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Are Barcelona and Fifa involved in corrupt practice within football?

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Are Barcelona and Fifa involved in corrupt practice within football?

By: Anne

The title of this article has a question mark at the end, and that should be noted.  It is (self-evidently) published on a blog, that is run by half a dozen football enthusiasts.  We don’t have investigative journalists and reporters across the world digging through dustbins, intercepting phone calls, and doing all the things that those of us in Britain associate with parts of our national press.

In short it is important to realise where the information comes from – it comes from the sources that we cite through the article via the links.  We are not saying that anyone is involved in anything underhand – what we are doing is saying this is what is being said elsewhere, and is available in print around the world.

We can’t investigate because we don’t have the resources – but it would be nice if someone somewhere would say either, “yes there is a case to answer” or “no, you are wrong, and you are wrong because….”  Answering the legitimate concerns of football fans is surely what referee associations, national associations, and international associations should be doing.

So we hope that as a result of this article, which we stress merely repeats what has been said elsewhere, will help us all understand what is going on.  As football fans who pay our hard earned cash to go to matches and subscribe to TV channels that show games, we do have a right to know if anything underhand has gone on.

We would like someone to answer these points.

Thus, to begin…

This month, scandal-plagued FIFA Executive Committee member Ricardo Teixeira finally resigned his post with FIFA and stepped down, having come under increasing pressure over a string of corruption and money laundering scandals going back over a decade. According to some reports it ended thus…

“the crippling blow that caused Mr Teixeira’s resignation, involved his 11 year-old daughter and a strange deposit of more than £1m which was put into her account by the president of FC Barcelona Sandro Rosell…”

This allegation (which is particularly significant due to the timing of the alleged payment), has been widely shunned by the English media, and ironically has only been reported in an article by Antony Katrinakis of the Sun.

However, this new piece of information, if accurate, proves to make quite an interesting addition to the timeline of events involving Arsenal, Barcelona, the 2011 Champions League, and Swiss referee Massimo Busacca.

It would then run like this…

8 March, 2011:

Barcelona eliminates Arsenal from the Champions League due to the controversial sending off of Robin Van Persie by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca

28 May, 2011:

Barcelona defeats Manchester United to win the UEFA Champions League.

June, 2011:  (according to Brazilian news reports)

Barcelona President Sandro Rosell pays £1.4m to a bank account in the name of FIFA Executive Committee member Ricardo Teixeira’s 11 year old daughter, Antonio Wigand Teixeira. The source of the money and the reason for the payment is not known.

13 July, 2011:

It is announced that Massimo Busacca, the Swiss official who wrongly sent off Robin van Persie during Arsenal’s 2nd leg CL defeat against Barcelona, has been appointed as FIFA’s head of referees. According to FIFA President Sepp Blatter:

“Massimo Busacca’s experience will prove to be particularly useful to our mission and to our efforts to continue the groundwork we have put in place with the confederations and member associations in this particularly important area.”

So, the plot thickens, not least because Fifa is not explaining why a ref who made such a bizarre decision, is promoted.  Do we, as fans, not deserve to know?

In light of the emergence of this new and critical allegation, why don’t we take a closer look at some of FIFA’s “confederations and member associations,” and particularly how Barcelona’s Sandro Rosell might fit into this larger FIFA “family”?

Personally, I like this take from an article published on the “leaders in football” website:

“Funny word: Family.

Of course there is the Mafia connotation but, in football terms, when Sepp Blatter talks about ‘family’ the FIFA President means all those involved in the world game, in every country, in every continent. Players, officials and fans; even fans of the armchair variety.

Then there is another sort of family: the Brazilian football family. That means the Havelange family. Or rather, the Teixeira family.

Joao Havelange is now 95…he became president of the Brazilian sports confederation, then president of FIFA for 24 years and a member of the International Olympic Committee until last December (when he quit over the ISL scandal).

Havelange had one child, a daughter, Lucia. She married a rising share dealer and sports administrator, Ricardo Teixeira. In due course Teixeira – hardly through coincidence – rose to become President of the Brazilian Football Confederation and a member of the FIFA Executive Committee….

Along the way Teixeira and Lucia separated. His second partner, 30 years his junior, is Ana Carolina Wigand. They have an 11-year-old daughter, Antonia.

Last summer, according to the Folha newspaper of Sao Paulo, Antonia allegedly received a bank transfer of more than $1m [from Barcelona President Sandro Rosell, according to other sources cited above]. The source of the money and the reason for the payment is not known.

What is known is that Sandro Rosell and Teixeira were close friends and business associates at the turn of millennium. Rosell was a witness to Teixeira’s second wedding [and is also an alleged business partner of Teixeira’s wife]…

Keeping it in the family, Teixeira has a brother, Guilherme. He was investigated and interviewed, as was Teixeira, over allegations of money-laundering illicit payments from ISL, the former marketing partner of FIFA. That investigation, it appears, is going nowhere. After all, there is no potentially incriminating evidence: the ISL court papers remain closed

Teixeira also has an uncle, Marco Antonio. For the best part of 20 years he was Secretary General of the Brazilian federation and one of Teixeira’s closest aides. Then, two weeks ago, Teixeira sacked him. The pain of the lay-off was doubtless cushioned by a reported $900,000 pay-off from the CBF coffers.”

From here, let’s take a closer look at the specific allegations that have emerged in the media surrounding the reported business dealings between Mr. Teixeira and Mr. Rosell.

According to allegations in an article by keirradnedge.com:

Teixeira and Rosell have both been named this week with reference to allegations of fraud concerning a friendly match between Brazil and Portugal in Brasilia in November 2008. The Folha newspaper of Sao Paulo has claimed serious over-charging to the regional governor who had, in effect, underwritten the costs of the game which added up eventually to around £3.3m.

VSV, A subsidiary of the Ailanto marketing company which organised the match, had its business registered at the address of a farm owned by Teixeria some 50 miles outside Rio de Janeiro. Business was conducted on its behalf by Vanessa Precht, then an aide of Rosell.”

In a separate article, the Economist (hardly a scandal-mongering weekly)  claims to have a copy of one of the actual contracts linked to this deal, which:

“dated March 2009 commits Vanessa Precht, a Brazilian who formerly worked at Barcelona FC and who was Mr Rosell’s partner in Ailanto, to leasing a farm in the state of Rio de Janeiro from Mr Teixeira for 10,000 reais a month for five years…

Two Brazilian congressmen have called for an investigation to establish whether the deal was a way for Ms Precht to return to Mr Teixeira some of the money Ailanto earned from the Brazil-Portugal friendly.”

These allegations that are reported to have been made by the Brazilian congressmen are highly significant. And the reason for that is because, if the allegations are correct, (and of course we don’t know if this is true or not) and this deal was, in fact, a means for Mr. Rosell, through Ailanto, to return excessive public funds paid for the Brazil-Portugal friendly to Mr. Teixeira, this would constitute money laundering by both Mr. Rosell and Mr. Teixeira.

Returning to the article by keirradnedge.com:

“The latest questions over Teixeira’s affairs and credibility have been raised by a long-time critic, the  investigative sports  journalist Juca Kfouri. He has claimed that in June last year Rosell made a payment of £1.4m to Teixeira’s daughter, Antonio Wigand Teixeira.

Folha is linking this to a report that Teixeira, last year, made changes to the structure of his main company, RLJ Equity, ‘in an attempt to distance or hide links to the ISL case.’

Simultaneously, lawyers representing Teixeira have applied in a court in Rio to have a stalled investigation into allegations of money-laundering halted permanently.

The investigation, by the fraud squad at the behest of the public prosecutor, concerns allegations over the importation into Brazil of proceeds from a Liechtenstein company linked with the long-bankrupt FIFA marketing partner ISL.”

As continued in a separate article, Sandro Rosell “ was director of the Spanish operation of ISL from 1993 until 1996 when he switched to Nike. In 1999 he moved to Rio as the company’s sports marketing manager in Latin America. His major success was extending and amplifying the company’s $160m, all-embracing sponsorship contract with Teixeira’s CBF.”

This deal was the subject of a congressional inquiry which generated 13 charges but was later dropped.

“Rosell quit Nike and returned to Spain in 2002. He became a vice-president of Barcelona in 2003 then fell out with president Joan Laporta whom he succeeded in 2010.

One specific Brazilian deal about which Rosell may have particular knowledge concerns allegations of money-laundering in the purchase and sale of a Cessna aircraft.

Newspapers in Sao Paulo claim that, between 2007 and 2009, the domestic airline agent TAM proposed to sell a new plane to Teixeira and take a Cessna, purportedly owned by one of his own companies, in part-exchange. TAM was then negotiating a sponsorship with the CBF and it has been alleged that, in fact, it already owned the Cessna.

Investigators say the deal, which also included a significant sale of shares, was negotiated with a network of companies which involved both Teixeira and Rosell as well as a controversial businessman and engineer, Claudio Honigman.

Attempts to find – let alone interview – Honigman have proved fruitless. He fled Brazil in 2010. His house and goods have been seized against an alimony claim by his ex-wife.”

The Economist also claims to have copies of what appear to be contracts from the above deals, which:

“were signed separately in July 2008 by Mr Teixeira and Mr Rosell with Cláudio Honigman, a financier who is a partner of Mr Rosell’s in a different Brazilian sports-marketing company, Brasil 100% Marketing. Mr Honigman undertook to pay each man 22.5m reais to buy back options on 10% of the shares in Alpes Corretora, a São Paulo brokerage, which the contracts state he had previously sold to them…”

In conclusion, the above allegations about Mr Rosell and Mr. Teixeira paint only a partial picture of the true nature of whatever business dealings may or may not have been ongoing between the two men over the last decade.

However, the picture that is nonetheless emerging certainly raises a lot of questions about FC Barcelona’s possible influence with FIFA and other European footballing bodies, as well as the moral and legal basis for any such influence.

It also raises questions about to what extent Arsenal may have been forced to pay the price….

————————————————————————

Supporting Arsenal from Kosovo: how overseas supporters choose their club

Next season’s upgrades: Who will come back from loan and play for us?

The view from the travelling supporters in a home game

The tactical review

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On the Arsenal History site: the Bertie Mee decade

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

The trophies, ballroom dancing, left hook and OBE

The First Double: a series of five quizzes to test your knowledge on 1971

 

136 comments to Are Barcelona and Fifa involved in corrupt practice within football?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Again one of those shake the world articles on Untold. I think we only see the tip of the gigantic iceberg of corruption in football.
    Thanks Anne, once again for a great article

  • 1 p1ssed off gooner

    I said the game (Barca away last season) was fixed at the time.
    It was blatant – 1st half both Alves and Busquets (I believe, it may have been Abidal) had their hands around RVP and Nasri’s throats (in hindsight Nasri probably had it coming 😉 )
    and nothing was given, nada.

    2nd hald RVP kicks the ball at goal less than a 2nd after the bent ref blows his whistle and he gets a 2nd yellow card.

    It was scientifically proven to be impossible for a human being to react in the time frame.

    We were ahead at the time, Barca’s attacks were labouring and Arsenal actually looked really comfortable defending for a change and bang, as quick as that they get RVP sent off to give them a hand.

    Freakin bent club that can rot in hell

  • 1 p1ssed off gooner

    2nd = the word ‘second’ as in time.
    *very tired*

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Glad you liked the article.

    Actually, based on feedback from one of my favorite people in the entire world (who I won’t reference here by name), I’m thinking that I should have been a bit more specific about what I think is actually going on here.

    So, please, if you have questions, don’t hold back 🙂

  • Danilo Simões Cunha

    Hi, I’m from Brazil and is well known here that Sandro Rosell, his secretary and Ricardo Teixeira are deeply involved in corruption. But corruption is also at the core of our government, so there is no interest in finding evidence to prove it.
    Even our judicial system shows signs of corruption. Our hope is that other countries would be interested in punishing these corrupt, and it would help to dissolve the web of corruption that is dominating the Brazilian State.

    If you want to investigate, try contact with this journalist: http://espn.estadao.com.br/luciodecastro

    Ps.: Sorry for the english, I can read but cannot write properly.

    Sincerely,
    Danilo Simões Cunha

  • Anne

    @1 p1ssed off gooner:

    I think the important thing to remember is that it wasn’t Barca alone that was responsible for this. So, while you’re absolutely correct that Barca is a “bent club that can rot in hell,” it’s important to remember that a “bent club” can accomplish only so much without the assistance of a “bent system.”

    But the upside from our perspective is that most “bent” organizations generally tend to prefer to operate in secrecy.

  • diablo

    We all know that there is a lot of corruption in football so i am not surprised at this article

  • Byo

    It was obvious to anyone with a brain that Busacca fixed that match at the Nou Camp. But can we ever PROVE it, even though all the evidence that have emerged since point in that direction.
    I remember I was so angry that I wanted Wenger to pull the team off the pitch immediately.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Anne,

    I have said a few times in the past over here in a few articles that there is a culture of refs being rewarded for something.
    From the moment I heard Busacca was promoted to Fifa I knew I was right. But I wasn’t aware of the involvement of Rossel with Fifa. Now I am and the picture is getting clear.

    A FIFA-ref, a few friends at the right places, a bit of money going from one bank account to another, a nice job offer for a ref whose career could only go down from there (he had a shade of doubt on himself in and after that game)….

  • WalterBroeckx

    Danilo,
    I think I am the last person to comment on anyone his English but I think you do fine.
    And thanks for the link.

  • goonerkitt

    Is there a hope in hell that Barcelona will ever face charges as a club. They can change their president at the next election and distance themselves from any ‘wrong doing’
    Barcelona, ‘more than a club’ yep a bunch of cheating, diving, imaginary card waving, player tapping, money laundering, debt accruing, ref buying, hormone injecting etc. They are rotting already, from the inside out.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice work Anne ,hope that these hot revelations do heat up and thaw said iceberg and reveal the dinosaurs within. I just cannot wait !
    Do hope they get their hands on that old fossil,Joao Havelange before he turns to dust .While I was happy to see him go ,I never thought that his misdeeds could be surpassed – how wrong I was .

  • Anne

    @Danilo:

    I can’t read Portuguese, but I’m glad that you responded and I’m glad that you provided the link that you did. Just from trying to do my research on this, I could tell that the Portuguese news sources I was turning up were providing much more information than those that I was able to read.

    I don’t know if I can help you with the corruption of the Brazilian state (really, being from the U.S., I have about as much state corruption as I can handle without having an emotional breakdown), but I think that those of us who care about these things globally can have an impact. And if there’s anything that I can do for you personally, I will.

  • Anne

    @Byo:

    We don’t need to “prove” it, so long as everybody knows it anyway.

  • Rizal

    Bloody Barce, they have collection of world class players and yet there still want to bend the rules in their favour, until bloody rossel testify about the money he owe to 11 year old kid (damn it is hard to beleive how he owe or loan money 1Milliion from a kid 🙂 I beleive that Barce + FiFa are the FACT and they are the mongrel of football no matter how pretty they play on the pitch.

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    I remember your article about Busacca being appointed to FIFA, and I was thinking about it throughout the course of writing this article. When I saw the date when this Barca payment to FIFA was allegedly made, if I hadn’t read your article first, I don’t know if I would have made the exact connection that I did 🙂

  • Anne

    @goonerkitt:

    If Barca is ever to face charges as a club, then we need to create an institutional environment that doesn’t favor such behavior. I have no intention to defend Barca here in any respect whatsoever, but at the same time, it is essential that we realize that Barca was not and is not at the top of the chain.

  • Shard

    Anne,

    I’d just like to say that I have even more respect for you pointing out Barcelona’s role (whatever that was) in this shameful corruption, because of the emotional attachment you must still feel to them. You lived in the city, and you were a Barca fan when you first came on Untold (to apologise for the way we went out). I’m not sure I would be able to say something like this about Arsenal, even if they deserved it. So, yeah.. well done.. what more can i say..

    Oh yeah.. also, note I said ‘WERE a Barca fan’. And now that you’ve seen us play at the Emirates, beating Milan and playing as well as we did, there’s no going back. You’re stuck with the Arsenal and all the ups and downs it brings..Enjoy it 🙂

  • Anne

    @Brickfields:

    Don’t know about the revival of dinosaurs and fossils and all that, but I do know that I have a certain optimistic take on the future prospects of 100 monkeys 🙂

    http://www.wowzone.com/monkey.htm

    Glad you enjoyed the article, and don’t overlook the skeptical counterpoints at the end of my link.

  • hazvinei

    What of Fabreags’s backheel, could it be that he was also involved?

  • Maverick Gooner

    RvP’s sending off seemed very strange at the time, like the ref was itching to do it. However, as Arsenal fans we were bound to take a jaundiced view of the incident.

    Your research though, points to something altogether more sinister. And when you think about it, there are some bizarre refereeing decisions in most European leagues from time to time. The governing bodies back their referees blindly, and any suggestion of impropriety from managers or players is dealt with immediately with an iron hand, usually with heavy fines and suspensions.

    Hope your article prompts someone to open Pandora’s box – and if there’s nothing inside, so be it.

    By the way, yesterday in a league match in England during injury time, there was what looked like a clear penalty which was denied to the visiting team. Make of that what you will! 🙂

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    I don’t even know what to say to that… I really don’t.

    Certainly, I can’t be a fan of Barcelona when they engage in behavior the like of which I just documented above. You will never again hear me describe myself as a Barcelona fan.

    But at the same time, even if I was a Barcelona fan, what would I do differently? What good would it do for Barcelona if I were cover up and condone this level of corruption?

  • Alex

    Anne
    Great article.
    The understanding that something is going on is increasing by the day.However to prove it is going to be very difficult as government entity are involved in all this.

    Just look at yesterday match at the oldtrafford a blaten penality is ignored and nothing is done.Simply to me the outcome is prefixed.

    Congratulation to man u for your corrupt title as i dont see man city will make it.

  • Dave

    You can take Barcelona out of that article and insert Rangers and you have the same problem in Scotland. Rangers are acorrupt to the core club in bed with the SFA and the iceberg is beginning to show more than just the tip
    Be patient and dont stop digging. I am a Barca fan and I will say this without reservation. RVP should have never been booked that was a farce and if your investigation proves what you think then congrats we regular fans all know that the Beautiful game is anything but with A***H***S Like Blatter wrecking the game with corruption and theivery.

  • Anne

    @Rizal:

    While I’m not sure I agree with your “mongrel” comment, whatever you might have meant by it, I do agree that whatever is going on between Barca and FIFA is “dirty, dirty,” as we would say here in the South

  • Anne

    @Alex:

    As I said above, there’s no need to “prove” it, just so long as everybody knows it. Don’t get discouraged.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The old idiom when there is money involved, there is corruption is still standing…

  • Oyekanmi henry

    In 2009 I remember chelsea play at semi final champion’s league with bercelona the 2nd leg was nothing but day light robbery anchored by ofrebor till today nothing was done about it . Sure there is corruption in football.Corruption is at the highest level . Fifa and barcelona are absolute corrupt but it is just a little revelation of happening in football world. So the articule is not a suprising one

  • gunnersaurus

    another great article from untold, it is only matter of time until the corruption is exposed, i hope barca get dragged through the mud. on a side note i have noticed that almost all the clips of the rvp sending off hav been pulled from the net.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Alex (and Anne)
    it is part of a process. Like with the ref reviews

    At first people don’t want to know about it and brush it away. Then people point at a few things and the doubting process starts. And then more things look strange. And more and more and more.

    And then at a certain point you say: this can’t be coincidence. There must be something behind it.

    And what happens then is something for another article I wrote and will be published later on Untold. 😉 If Tony publishes it of course. LOL

  • RedGooner

    Anne, I am still NOT sure why you had the question mark at the end of your opening sentence.:)
    The problem is amazing in the sense that there is a big f-king elephant in the room and everyone is ignoring it therefore it doesnt exist.

    When you get to levels of corruption that you are speaking of here, I dont think anything will ever come of it.
    Fifa a charity with diplomatic immunity everywhere they hold a tournament ? seriously if goverments dont give a flying f-ck about what they do what chance have we of making a difference.

  • Anne

    @hazvinei:

    What do you think about the Cesc back heel? It’s difficult for me to come to a conclusion, really..

  • Ruaridh

    quite incredible,

    the only bigger component that runs through Fifa/Uefa than corruption is an even larger amount of money used to create an all powerful Public Relations department.

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Ok, just checked, and this latest article that you speak of is still not up. You have me very interested though 🙂

  • Anne

    @Oyekanmi henry:

    The one thing I’ll ask about those Barca/Chelsea fixtures would be whether Mourinho is any better? Is this just Barca? Or is it FIFA first and foremost?

  • bob

    Anne, Walter,
    Anne, major Kudos for a massively important stirring of this toxic swill.

    At the time of Bussacca’s elevation to chief of FIFA refdumb, would you or anyone be able to name any (1-5-10) more worthy referee(s) (UEFA or FIFA) who on the basis of merit should have been appointed to the top of that heap? If we can collectively come up with a list of worthies who should have been so appointed, it adds another compelling talking point in the mounting present-day circumstantial evidence against Bussacca’s disgraceful and arguably corrupt(ed) sending off of RVP in that illegitimate victory by the Tappers of Barca.

    If there is enough such evidence brought together, they will point to the non-coincidental appointment of Bussacca and then point the finger at those who appointed him after such a performance. Fans worldwide will take note if this case is kept alive. And perhaps someone with power and courage on Spanish soil or in the EU parliament will find evidence enough and backing enough to mount an investigation.

  • Anne

    Wait, let me rephrase that… What I mean to say is that, in any set of circumstances, you should evaluate all possibilities, and never limit yourself to the “ad hominem”

  • bob

    p.s. Also, is there a way to monetize via an educated guesstimate how much in financial terms is the worth of winning the Champions League? Is there a range and wouldn’t Barca – a team of its stature and in financial straits NEED to do anything to bring home the fruits of a CL victory? I understand the prestige that accrues to that victory. I’m talking about financial Return on Investment at a time of major financial need to win it all. Anyone?

  • goonershaker

    Corruption is everywhere… why do you have to look as far as Barca? Man U has the entire system and all english managers and referees helping it win the title year after year… the match against Fulham yesterday is a case in point… All results are influenced to ensure that Man U gets the best possible result… despite having a real mediocre team… with an obnoxious fart as a manager… How else do you explain all those results over the years… isnt the rot obvious? most refs are wetting themselves to get pally with Rooney and co…while, I swear I saw el hadji diouf get a yellow card for scowling at a ref… (he can do no right… that one…)

  • Anne

    @gunnersaurus:

    I myself have noticed that most clips from that match seem to be quite scarce…

  • Mahdain

    wow Anne hats off..a brilliant article
    I really do wonder if and where Tom Henning Ovrebo fits in all of this

  • bob

    Mourinho made some denunciations of his peers last season that went roundly dismissed or greeted with silence in these parts last season. Now he might not be any better; but – and for that very reason – his denunciations – pointed denunciations of corruption – should carry weight and potentially useful information that an open-minded exploration of what’s going on should take into account. As the expression goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • Timmy

    Great article Anne, always earn my respect, never really knew you supported Barcheatlona.

    Looking intently at the way things are going, it looks to me as if corruption has been systemized from the roots to the highest level. From club football, to National football, to continental football, to international football (FIFA). That we may never be able to get to the root of the whole matter. I’m a Nigerian and these are things that characterized the football ‘family’ here.

    However, I am of the school of thought that when football fans decide to look beyond the football pitch and scratch deep into the club they support, they’ll then have to face the great moral question of choosing rather to support a corrupt entity or follow the dictates of conscience by supporting a club that has zero tolerance for the downside of human behaviour.

    Judging from the above paragraph I presume Anne made the better choice. Your humility is exceptional and I can only raise my hat.

    Salute

  • bob

    Ruaridh,
    It makes all their “charitable works” and denunciations of racism – both to the good – essentially a PR smokescreen (as you say), so that this mutual-enrichment society can go on unimpeded – the real business, so to speak. Its weakness is that it needs games to go on and bent games to succeed; but everything that’s been hidden in plain sight can sometimes be seen even by the blind. And their Bussacca Moment is one such blatant symptom of the underlying rot.

  • Anne

    @RedGooner:

    I’m planning to tackle the hopes we have of making a difference in future articles. 🙂

    But seriously. And I mean, seriously. What we have here are essentially all of the football fans in the world against a few slimy, corrupt jerks.

    Really, the only way that we could even possibly lose this battle is if we’re woefully inept and outmaneuvered when it comes to strategy. But I like strategy, personally…

    Their strategy is to make all of us feel intimidated. So, please, do me a favor by not falling for that one 🙂

  • Bluemoon

    Arsenal loss to Barca is fixed because of business . Compare between RVP to Messi ,Xavi to Cesc and Nasri to Inesta which players made good money even if Roon to Messi which players the people prefer to watch. Today, the football is the entertainment business not only the club but money. We should mention it too much and enjoy the game.

  • bob

    Walter, RefReviewers,
    Can you help name any number of referees who on merit should have been named FIFA chief of referees when their body of work is compared to Bussacca’s?

  • bethuel

    the prize my beloved arsenal paid was to be unfairly eliminated from champions league if this story is true,someone has to refund that money(champions league winning prize) to arsenal one way or other.i don’t if one will have any trust dealing with FIFA

  • Mahdain

    im sure Tom Henning Ovrebo rings a bell to most of your ears..he was the master architet of the stamford bridge screwjob to get chelsea out of the cl..one of the most shocking ref performance i have ever seen..he was an utter disgrace

  • Family Enclosure Man

    Always wondered about the ECL Final 2006: the sending-off of Lehmann, Barca’s offside equalizer, linesmen photographed wearing Barca kit…

  • bob

    Well, then: Is the march to the Rednose XX clean as a whistle?
    Back at Old Toilet, here’s what the Guardian writer perfumes as a “slender victory”:

    “Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Manchester United were fortunate not to concede a last-minute penalty as a slender victory over Fulham moved the champions three points clear of Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.

    Wayne Rooney’s 21st league goal of the season returned United to the summit with eight matches remaining but the win was shrouded in controversy when the referee, Michael Oliver, dismissed Fulham penalty appeals in the 89th minute. Danny Murphy, the Fulham substitute who was a scourge of United in his Liverpool days, scoring the decisive goal in three 1-0 victories in four seasons against Ferguson’s team, was tripped by Michael Carrick as he burst into the area only for Oliver to wave play on.”

    An incensed Martin Jol raced on to the pitch in protest at the decision and the Fulham manager later accused Oliver, the youngest man to referee a Premier League game, of not being brave enough to award a crucial penalty at Old Trafford.”

    [Added by bob: ‘Ever magnanimous in victory,…’]
    Ferguson said: “I think Michael has caught his heel. It wasn’t a stonewaller but it could have been a penalty. Maybe he [the referee] was thinking about the one in the first half that we had. Certainly it was a claim, there’s no question about that.”

  • ak47

    great read once again thanx. 100 monkeys link was a nice bonus. and i think im gonna try to realplayer that rvp moment and others before they become extinct.

    its a pity there isnt enough video evidence of significant decisions over the years in a compilation to a song about helping hands.

    kutgw.

  • Arun

    One of the things to keep in mind regarding anything related to corruption happening in today’s world is that ” If you are too big a name to fail then you can’t fail “. It applies to barca in europe, Man U in england (yet another clear penalty not given yesterday) and goldman sachs during the recession.
    No matter how much optimistic I think about corruption in football , I just don’t see it coming to an end in near future especially due to the ‘omerta’ being followed in this regard by the media.

  • Wooby

    Anne, great article. There is no doubt something filthy lurks in the background.

    Another point – a number of “Farca” players play on the Spanish national team; the one that has won Euro ’08 and WC ’10. Coincidence? No way, the style of football both Farca and the Spanish nat team play is attractive to the eyes and easy sell to gain large TV audiences and advertising $s. That’s the real “game” these days, to gain large audiences (TV, Internet) to generate obscene amounts of advertising $s. The sport is merely a vehicle to achieve the end, not the end in itself.

    Is it also coincidental that Wenger has been quoted as saying Farca are the favs to win CL this year? I think he must have read the recent articles detailing the amount of taxes owed by Spanish clubs. Given that RM apparently owes no taxes and Farca owes 48M pounds; put that together with what Anne has unearthed and it is no surprise that Farca will be helped to the CL title and the winner’s share to help pay off the tax debt.

    The whole notion of corruption really really reeks and on a day like this, I am only more proud to be Gooner supporter.

  • Anne

    @Arun:

    You just need to think outside the box in terms of your definition of “failure”

  • Odhis KenyanGunner

    @Hazvinei. Lol… The costly Fabregas backheel was part of the sinister plot? ROTFL. You’ve just made my day. So funny. Anyway, i compare being Arsenal to being a Godly person in the absolutely sinful environment, with all its raw carnality and whatnot. Tough tough life, but ultimately rewarding, not to mention the clear conscience. Little wonder then, that Everybody Hates Wenger; Mr Clean. Mr goody-two-shoes, who cant touch filth with a mile-long stick. Little wonder then, that i love Arsenal.

  • Anne

    @ak47:

    Make sure you don’t miss the back heel. I’d say that clip is most endangered out of all of them.

  • Anne

    @Mahdain:

    I’ll try to get back to you on Ovrebo when I’ve had more time to think about it. Really, I’ve never seen him in a dispute where both sides weren’t corrupt, so I don’t know what to think about him.

  • Arun

    @ Anne
    That quote was mainly associated with the amount of the debt an organisation can take without going bankrupt. I am now highly interested in your ‘outside the box definition of failure’ and can’t wait for your reply.

  • Anne

    @Arun:

    What I meant is that we, the fans, have the final ace in the hole, in the sense that we can always reject the system if it annoys us too much.

    We’re not compelled to buy into it, and if we don’t, that would be the ultimate failure on their part. Their threshold is that they don’t want to screw us over to such an extent that we lose all interest.

    Which, in my opinion, gives us a lot more power than most people realize we have. The same is true in finance, but it’s easier to realize in football.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Bob,
    I’m not saying this because he is a compatriot of mine but a ref like De Bleeckere who has been a Fifa ref till the last minute of his possible career (age limits) and who has done his final game at the emirates. He was close to being the ref of the world cup final last WC but because of Holland being in there he could not do them because he has reffed games in Holland in the league.

    He was not a favourite of the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona lost in the semi finals of the CL against Inter when he was the ref….. So he was not a ref that went on and did the job for the big clubs….

    Oh maybe I now just found out why he didn’t do the finals of the CL of world cup (al be it for Holland this last one)

  • bob

    Family Enclosure Man,
    Could you find a link to that linesman’s photo anywhere? That would be something!

  • bob

    Cheers, Walter. That’s one fine name. If the RefReviewers could nominate others to the list of worthy possible heads of FIFA Refs, that would be a handful to compare Vs. Bussacca; and so, a very strong counter-argument and expose of his totally UN-merited ascension would be at hand.

  • Supasub

    Messi taking HGH from a young age and never looked into.
    He was hardly tiny-Tim on crutches with polio. Everything about barca needs to come out.

  • ak47

    that could never be missed Anne. forever ingrained like the “Busacca moment” and that hand ball by cesc.

  • Ruaridh

    On BBC live sports updates…

    Ryan Giggs is making no apologies for the controversial penalty decision that allowed Manchester United to win 1-0 against Fulham. “I was right behind the referee and I didn’t think it was a penalty – at the time. Looking back on the replay, maybe it could have been. But it happens. We conceded a penalty against Newcastle that wasn’t. They tend to even themselves out during a season.”

    lol, deluded as they come, he may be sharp on the pitch but he’s certainly not sharp in the mind!

  • Arun

    @ Anne
    Thanks for your definition but then Platini himself claimed that unfair results is the one of the main reasons behind the popularity of the game. That was his one of the arguments against video replays. So he was trying to use this disadvantage in his favor. So my question to you is will people realize their power when they are misguided by the bosses of the game.

  • Ruaridh

    the last sentence is the trademark disclaimer for PGMOL corruption!

  • Iggy

    Can you please update your sources and take into account the latest article Published on Daily Newspaper El Mundo : ( http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2012/03/14/barcelona/1331727243.html )on the 14th March where clearly it says that Mr Rosell is Innocent according to Brazilian authorities( Literal translation), so please no more excuses and get focused on the pitch…

    Brazilian government say Rosell is innocent
    El MUNDO has seen documents held by the Club which show the President’s company Ailanto was not involved in Brazilian corruption case

    Fransisco Cabezas/ Barcelona
    The resignation of Ricardo Teixera as President of the Brazilan Football Federation(CBF) and the organising committee of the 2014 World Cup, after the Brazilian press had revealed a number of corruption cases during the last few weeks, should not affect Barça President Sandro Rosell, who has not been cited in any of the cases. That is the conclusion drawn in documents seen by El MUNDO which clear the President’s company Ailanto from any involvement – specifically surrounding the 2008 friendly match between Brazil and Portugal organised by Ailanto, which the Brazilian legal authorities had investigated.

    The Secretaría de Estado de Control y Transparencia of the Distrito Federal (Brasilia), the authority charged with overseeing public expenditure, issued a report on April 4th 2011 which concluded that there had been no irregularities in the payment of nine million reales 3(,8 million Euros) by the government to Ailanto for organising the game. “The Commission believes that no damage was done by the signing of the public contract with Ailanto Marketing, given that regardless of any errors in the form of the contract, it was followed and carried out correctly. The game was held and the amounts due were paid”. The document is signed by the president of the overseeing authority Rodrigo Sabbag Amaral, as well as the two members Pedro Orlando and Ivonildo Braga. Rosell has so far refused to make the report public, alleging that he does not need to defend himself in a power struggle for Brazilian football which does not concern him.
    Teixeira, a close friend of Rosell’s and somebody that Romario this Monday called “ a cancer” had been in conflict with the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff over the chaotic organisation of the next World Cup. According to sources, one of the reasons for their disagreement, apart from the multiple cases of corruption unearthed by the Folha media group – who had themselves lost out in the bidding for the TV rights to the tournament, was Rousseff ‘s desire for 20% of the tickets to be free for Brazilians, something which Teixera had refused, even threatening to take the tournament to the USA by using his power within FIFA.

    Origin lies in 2008 friendly
    The origin of the case lies in 2008 when Sandro Rosell won the rights for the friendly game between Brazil and Portugal. The rights for the Portuguese team were already owned by him through the Bonus Sports Marketing (BSM) company, whilst the Brazilian team’s rights were held by the beer company Brahma. The Brazilian law demanded that the game be organised by a local company and Rosell, who claims to have set up Ailanto months before, won the contract through this company.
    The reports linking Rosell with various illegal payments to Teixera – published amongst others by The Economist – have brought a swift reply from the Barça President and just a few days ago the club asked for a report which cleared Rosell of any connection related to Ailanto, who took 16% of the 3-8 million Euro profits from the event once organisation costs had been covered – that is 608.000 Euros.
    The document which the club have received, dated February 23rd, was from the Caixa Económica Federal, a public financing institution dependent on the Brazilian Tax Ministry. The document reveals that Ailanto, of which Rosell owns 99% with the other 1% held by the procurator Vanessa Precht-, “is in a perfectly regular situation” and rules out any transfers having been made to tax havens abroad.
    .

  • Laundryender

    @Anne
    For the second time in as many weeks i find myself at your feet. Great piece!!

  • nicky

    @ Laundryender,
    Commenting rather late, on another post recently, I sent you a
    piece of history concerning Charlton Athletic. Did you read it? If not and you are still interested, I will repeat it.

  • Richard B

    If Arsenal have been so hard done by on so many occasions it makes one wonder what they get in return for keeping quiet about what they must know.
    Long ago,it is said that, we got ‘unfairly’ promoted from the old Second to the First division in return for not making a fuss about corruption amongst northern clubs (especially Man Utd and Liverpool). Recent shenanigans involving Barcelona may be being ‘repaid’ in other ways. We can only guess how if indeed they are.
    What is certain is that there is nothing to be gained by bringing the whole world of dootball down around our ears other than a brief moment on the moral high ground – assuming, of course, that we deserve that.
    In the meantime – brilliant stuff Anne – maybe David Conn at The Guardian should see it.

  • bob

    “What is certain is that there is nothing to be gained by bringing the whole world of dootball down around our ears other than a brief moment on the moral high ground – assuming, of course, that we deserve that.”
    Richard B,
    Keep tell me lies is your actual credo and mantra? How about football played fairly. Isn’t there something between toxic football and no football? Wow!

  • bob

    Ruaridh,
    “But it happens. We conceded a penalty against Newcastle that wasn’t. They tend to even themselves out during a season.”
    This being Giggs mantra and the disclaimer for PGMOL corruption shows that far from him being dimwitted, he sings from the same hymn book feeling completely protected. This is the psalm of the Rednose XX. Let us now bow down with great respect and genuflect, genuflect, genuflect. (Had enough yet?)

  • Stuart

    Bob,

    I think a gradual process of the football world collapsing could be inevitable and a break away league (or two, one being clean, one being dirty) will form with sponsors withdrawing their support for fear of bad publicity. Remember the Discovery Channel cycling team who lost their sponsorships due to bad publicity or maybe there is more than meets the eye about this story:-

    http://www.imrpublications.com/commentdetails.aspx?nid=37

    Who else do Emirates sponsor?

  • FinnGooner

    Great Article Anne.

    I was almost shocked to see title in Finnish news paper “Referee helps ManU”, I could not believe they would write something like that well maybe writer was Liverpool fan…

  • LRV

    Anne, this is very brilliant. I wish though that something can be done about FIFA and it’s side-kick UEFA. The corruption going on here, there, everywhere is most baffling.

  • rantetta

    Anne.

    Wow! A few days ago I read your previous article and really enjoyed the thoroughness of it all, and the comments… just mind blowing. I cogitated my reply but felt I couldn’t add anything of significance.

    Now, this evening, as I was about to pop out and see, maybe, Bolton v Spurs or Benfica v Chelsea, or whatever other matches were being played, I happened upon this latest piece by yourself. So, no live footy. Do I care? Not a jot.

    This is an amazing article. Thanks. And thanks to those who’ve made comments. I’d forgotten about one of Anne’s 1st posts, where she declared her support for Barca, but Shard’s comment, and Anne’s reply – bring back the memory.

    I’d also forgotten that it was Bob who wrote a few articles, namely, to do with the [Manchester] Guardian. (“Even a broken clock is right twice a day”).

    Who gives a fig ’bout TottyBolton, and I still don’t know (or care) about BenfeekChavski result either! How can I – when I’m reading comments like that from the guy in Brazil? among so many others – whilst dreaming of the corrupter’s/corruptee’s future discomfort, versus the satisfaction of knowing, absolutely, that when Arsenal win something, it’ll be entirely ON MERIT.

    I love Arsenal. Mucho kudos, Untold.

    PS I bet Sunderland v Everton was a cracker, eh? “Feast of football”, I hear you cry.

  • Richard B

    @bob
    What I am suggesting is that if corruption is rife any individual club, knowing what was going on, could react in a variety of different ways.
    1. Keep quiet because they were part of the whole sordid mess.
    2. Gain whatever advantage that they could out of keeping quiet without actually stooping to the same level as those who were in it deeply.
    3. Decide that blowing the whistle would lead to the wholesale dismantling of the edifice of the football industry – during which time there would be a serious reduction, even possibly no, football played. And that would not be providing the service that you exist to provide to your fans and to your staff.

    In serious situations big industry does what is pragmatically best and as a result we, the consumers, are still left with something to get involved with and to spend our money on.
    I, like you, would much rather not be told lies and not to have my loyalties exploited by those telling them. But, like the taxman who has been told lies about a clubs ability to pay its tax bills, most fans would rather see some recognisable semblance of the status quo maintained – in the taxmans case so that he has a chance of collecting revenue in the future. And that is unlikely to be the case if the house of cards is blown down.
    I no more know Arsenals position that I know whether any of the accusations are true. I’m merely speculating what, based on pragmatism, their response might be.

    As has been revealed recently there have been all sorts of malpractices involving the police and journalists which many people have known about for a long long time. The owner of the newspaper in the centre of that situation chose to shut the paper down in order, perhaps, to seek to insulate the rest of his papers (and maybe a wider industry) from potential meltdown. Given that people still want to read newspapers and advertisers still want to advertise in them that might indicate the following of strategy three.

  • Donnyfan1

    Two further considerations-:
    1) corruption may have to be proved but an unacceptable conflict of interest is so obviously apparent here- and does not.
    2) these ‘bodies’ have no monies of their own. Every penny they mess about with has come from a fan or as a result of fans supporting football clubs, stimulating interest in the game and causing business spins off. Football clubs are answerable to fans. So should ALL football associations be- and in paticular– FIFA.

  • bob

    Richard B,
    But if the service to the fans is, in fact, a disservice to the fans (as you seem to acknowledge at the moral level), are you then saying that, in the end, people are demanding the right to be fooled as long as they are being entertained? I think this is what you’re saying – and rather honestly, if a bit obliquely – and hence there’s the gap between our views – one that we need to seriously mind. The question: can there be no tax-paying, enjoyable football to be had except bent football? Imo, how to get there is a question well worth pondering…

  • bob

    Walter, Richard B., All,
    Those are remarkable links. Remarkable.

    The blogster identifies WWFT (Webb, Walton, Foy, Taylor) as the inner core of the Rednose XX. And then surfaces that the Webbmaster SCREAMED at the neophyte young ref at ManUre’s robbery of Fulham last match, presumably influencing the NON-CALL that could have tied the game in extra-time and have had ManUre drop two points to ManShitty.

    Walter, he lays out the results of the matches that WWFT turned in ManUre’s favor. Again, it would be great for the RefReviewers to do a match by match calculus of each of these in order to document – to bear witness – to the percentages of weighted calls/non-calls that are literally PAVING the sacred path to Ascension of Lord Football, soon to be televised for the good of all. (right Richard?)

  • bob

    Stuart, Walter, Tony,
    Re: Your amazing link at 7:59
    That is a MOST interesting story. That Emirates has publicly EMBARRASSED FIFA and publicly threatened to withdraw sponsorship, albeit in a few years time. Of course your “more than meets the eye” question has begged this question: is an animus toward Emirates being played out against AFC on the pitch? Stuart, is this what you’re indirectly raising? Cheers.

  • bob

    Stuart, Tony, Walter:
    The date of that blog on the Emirates/FIFA quasi-fallout is 3/11/2011 – did anything “unexpected” start or continue to happen to us on the pitch just about then which might have harmed us? (cough, cough…) It would be interesting to construct a chronology of last season’s collapses just for idle curiosity, so to speak.

  • Kentetsu

    Anne, as usual great work. And as Shard said, even more credit is due as you arrived at Untold as primarily a Barca supporter, taking the stand for them on many occassion. To have an open mind and rationally look at the facts, ultimately swaying your opinion of Barca says a lot about you as a person. It is an honour to have you here at Untold.

    To say something about the article itself…

    “[Rosell’s] major success was extending and amplifying the company’s $160m, all-embracing sponsorship contract with Teixeira’s CBF.”

    Is spending $160m of the company’s money considered a major success these days?

  • Kentetsu

    The best referee in the past twenty year or so has to be Collina. He is actually still involved in football as consultant to the Italian Football Referees Association, member of the UEFA Referees Committee and head of referees for the Football Federation of Ukraine (source: Wikipedia).

    Collina was actually one of the few referees who stayed in the clear during the Calciopoli scandal. Juventus’ managing director at the time Moggi accused Collina of being too objective.

    So there you have the best ref in the world, but obviously because he was not involved in the Calciopoli he is entirely unsuitable to head the FIFA’s referee association.

    As an alternative, I would have to agree with Walter. De Bleeckere is also an excellent ref.

    It is also interesting to have a look at the site World Referee http://www.worldreferee.com/site/referees.php It seems an unoffical website that rates referees on international matches. Bear in mind though that both Busacca and Webb feature in the top ten, but it’s still worth a look.

  • Paul

    Talking about corruption:
    http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/is-it-impossible-to-get-a-penalty-at-old-trafford-
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1173959/The-10-dodgiest-penalties-awarded-Old-Trafford–surprise-surprise-went-Manchester-Uniteds-way.html
    Barcelona and Manchester United are the current power houses of world football, they attract the most money and therefore certainly the most bias towards them

  • Kentetsu

    To paraphrase from the first article provided by Paul:

    “…the dubious penalty awarded by Mike Riley as they BOUGHT Arsenal’s 49 match winning streak to an end…”

    Just a typo or did United indeed buy Riley off…

  • bob

    Kentetsu,
    “Bear in mind though that both Busacca and Webb feature in the top ten, but it’s still worth a look.” That’s a tough sell, mate. 🙂

  • Stuart

    Bob,

    I can’t think of anything it would relate to in particular but it’s very interesting. I will be trying to investigate as and when I get time.

  • Ruaridh

    Patrick Vieira has just clicked…

    “When United play at home they get some advantage that other teams don’t get,” Vieira told BBC Sport.

    “I think when you go to United, Madrid, Barcelona, or Milan, when the referees referee these kind of games, it’s always difficult to go against these kind of teams.

    “This is the way it is.

    “It’s something the teams who are used to winning get all the time, so we need to win games so we have this advantage in the future.”

  • like Darsei said, being an overseas fan you are not obligated to a support XYX club. I have been an Arsenal fan since 1998. I hail from India, a country obsessed with cricket, where any other games take a backseat. My dad used to be a small-time footballer playing for the armed forces, so naturally football is in my blood.
    In the old pre-cable tv days, World Cup was the only footballing action that could be viewed. In the early days, used to be a big fan of Maradona, being a 10 year old child, I wept when the Argies lost to W Germany in WC 1990. ;( 1998 WC had a big influence in me ending up being a Gooner for Life. The q/f between Holland and Argentina. A chap named Dennis Bergkamp scored a late goal to knock the Argies out. Thats when I started searching about the guy Bergkamp and the club he plays for. And then, it began.
    The ambition in my life is to make my son a professional footballer who will eventually play for the Arsenal.

  • Mandy dodd

    Thanks Anne, another wonderfully researched article on the murky world of the game we all follow. That rvp barca thing, ok we all know what happened in Italy but that was the moment we all knew the highest level of the Cl is bent. Arsenal paid, I believe they will pay for their reaction to it for some time. Look at the first leg of the Milan game. Just wish some journalist would go out and expose this, rather than sitting in comfort having a go at wenger all the time. Surely people as arrogant as FIFA and eufa are not that difficult to catch out?
    If barca are involved in this, it shames a great club.
    Still guess football only really has itself to blame for putting these corrupt nobodies in such a powerful position. But, like all things, one day this will all come tumbling down.

  • Stuart

    Bob,

    Of course, it’s the cash for votes scandal and race remarks by Sepp Blatter (the hand shake saga)! Completely forgot about the first. Emirates are no longer going to sponsor FIFA due to the lack of action taken during the vote rigging and the very blasé attitude to dealing with racism. Coca-Cola have also confirmed they are not renewing the sponsorship and Adidas have commented that they are not happy and don’t condone racist discrimination although have not given any hints as to their position.

  • Anne

    @Iggy:

    First of all, I’m discussing more than just the Ailanto case here. There’s the alleged money transfer to Teixeira’s daughter (which was my main focus), the ISL case, the situation with the Cessna aircraft which also concerns investments and stock shares with Honigman. There’s also the fact that Honigman has disappeared from Brazil, along with the fact that he was partners with Rosell in a separate company…

    There’s a lot more to this than the Ailanto case.

    Secondly, El Mundo Deportivo is a Barcelona mouthpiece and is not to be trusted as an independent news source.

    Thirdly, Rosell has refused to actually release the report that allegedly clears Ailanto of any wrongdoing.

    Fourth, if I’m reading correctly, all that this report is actually alleged to have said is that there is nothing out of order because the contract between the government and Ailanto was carried out correctly. But what if the contract itself was out of order?

    Fifth, while criminal investigative authorities have not charged Rosell, they have not cleared him either. This alleged report was released by a different branch of government.

    To conclude, while I am not saying that Rosell is definitely guilty of anything (he may not be), that particular Mundo Deportivo article does nothing to make me want to revise my article.

    In fact, if you look at the Sun article that I linked to at the outset of the article, you’ll see that I was already aware that Rosell was using this as a defense in the Ailanto case, and that I included a link to it. I didn’t mention it because I honestly didn’t find it to be all that relevant in the larger context of what I was saying.

  • Anne

    @Stuart:

    That’s a very interesting link regarding FIFA and their Emirates sponsorship. I think this something that is worth looking into. Thanks.

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Great links from you as well. footballisfixed.blogspot.com is a great site in general.

  • Anne

    @LRV:

    Thanks for the compliment on the article. As for the corruption that seems to be ongoing everywhere, in my opinion, it’s just what happens when you give too much power to a relatively small number of criminals. And while it might seem like nothing can be done, I believe that raising awareness of it really does make a difference.

  • Anne

    @rantetta:

    Great comment. Thank you.

  • Anne

    @bob:

    I see that you were several steps ahead of me regarding Stuart’s link 🙂 And that we are thinking along similar lines. Worth following up on, as I said.

    By the way, I’ve enjoyed all of your comments here. Just because I can’t necessarily think of anything to add doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate it. Cheers.

  • Anne

    @Kentetsu,

    Thank you for your kind comments and glad that you enjoyed the article. As for your question about whether spending $160 million of the company’s money is a mark of business success… Well, that just depends on how much money the company and/or associated parties got back as a result 🙂

  • Anne

    @Paul:

    Thanks for the link.

    @Kentetsu:

    LOL!

  • Anne

    @Stuart:

    bob said:

    “The date of that blog on the Emirates/FIFA quasi-fallout is 3/11/2011 – did anything “unexpected” start or continue to happen to us on the pitch just about then which might have harmed us? (cough, cough…)”

    Anne’s article said:

    “8 March, 2011:

    Barcelona eliminates Arsenal from the Champions League due to the controversial sending off of Robin Van Persie by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca”

  • Anne

    @Indy_gooner:

    Please be sure to let us know when your son is signed as an Arsenal youth player 🙂 And thank you for commenting.

  • Gord

    @Anne

    You have quite the collection of comments here. Any idea what the record is UA on comments? I suppose DogFace knows, I have no idea.

  • Anne

    @mandy dodd:

    In my opinion, Barca has shamed themselves to an extent that they can no longer be called a “great club.” (can’t go into full details, but it’s about more than this)

    Hopefully, with exposure, we can help weed out some of this corruption that’s destroying the game. Glad you enjoyed the article.

  • Anne

    @Laundryender:

    Thanks 🙂

    And thanks as well to anyone else whose comment I might have overlooked.

  • Anne

    @Richard B:

    Regarding what Arsenal might get in return for keeping quiet… You should also not overlook the potential negative consequences that can come from not keeping quiet.

    In fact, a lot of people who are involved in these types of scandals actually end up committing suicide when they’re publicly exposed.

  • Shard

    Yeah..Suicide..

  • Anne

    @Donnyfan1:

    Excellent point about conflicts of interest.

  • Shard

    Interesting that the BBC puts out an article basically exalting the “force of nature” Joao Havelange.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/timvickery/2012/03/for_better_or_worse_how_havela.html#more

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    EXCELLENT link. I agree that it’s highly interesting that the BBC has chosen this moment (when the Havelange regime is under fire like never before) to publish this particular “exaltation,” as you put it. Also interesting that they casually refer to the corruption allegations without mentioning what the allegations actually are.

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    I’m not sure what the record on UA comments is, but I believe that my “other side of the sun” article (available on Untold Media page) got up to 5 or 6 pages 🙂

  • Anne

    @Arun:

    Whether or not people realize the truth is the one aspect of this that you and I have the power to influence. At this point, the battle lines are drawn, and the victor is undetermined.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I’m really looking forward to the second leg against Milan now. If Milan score first what on earth is going to happen?

  • Shard

    @Woolwich

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Barca won’t win the CL this year. UEFA like to keep their record of no team ever having defended it. Will they go out against Milan? I don’t know. But I suspect they might because it’ll be more difficult to take Barca out against Chelsea or Benfica. Though I have a very sneaky, uncomfortable feeling that Chelsea will win it this year.I hope I’m wrong.

  • Anne

    @Woolwich:

    I think that there are a lot of interesting questions that could potentially be answered depending on how things unfold in this second leg.

    But unfortunately, and to be completely honest, I don’t expect any of them to be answered. I expect Barca to win fairly easily at the Nou Camp, and I don’t expect Milan to score. That’s just what I expect.

    But I’m also very curious as to whether I’m right or wrong in this particular prediction. And really, I would love it if I turn out to be wrong 🙂 So I guess that whatever ultimately happens in the second leg, it will still answer at least some questions.

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    I still think Barca will win… And don’t think it pleasures me none to say it…

    We’ll see.

  • Abdulaziz Alfarhoud

    Great Article, IF i want to think about Barcelona directly i will go to youtube, most of the video are related to cheat ! even they won their last 3 Champions League with Refs & UEFA help !
    Did we forget Milan goal in Semi final when Shivishico Scored & red said Shiva pushed Puyol and on they reply we didn’t see a push from him !
    their 1st goal on the final against Arsenal was offside ” I have the photo if you want” !
    I can say more about Chelsea 5 penalties on 2009 or last year bias calls.
    Arsenal played against Milan and all of us know what was the San Siro pitch and UEFA didn’t complain and after yesterday match guess what? some of them want to sue Milan for the pitch !
    when they won the 6 trophies in a season, guess what they said we can’t buy players ???? where are all the money trophies? one solution they bought all the trophies !!!
    if i want to talk i will not end because the suspicious relation between Barca & UEFA.

    Many thanks for the good article and the new info that i read for first time.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I have to admit that I doubt Milan will get through but if Milan score first or level the tie things will get very interesting. Don’t forget we were level at the Nou Camp before RvP got sent off, we were still going through till the penalty was awarded and a better ball-playing striker than Bendtner would have put us through despite the ref.

  • bob

    Anne,
    About the date 3/11/2011 – I think I forgot that 3/11 is probably November 3rd – that pesky reversal and while your March 8th connection is truly phenomenal, I’ve likely got the date wrong and must say I’m very sorry for not catching this. This said, maybe there’s something special about November 3rd that would bring forth similar (if not as dramatic) results on the pitch? 🙂

  • Stuart

    I’m, glad it’s not just me who got confused by the dates. Thought I was going mad for a second

  • Wooby

    I wonder what UEFA is going to do now that Farca has also complained about the pitch at the San Siro. And if they actually go ahead and fine Milan, what about the injustice owed to us for that crap of a pitch they approved?

    I think it is safe to say that Farca will therefore win at home, say, 3-1, with a bunch of little calls going Farca’s way. The complaint by Farca will then be swept under the carpet and Milan will have no grounds for complaints because they were beaten by two goals.

    @Stuart, the link to the corrupt Chinese ref is brilliant. I know ManUre is huge in China/Hong Kong compared to us so I have always wondered if we would ever get a fair shake given the number of people that would bet on their games. I think Wenger has recognized this and (reluctantly) agreed to pre-season Asian tours to raise our profile.

  • bob

    Wooby, Anne,
    Yes, exactly. Let’s keep our UA/Media Watch on the outcome of Farca’s (trumpets) formal protest: And, if UEFA does reprimand the miscreants for their so-called pitch, then it would be high time for AFC’s legal department to grow a pair and lodge our formal protest (and arguably should have from day one; although I could understand why we didn’t at the time when we still had the home leg and nearly pulled it off!). So let’s keep on this one…

  • Mahdain

    uefa continue to show what a bunch of corrupted twats they are..once again they ban Wenger and this time its going to be for 3 games and a 40000 fine for having the audacity of saying the truth

  • Mahdain

    racists get €3000 fine while wenger fined €40K AND banned for 3 games for daring to be disappointed with their joke of referee…what a joke

  • Stuart

    Hi guys and gals,

    I’ve been doing a bit of snooping around the web and established a few sites by supporters of other premier league teams who are also questioning the level of referee bias.

    I wondered if it might be worth while conducting a bit of networking to try and expand the ref reviews. The ideal scenario being every game gets reviewed.

    http://cc.fulhamfc.com/forum/topics/are-the-premier-league-referees-corrupt-or-merely-incompetant?xg_source=activity

    http://www.thefootballforum.net/index.php?/topic/190729-could-the-referees-actually-be-corrupt/

    Interestingly, Wolves fans also felt hard done by after the Wolves Arsenal game at Christmas?

    http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/boards/read/s115.htm?115,12930638

  • Kenneth

    The ref for the “Farca” as you gunners fans call them or “Uefalona” as I call them is the same guy that sent off two of Porto’s players with the score tied 0-0 in the super cup. The game would end 2-0 Farca, with 12 (11 + the ref Kuipers) vs 9 men.

    In 2006 Terje Hauge Kicked Del Horno out of a game that Chelsea was tied 0-0 & would be leading at one point. In the Final against Arsenal, Jans Lehmann was Red carded by none other than Terjy Hauge. Question: Have you ever seen a KEEPER given a STRAIGHT red in a major game since? I havent, I have seen 1 or 2 double yellows, usually with time wasting, but never a STRAIGHT in a MAJOR game (United/Chelsea, Milan/Munich etc).

    In 2009 Tom Henning Ovrebo gives a Red card to a Lyon player in the round of 16. In what is widely regarded as the flat out worst officiated game in the history of the CL, Farca beat Chelsea due to Tom Ovrebo failing to call one of 4 possible Pks.

    Massimo Bussaca was criticized by Fergie for failing to award Ronaldo a 2nd PK in the Camp NO! in 2008. Bussaca then Refs the Final in 2009 against United (numerous offsides calls). Bussaca then kicks off Van Pers. Bussaca then gets appointed head of referees, for what? the biggest game he ever did was Euro08 Semifinal Turkey/Germany, & the 09 CL final.

    In 2005, 2006 & 2007 Real Madrid failed to make it out of the 1st knock out stage in 3 consecutive years. What most people dont know is that in those 6 games, 3 of the games were officiated by the same guy- Michel.

    UEFA(lona) have no interest in even giving off the appearance that they are keeping the game clean. If they were concerned with that, they would not keep appointing the same refs to the same games to which the outcomes always seem to turn out to be the same.

  • Leandro

    Ricardo Teixeira was a disgrace for brazilian football. I’d say CBF bullies brazilian clubs even harder than UEFA bullies european clubs, and those who disagree or challenge their authority suffer veiled persecution in and off the pitch, while allied clubs receive benefits.

    Latest of all, as reported by aforementioned journalist Juca Kfouri, being Sao Paulo FC losing their stadium’s (70.000 capacity) participation in the world cup (meaning loss of investiments and stadium improvements). A new stadium will be built (with tax payers’ money, no less) for one of Teixeira’s allied clubs instead.

  • I’m a fierce Manchester United supporter and I might out of my element here, but this article is excellent. But before being a football fan or a red devil, I’m a steadfast supporter of a clean and ethical game.

    Also, I’m Brazilian and I’m ashamed that my country is always involved in such corruption scandals and schemes. Unfortunately I think it is embedded in the nature of our people the practice of looking the other way when it’s convenient. As long as our national team is winning, we accept things passively and with a smile.

    I think Brazil’s WC title in 1994 kickstarted the whole “gang party” in Fifa. It also coincides to the period when football became a huge global money making machine, with players sold for millions of dollars and marketing items sold on millions of units. I remember when I was a kid in Rio that if you had, let’s say, an Arsenal or Manchester United kit, your family should be doing very well. Now everything is readily available anywhere and for affordable prices.

    In order to turn football into an ethical game, international courts must investigate the commercial relatioships between men like Blatter, Rosell and Teixeira, and their fraudulent businesses. It should not be in the hands of FIFA to investigate and prosecute: it is an integral part of the corrupted and dirty engine.

    The second bit is having a clean FIFA and UEFA to regulate and find a way to stop football clubs from being huge money making machines. United is the richest club in the world with the biggest debt in the world. Money makes money, but loaned money makes even more money. Unless the scale of the spending sprees and player wages are reduced, football will remain a bright beacon of hope for dirty and corrupted men, eager to leech as much money from the game and us, stupid supporters, as they can.

  • Great comment Bart – good read!

  • WalterBroeckx

    If ever we would need a guest writer from another club to write something Bart is the man. Your comment is really appreciated.

    There is still hope in the world when even some Manchester United supporters can see behind some things in football. Even things which benefits United in a way. I applaud you for that Bart.

    Much of what we do on this site is (of course seen through our Arsenal glasses) but with the motivation of cleaning up the game and to make it fair for all. I could not enjoy an Arsenal win because of the ref helping us blatantly (I really cannot remember it happening but if it would happen I would feel ashamed). In fact I would hate it as much as I hate it now when a ref is not doing his job and we lose the game because of that.

    Once the slogan of Fifa was “Fair Play’ I do hope that one day we will see this in and off the field for all. Be it financial, refs, or whatever influence that can make you win or lose a game. As long as it is within the rules of fair play I can take any defeat.

  • Thanks folks!

    I have been a member of the MUST for the last couple of years and I truly believe we have more United supporters out there trying to see things as they really are. 🙂

    Fans and supporters like us, regardless of club or nation, are the last standing of ethical and fair play versus the cancer of corruption. From my side, I personally take this fight to other stances, also collaborating with NGOs like Transparency International.

    Thus I also believe that we can (and should) argue about games, mock and taunt each other, when the subject is strictly about football (of course, doing it for fun only and with certain boundaries and respect, is possible). When you get politics included and such an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness against the economical forces behind the game, it is a very, very serious matter. And we must unite (no pun intended), regardless of which club we support.

    With an open mind and a clean game, everybody wins. Pretty simple. 🙂

  • Anthony Munyi

    Hey guys,

    Like Bart above I am an ardent United fan, ever since I was 9. I took notice to the strange relationship between Barca and the world’s top footballing bodies (especially UEFA) sometime back.

    Many may say that, particularly because this blog leans toward the Arsenal fanbase, such accusations may be brought up because of bile held towards Barcelona for past losses. I would like to refute this sentiment, because many of these observations have been similarly made by neutral observers of the game.

    I actually published a note on this via Facebook a year ago, to put the ‘coincidences’ as they have happened in crunch Barcelona games, into clear perspective.

    I was particularly outraged by the red card against RVP in the Round of 16 second leg last year, but no more than by the shameful behavior of Tom Henning Ovrebo in the 2009 semi-final. It is also interesting that Barcelona has played subsequent 2nd Leg Semifinal ties at home, and not away.

    @Anne and @AbdulAziz, perhaps you may find this an interesting read as well:

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=10150240585831155