By Walter Broeckx
Now I must admit that my Spanish/Catalan is not that great so would appreciate it if somebody could translate this interview that was made by the Spanish TV channel La Sexta where Mr. Alfons Godall former vice-president of Barcelona talked about a few things. The video should be available over here:
Unless Barcelona has been able to block this one by now because it seems that they have tried to get get them off line.
I have been trying to find something in the “serious” media but well it does look as if the word is : shut up about it. If you type in “barcagate” you get not that many hits from the “serious” media. And if you type Godall you get nothing about Barcelona almost and if you type Alfons Godall you can only find links to well not really serious media.
But I did find a link to a German side that reported about the interview. And as I hope that they are a bit unbiased I will try to stick to what they wrote and translate it from German to English as this is something I can do without any problem.
So the point is that the former leaders of Barcelona are attacking the current leaders and are criticizing them because in their opinion the Barcelona of their reign (Laporta reign) was better and more successful than nowadays. And if you look at La Liga they could be right (13 points behind the leaders as we publish this). But apparently Godall in his eager to show how clever Laporta et al were he has said something that well is rather surprising. Well for some but for many of us here on Untold it is not that surprising.
So Godall said: We have had a good ten years behind us when it comes to relations with the Spanish FA where things are cooked in the referee committee. Laporta has worked intensively and with intent on the connections with the institutes and also with Uefa and Fifa and this has been a great help.
When the reporter then asked : “Could this now mean that it could work against Barcelona for example when it comes down to referee decisions?” the answer from Godall was: “Without any doubt”.
Now let me spell this out, and still I can only work with the translation in German I found from this interview, this is in fact saying that Barcelona under Laporta has worked hard to improve the relations with not just the Spanish Liga and their refs (I couldn’t be bothered about that ) but also with Uefa (Champions League) and Fifa (presumably on the issue of who was selected for internationals, on the World cup for teams and so on…)
As you know we have been talking about calciopoli as it happened in Italy. The system where some clubs used their influence to get their preferred refs for their own games and to get other refs for their rivals. Refs from which they knew would not be as favourable for those teams – all rewarded by occasional loans of the city mansion, or the villa by the lakes.
But this goes further: this former vice president is talking about getting decisions in the games in Barca’s favour. This is going one step further then calciopoli. In fact this is almost literally admitting that they have made contact with the authorities in order to get the decisions on the field from the refs. And now they are not (witness for example Gerard Pique’s dismissal last weekend against Sporting Gijon.
And if you then think back at the Chelsea-Barcelona game. The one where the ref refused to give penalties for Chelsea. Yes some of them were dives so he was correct, but some of his decisions were outrageous. We can also think about the Busacca-moment last year where the ref send off RVP when we looked to go further over the two games.
So maybe our friend Mr. Alfons Godall, in his hurry to be critical for the new Barcelona presidency, has said a bit too much. And apparently the current board is not doing enough to (why don’t we say it like it is) buy referees.
I know some people have been critical of our stance that there is something rotten in the football world. Some people have said : give us evidence give us proof. And as we have provided a range of evidence in numerous articles on the Corruption site.
Also we can see that referees are not doing very well in terms of getting things right, and we can see that the actions of the association that handles referee affairs are, well, strange. But that’s not enough for everyone. So now we have a public confession from some one who was in the Barcelona board. Is this good enough evidence? Is this enough proof? Undoubtedly from the complete disbelievers no, but when you put it with all the other evidence, then things do add up.
So next time we over here say that we think there is something rotten you could think of this slip of the tongue of the former Barcelona vice president. It is clear there is something rotten and it is clear that is helps to be rotten. He admitted it himself that it has helped them in the past.
So is it any coincidence that from this season on Barcelona are having more problems in La Liga and are way behind Real Madrid? If even Barcelona the best team in the world cannot fight against refs all the time how can we expect us to overcome the refs all the time? Now I don’t watch Spanish football any more but I have heard that when looking back at the ref decisions (and in fact the wrong ref decisions) they are saying that Barcelona has lost more than 10 points from bad calls this season.
So it does have a big influence if you are in the system and have your friends in the system or not.
Looking at things it does look that Barcelona has lost their grip in Spanish football and have they lost their grip on European football? Have they lost their grip yet on Busacca?
And if we then think about the fact that Wenger and Platini have a long tradition of fighting each other with words you just have to wonder where the terrible decision making in Arsenal games comes from? Is it because of the top man are not on your side? They are on Barcelona’s side? (According to Godall they certainly were). And looking at the evidence they sure got the benefit in some strange decisions.
And it is crystal clear that despite Arsenal being the only club that is really in favour of the FFP rules, we surely are not the favourite of the big guns like Platini and the big referee guns like Busacca.
And as if this wasn’t enough I finally want to talk about the most scary part of it all. The deafening silence of the serious media in all this. Where are Sky? Where is The Sun, The Mail, The God Knows What Other Paper or TV Station? How come they do as if nothing has been said? How come that they pretend nothing is wrong?
So more and more we get the impression that there is not just something wrong with the referees and the top of Uefa and football federations. No there seems to be some kind of Omertà going on. The media is not willing to lift the lid of this possible corruption. They prefer to ignore it almost completely. So the code of silence is not just in football circles like I have said it before. No from now on we can also say that the media is also on the side of those who like to keep the silence and protect their paymasters. And as disgusting as the buying of refs is, it is also disgusting that when one person breaks the code the media comes to help them and keeps the Omertà intact.
Another reason once more for people like us over here to highlight such things. And we will not follow the code of silence, you can be sure about that.
How much influence can referee decisions have on matches?