bit odd for a center half to go 13 games without committing a single foul and if you dig deeper it gets, well, odder. Last season he was called for 9 total fouls, 7 of which came in Champions League or international play. That means in his last 26 domestic competitions, Rio Ferdinand has been called for just 2 fouls. I don’t know if I’d use the word “smooth” to describe that fact. The word I’m thinking of is, “suspicious.”

    http://www.7amkickoff.com/2010/howard-webb-bad-referee-or-worst-referee-ever/

  • Shard

    The above is a write up in the aftermath of our game against ManU by 7amkickoff. The stats are absolutely astounding. I don’t know what has happened since then but it’s most definitely worth looking into.

  • Flint McCullough

    The list of PL Referees

    Martin Atkinson West Yorkshire
    Stuart Attwell Warwickshire
    Mark Clattenburg Tyne & Wear
    Mike Dean Cheshire
    Phil Dowd Staffordshire
    Chris Foy Merseyside
    Kevin Friend Leicestershire
    Mark Halsey Lancashire
    Mike Jones Cheshire
    Andre Marriner West Midlands
    Lee Mason Lancashire
    Michael Oliver Northumberland
    Lee Probert Wiltshire
    Anthony Taylor Manchester
    Peter Walton Northamptonshire
    Howard Webb South Yorkshire

    16 referees, how many from south of where Tony lives?

    I do find it strange that nearly half of these officials are based in the Lancashire/Merseyside area, SAF & Fat Sam’s territory.

    I don’t follow the conspiracy theory but I do think there is a attitude to the game with a reluctance to accept that the game has moved on physically & technically in recent years with a need for refereeing to move with it.

  • RedGooner

    There are probably 3 scenarios in the EPL regarding referees.

    1) someone like SKY and other media sources who need a story want ManUre to equal liverpools record and influence in everyway they can through the media the referees. You only have to look at every match we play the negativity surrounding our team.
    Last night liverpools new signing scores the winner, Westham get a huge win over blackpool in the relegation race and the fucking sun leads with Cesc shouts in the tunnell “how much did you pay the referee”
    Is that not the media trying to influence referees against us in future games.

    2) The second is that Referees in the EPL are unprofessional meaning the following.
    They can hand out 3 yellow cards at a world cup before sending off players and be rewarded.
    They cant seperate their feelings from who they support and are easily influenced by crowds.
    They arent punished but rewarded like that wanker Reilly who ended the unbeaten run of the invincibles through a rooney dive is now chief of the Reffs.

    3) Betting syndicates or owners or media someone is paying them like in Italy and dont think for one minute that, that might not be the case we are no better looking at the stats in this country than what went on over there.

    There is one thing I do know if we dont get up off our arses and support that team every game like we did against everton with same vocal support and taking no shit ..we will not win a thing.

    We need people like Tony and DogFace and Walter to highlight these issues, we need every available media outlet to do the same. whats going on at present is cheating its wrong but you can take your pick as to why its happening. why doesnt make it right.

  • Shard

    I would think it’s all three working together. Not necessarily in cohorts with each other at all times, but aware of each other and happy enough to share the pie.

  • RedGooner

    Shard you could be right. The joys of been an Arsenal supporter I guess time we stood up and fight back 🙂

  • ugandan goon

    @flint
    say no more!

  • Shard

    Absolutely 🙂 The good part is that the team is doing just that on the pitch. Now is the time all fans just quite the petty arguments and back this team to win everything.

  • gooner80

    @shard

    cant believe those stats on rio

  • Shard

    @gooner80

    I know. It really is shocking. And that’s the sort of thing that just flies under the radar. It just adds more to my gut feeling that the league is… well.. rendered conducive to ManU winning. At what point does one say, this is proof. Because I’m afraid proof can never be found from the outside. Only a proper unbiased investigation can give proof one way or another. Not going to happen anytime soon though.

  • Richard

    @Davi, I had a similar argument with my colleague who supports Man U. He said Arsenal needed a central defender in order to compete and I pointed him to the fact we had conceded one goal more than their perfect defence, he was shocked. Next he said we also needed a keeper, and I asked when last did our keeper concede a goal due to his error. I had to tell him he had that opinion because he watched too much of SKY Sports News. It is clearly evident the effect of the campaign by the analysts and the media. When clubs play Arsenal and think and believe they should actually win. If they don’t it is because of a dive for a missed penalty. In this case because the referee didn’t give Cesc a red card for what he said in the tunnel. Shame. We win Ipswich at Emirates and all Shearer could say on BBC was that Arsenal still needed a Central Defender and defensive Midfielder to be able to challenge for the title. I wonder where he gets his stats from……

  • Paul C.

    I think it is impossible to say that Utd are favored systemically. What is without a doubt is that many referees feel intimidated by Old Trafford, by Fergie, by the “aura” of Manchester Utd. You could even say they are biased towards Utd.

    The thing is, that type of thing is fostered through success. The same things were said about Liverpool in the 80’s, once they had established themselves as the dominant side in the land. It seemed every decision went their way, and they probably did.

    Every dominant team gets the same accusations. In a way, you earn favoritism through success. The more you win, the more referees think the sun shines out your backside, and so the more likely they are to give you the benefit of the doubt with close calls.

    There is a similar thing in baseball with great pitchers (I live in Canada now). They always say the great pitchers get more borderline pitches called their way, and nobody denies it. It is accepted. The better you are, the more likely you are to get a close call in your favour. In a way, that is a natural thing.

    We have to earn those decisions through success. I already think we have gotten more calls our way this season than in previous seasons. The more consistent we are, and the more we are challenging for trophies, the more calls will go our way, especially when it comes to protecting our players from kickings.

  • Shard

    @ Paul C

    I totally see where you’re coming from. That is normal. I’ve seen it happen in the NBA with spurs(***shudders***), Lakers (esp Shaquille) etc. But somehow this goes beyond that. I don’t think it’s just calls going their way. I can’t specify it. But I have followed quite a few sports and this just doesn’t seem to be the same thing. Big, game changing decisions on an average will still be quite even. Oh and in the NBA, there was corruption among the referees too. They came clean about it. Nothing about the FA’s functioning gives me any confidence that they’d be as transparent.

  • Paul C.

    Shard – there very well could be corruption among refs. I wouldnt say that was impossible at all. But we are fanatic about Arsenal, and as such we have very selective memories. We remember every decision that goes against us or in favour of a team like Utd, and forget the decisions that go in our favour or the ones that go against Utd (such as Zigic climbing all over Vidic for B’hams equaliser recently).

    Lee Mason was pathetic on Tuesday. We can all be in agreement on that. I think it would be almost impossible for the PL to ever let him referee at Arsenal again after that fiasco. Is he bent? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe he is just completely and utterly incompetent with a deep personal grudge against Arsenal.

    Are there refs that have a bias towards Utd? Yeah, probably. Utd and Liverpool are the two biggest clubs in the land for people of the age group from which most refs are culled. Surely a few of them DID grow up supporting Utd. That doesnt mean they are corrupt. In fact, human nature would tend to suggest that individuals go out of their way to hide their biases to the other extreme, making sure that no one can accuse them of favoritism.

    The thing is, you just know that Arsenal, City, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and everyone else are watching closely for ANY hint of corruption or collusion towards Utd. As I said earlier, David Dein was the most powerful man in the FA for many years and Ivan Gazidis has gotten himself installed in the EPL framework very quickly. If they felt there was any suspicion of something fishy against Arsenal, or towards Utd, I am sure they would be saying something very loudly behind closed doors. Maybe they are. We will probably never know.

    All I know is that succesful teams ALWAYS get dodgy calls. The more succesful you are, the more dodgy calls you get, and the more everyone remembers, because you are always on TV or in the news. I would imagine teams in the lower divisions feel the same way whenever they play ANY big club, not just Utd.

  • Davi

    Does anyone have the stat for Utd not conceding a goal at old trafford. I don’t know if it’s ongoing, but I think it lasted at least 5 years?

  • gooner80

    What also compounds the situation is this team is so much poorer than any other united team I have seen for a long time. there is so many decisions that go their way, I havent seen a more blatant penalty than the gary neville penalty.

    I wonder how many less points utd would have if we had refs from outside the FA. There has got to be growing emphasis on the best people for the job not because they are english it is against European laws the Fa should employ only the best if they are not from this country then so be it and above all they should be paid enough to avoid any corruption

  • critic

    @paul c
    I can’t imagine myself supporting an arsenal team with 15 men on the pitch. There’s no need for any biasing in favor of arsenal. All we need is fair,consistent and neutral referees, rest can be done by our players.
    If refs r intimidated by utd or liv or ars, as u say, then they should not be refs. What’s the point in asking for respect when u can’t earn it?

  • Shard

    @ Paul C

    I am in complete agreement with the successful teams getting dodgy calls bit. It happens and in many ways it’s a reward for success. But, as I said it, to me, seems more than that. I’m not a conspiracy theorist by nature by the way, and I realise that I am probably more attached emotionally, and hence biased, because it affects Arsenal too. But the calls have been too numerous and too dodgy for years now. It’s not just referees. In fact, I think it’s more likely the higher ups.

    As for the dodgy calls being remembered more, I think it’s the opposite that applies here. I said in my earlier post that the media is complicit in it. We don’t hear about the dodgy calls that ManU get. We are told they showed spirit. They tend to not stick in memory because they just aren’t reported. TV replays don’t show ‘incriminating’ angles. Ronaldo scored an offide goal against Derby in a 1-0 win and the angle that was shown on the replays was from behind the goal. Not where you could see the line. Handballs, or at least what appear handball to me are not even deemed worthy of a replay very often. It got to a point where I was watching a game with my father and I said if they show a replay of any potential ManU offense then it means in this case it didn’t occur. It really did work out that way.

    I know reading this it probably sounds like a rant. But it isn’t that. I really don’t know how else to get it across. And for me, if watching any match can get me to want Chelsea of all teams to win the title then it really must have been something just too wrong to take.

  • Paul C.

    Critic – totally agree with you there. But that is different than saying that refs are corrupt. I think there is no doubt whatsoever that refs get intimidated by Fergie and Utd in general. Many still get intimidated by Anfield and the Liverpool aura even though they’ve done nothing to deserve it in 20 years. Maybe those refs shouldnt be refs at the highest level. But who is to say that the next wave of refs would be any better?

    To an extent it is human nature. Fergie is extremely good at the mind games and twisting things in his favour. He is a master at that. And 76,000 screaming fans definately play on your mind. I want The Emirates to be like that. I want refs to HATE coming to Arsenal because of the pressure the fans exert. As they always used to about the Kop in the 70’s, “they suck the ball into the net with their exortations!!”.

    My point is simply that bias or incompetence is far different from the suggestion that there is corruption or “fixing” of matches.

  • Paul C.

    Shard – if you are talking about media bias, I agree 100%. I dont think there is ANY doubt about that one. The media LOVE Utd.

    But once again that is very different from accusations of systemic corruption or fixing of matches.

  • Shard

    @ Paul C

    At least you do realise that Dein and Gazidis or anyone cannot come out in public and say that there is bias or corruption. Apart from anything else it would be contrary to their clubs’ own interests, as Tony has pointed out some weeks/months ago. And teams watching closely, what else can they do apart from just watch once you discount the option of going public? Once a corruption becomes entrenched in a system, not much can be done to rectify it without a major overhaul.

  • Shard

    And about Lee Mason’s performance, I actually believe it was more incompetence than corruption. Probably a combination of bias and incompetence. A corrupt referee could have done us much more harm.

  • Paul C.

    Great debate guys. Good night and good wishes for 3 more points on Saturday!!!

  • Armin

    I also agree Mason mistake was not something deliberate campaign to keep Arsenal away from trophies, but being silent and accepting it as that nothing happened, same as accepting what happened with Eduardo and Ramsey without asking for punishment could be a part of “media conspiracy”.

    Just remember what happened after game with Celtic and Eduardo “dive”. Toiletoids were writing about it for a month or even more. Does anyone except us talking about Mason mistake? No, hardly can find it anywhere where Arsenal supports doesn’t show up.

  • Paul C.

    Tony – I may have disagreed with your article’s premise, but it got a great debate going. If that was your intention, then kudos to you!!!!

  • Shard

    Paul C

    I would also disagree that Ferguson’s a master at mind games. I think that’s just the spin the media puts on it. If someone else said the exact same words in the exact situation, he’d be said to have lost it. The same way that Moyes isn’t a whinger, but Wenger always whinges.

    Anyway, have a good night. Liked you playing Devil’s advocate there 🙂

  • HighburyJD

    I think he was incompetent and reacted against the abuse he rightfully got from Arse team + fans by giving pretty much everything against us.

  • Shard

    I would perhaps have said just incompetence if Dogface hadn’t called it before the game. Which begs the question, if independent bloggers can analyse something like this why shouldn’t the FA, supposed custodians of the English game, be more vigilant to it.

    Having said that, they will probably increase their vigilance now……..to ensure that blogs cannot get data to carry out any such analysis in the future :p

  • obichibz

    Interesting comments by all and both sides of the argument in a way helps us to love our team more(for tony) while also trying to keep faith with the EPL(paul c n supporters). But I would like to add two things 1) the commentary of saha’s goal (via arsenalist.com) the commentator refers to Everton as ‘US’ and then catching himself, immediately changes tune. Secondly, man-u vs aston villa, the nani penalty claim when dunne barges into him(similar to fabio/raphael on blackpool anyone?), the commentary again goes “it akes a BOLD referee to turn down a penalty claim at old trafford”. Hmm, makes you wonder don’t it? I mean if he,the referee is doing his job, then being bold has nothing to with it! Why does he then say it. Keep up the good work UNTOLD, the name is becoming all the more apt! 🙂

  • gooner80

    What I consider proof is info that Shard shared with us things that are statistically significant that cant just be coincidence of course we would need more conclusive evidence. Refs are not perfect,but it is very easy to blame the refs incompetence that is the get out of jail card if there is match fixing a player can even throw a game ala bruce grobelar and you can say he just had a bad game these things cant be proven. even if we arsenal fans I can watch a neutral match and remain impartial the only damning stat I can think of is the lack of penalties at old trafford. anyone who thinks there is no corruption where large amounts of money is bet every week is blind to the fact that money rules everything and where bets are placed into the millions with many fans being a utd fan people can be bought

    money corrupts so to say there is no corruption is to say there is no bets placed on football the golden rule is dont get caught

  • Wrenny

    Obichibz,
    I heard that “it takes a BOLD referee to turn down a penalty claim at Old Trafford” comment too. A referee NOT giving Man Utd every decision is at OT is met with absolute shock. And to be fair, it is! Because I for one was damn shocked – usually you’d see the ref blow for a penalty before the Man Utd player hits the ground.

  • Marcus

    The PL is bent – I’d agree totally on that.

    What is interesting is David Moyes’ possible reasoning behind his remarks.He broke the tunnel omerta, and he obviously did it to draw attention to something.

    Personally I think he said what he said because he wanted Cesc’s remarks to come out; if not what was meant for evil can still be turned to good.

    Cesc incidentally asked the linesman how much he had been paid. Indeed, an interesting and valid question….

    bravo David Moyes, the custodian of Truth, the light at the end of the tunnel…

  • Johnny Deigh

    Moyes was pissed off because Mason was handing them the match in the first half and Moyes probably felt that Cesc’s complaining had influenced the ref’s performance in the 2nd half. Maybe he was right, Lee Mason was perhaps less biased in the second half.

  • GoonerTerry

    Nice one Tony! Nice debate guys. Makes me sad though that our game has descended to this state but I fear Gooner80 may be right in what he asserts. I can more see the corruption coming through the better syndicates than any organized corruption against the Arsenal…I mean what’s the implication here? Man U and SAF in league with the Refs, the EPL authorities, the Tabloids – all conspiring against the Arsenal? It’s a bit rich…but maybe not impossible…but I believe that United gets the rub of the green most times because of the sentimentality associated with their name…I get it here in Jamaica from people who have never even seen them play; has never been to England and don’t know where OT is! We Gooners have to accept that our name does not illicit the same sort of blind devotion. I doubt if there’s an inequivalent to our AAA at United! Even among our own support we have detractors – so what else can we expect from Joe Public or people within the game itself. But this was a great debate all the same…good night guys!

  • GoonerTerry

    Sorry I meant to say “betting syndicates” above

  • Metalhead

    I think we are doing a huge injustice to someone like Sian Massey by saying this match was rigged. What was so very obviously apparent was the ineptness and incompetency of the referees. Fact is there are a lot of ‘men’ out there who who do not understand the game and are refereeing. Ridiculous!

  • Shard

    @GoonerTerry

    I don’t think the conspiracy is against Arsenal, or against any one team in general. I’m not even sure there is a conspiracy per se. But the mechanisms are geared towards helping ManU win.

    One thing I would like to say is that it’s easy to mix up different forces working at the same time. For instance, does the media dislike Arsenal? Yes. But I don’t think that’s to do with any conspiracy, and is more about xenophobia, and them trying to remain as the ones who tell the public what is the way to go about things. Does that nonsense influence referees? I’m sure it does, and that does not mean corruption. That much I can live with.

    But equally I think, the amount of decisions that go the way of ManU, and the way that the media doesn’t report it, or let it remain in public memory, is slightly more sinister. It’s been happening too long now for it to be coincidence at least in my eyes. Paul C pointed out that succesful teams always get calls their way and that is true. Again, I must say that this seems to go beyond that.

    Of course everyone will say but that isn’t proof. Legal, admissable proof cannot be got at by us. It can only come from a whistleblower. Why don’t representatives of other clubs come out against this? They would be ridiculed (both by people part of the conspiracy and the ones that just want to stick the knife in), it would have the opposite effect because they would now be fair game as regards the officials, and if they are succesful in sowing doubt in some people, all it does is devalue the product that they are part of as well.

    Of course, this will just be called a conspiracy theory, but it just seems logical that an environment in which so much money is involved, is just not likely to be clean.

  • Shard

    Also, I think referees as a rule try to be fair(with some exceptions). I would think it’s more likely that the higher ups exert subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) pressure on them to give certain decisions. Referees are the easy target here because they are in the public eye, but what do we ever hear of the assessors, and who decides the matches they get? As far as I know, its just a committee. No one is ever singled out as having been responsible. Which just makes corruption all the more likely.

  • Shard

    To sum it up (literally)

    Dodgy decisions + selective reporting + lack of transparency and accountability + huge amounts of money = ??????

    If that were the way an African government functioned, you would not ask , “where’s the proof?”.

  • Tasos

    Something is inherently wrong with our game. The conspiracy theory goes far deeper into the echelons of the English game than the match day officials, however incompetent, who are a mere cog in the monstrous machine that the EPL has become.

    The EPL’s popularity throughout the world is undeniable, a money making machine, powerful in the extreme. People worldwide will flock to watch a game which continues to be played in certain style, a robust physical style of yesteryear. England prides itself on the fact our game is still a physical contact sport, unlike the rest of Europe or even the world.

    Its My belief that Arsenal’s recent style of play, a more technical modern European game, doesn’t suit that agenda. There appears to be a fear amongst the top brass within the establishment that if Arsenal are to be successful, if they win the League playing their brand of football then a blueprint will have been laid down that others will follow. The English type game will then be seen as second best and it appears the money men within the game, the people who sell the EPL as a product, fear our game will become more European and less English and must believe this will have an impact on its worldwide popularity and thus sales.

    Arsenal under our visionary manager Arsene Wenger represent a multi cultural brand of football that simply goes against the grain in England.

    Incompetent officials, strange scheduling of the fixture list, biased media campaigns, constant nitpicking of our supposed weaknesses. Xenophobia is very much inherent within these Islands, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are both feared and detested for attempting to modernise the game in England, a failure to adhere to the status qua in many peoples eyes.

    Corruption or fear or both maybe but I believe something is very wrong with our game and I am ashamed to have to say it.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @shard, speaking of media bias, I’m in So. America and watch Premier League matches here on channels that pick up the video feed from the UK and do their own commentary and analysis.

    When Setanta was broadcasting matches two or three years ago along with SKY, I was often able to tell if a match was being broadcast by SKY because Arsenal would have a strong penalty claim and they would show no replays. I’d be screaming at the set, saying that was a penalty, but the replay would never come. Then I’d ask or check to see who was broadcasting the match in the UK and it was always SKY.

  • Shard

    @ Johnny Deigh

    Yes, that tends to happen a lot. Even when the replay is shown the commentators will blatantly lie or make up the rules as they go along. As I said, most of it can be put down to the xenophobia, and the fear of Arsenal that Tasos mentions. However, if there is any conspiracy and the media is involved, SKY most definitely is.

  • Armin

    At todays Stoke – Sunderland game (I just sow) same linesman as in our game with Everton making same mistake and allowing same kind of goal. So you can relax now, Premier League referees aren’t corrupted, they are just incompetent (if thats can comfort you)