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Angelic Albion; sweet home of all that is right in football

Angelic Albion

Don McMahon

As anyone who has been an  official in a Professional competitive league well know, the political and moral decrepitude and turgidity that officiating at a high level entails is astounding.

But then add to that the following:

1)  Top game officials have the potential to clandestinely alter the outcome of any match without much fallout,especially in the EPL. Your excellent research and monitoring of said gentlemen aside, nobody of importance seems to care or even be listening. Officials are the people who have the most power in the Game, where even a 30 goal scorer like RVP cannot influence a game as easily as  any official can.

2)  The PGMOL is the most incestuous,¨self-policing¨ and inbred officiating organism in the British game today. Where else in the civilized world would you find such a sheltered, protected old boys Club outside of Wall street? The ¨benefits¨ that can accrue to the leader of the PGMOL if he or she chooses to take advantage of them, are mind-boggling and so easily hidden under layers of obfuscation, plausible deniability and protected  anonymity that there is little if any risk of being exposed.

3)  The British media consistently spin questionable practices and influence peddling accusations into the diametrically opposite unreality, so much so that we can no longer believe anything they write or perhaps hope to find someone who will actually investigate such aberrations openly and honestly. At least there is still a slim hope that a truly open, courageous web site like UA and Referee Decisions will shine a light on such practices and expose those involved to public scrutiny.

4)  The class structure in Britain (which is very firmly implanted in the social life of every Brit despite denials from those same privileged classes) actively works to protect the privileged few and the rich, regardless of where they hail from (and they are usually one and the same) and to avoid any politically uncomfortable fallout from their shenanigans, perceived or real. In actual fact, in a peculiarly eccentric British quirkiness, such questionable behaviours may get one knighted in Britain.

5)  The historic fact of Britain being the home of the Game renders a certain  ¨untouchable status¨ to these green shores in the minds of those who manipulate and manage Football here.  And certainly this is a cornerstone of many myths about British ¨fair play¨and transparency. This attitude of chauvinistic inviolability and impunity from corruption is both adolescent in its naivete and absolute protective cover for those whose skills in the dark arts of corruption, money laundering and influence-peddling far exceed the will and abilities of those seeking to protect the Game from such aberrants.

6)  The vast amounts of money bandied about from League and Club  sporting activities, legalized and illegal gambling, player and agent transfer fees, the CL and EL pay-offs, merchandising and media contracts, sponsorships and player/management PR appearances,etc. present a fertile ground for corruption, cronyism, nepotism, criminal and unethical profiteering by shadowy creatures infesting our Game.

Criminals can function under the radar, secure in their certainty that the authorities, for all of the above reasons, and out of a false sense of purity, will eagerly avoid and ignore the worsening signs worldwide and even those on home soil.

7)   The partisanship and rather myopic navel-gazing that most supporters of EPL Clubs seem to engage in, leaves little time or interest in pursuing a common agenda against abuses in the Game. Wenger repeatedly raises issues that are dismissed out of hand by his fellow managers, the British media and many fans as being the whining of a filthy Frog foreigner.

All and sundry remain isolated in their self-centered realms and comfortable cocoons, convinced of the sacredness of British Football, despite constant reminders that their daily Game is battered and vulnerable to the very same excesses, abuses, aberrations and illegal activities they decry in the rest of world football.

Great Britain is certainly NOT immune to or immunized from the stain of  such excesses, abuses, aberrations and illegal activities currently plaguing many other nations. This stain is spreading; it is being discovered in the smallest and biggest footballing nations worldwide and has become a major concern to Fifa (they have much to hide), Uefa and particularly the European Union and Interpol, as well as some authorities in Britain itself.

The jingoistic attitude that far too many Brits have about the snow-white nature of British Football has been rocked by the Ranger’s fiasco and far too many club mismanagement and bankruptcies, managerial duplicity and police cover ups to retain its blinkered, rose-coloured glasses for much longer.  Arsene Wenger has,once again, warned those who continue to live in their British Disneyland, that the  looming economic and financial crises in Europe and thus worldwide will fatally impact British Football for a long time to come.

Of course he will be ignored once again, because he is a ¨Gallic Chicken-Little¨ crying ¨Loup…loup¨ (wolf), as all those in the know have unfailingly and incessantly failed to prove!

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13 comments to Angelic Albion; sweet home of all that is right in football

  • Rupert Cook

    “The whining of a filthy frog foreigner” which paper has called him that and if so why hasn’t he sued? And exactly what issues has Wenger pointed out to fellow managers that have been dismissed?

    Corruption in England! Of course there is and in football, well obviously. Naive to think otherwise. Will it change? Unlikely because money attracts criminals. Take the money out of the sport and it’ll get a lot cleaner. But that’ll never happen.

  • marcus

    @Rupert

    Half of Singapore’s banking fraternity were suspended or dismissed overnight, pending investigation. Likewise the Chinese, while they have a system mired in corruption, are not averse to taking a few crims outside and lining them up against a wall.

    A decent legal system with proper penalties has every chance of ensuring a fair and just society at every level. If wealth automatically bred corruption, we might all just as well embrace poverty and destitution.

    ..and there is a lot of implicit Xenophobia in the British Media, they are just careful to dress it up as a salad

  • Rupert Cook

    Wealth attracts corruption. The English banking system is hardly a shining beacon of honesty. Of course not every wealthy person is corrupt. And we don’t need to live in destitution and poverty to avoid corruption. Your average person is hardly going to be involved in high levels of corruption.

  • nicky

    Don,
    Bill Shakespeare got it right, even in those far off days….Perfidious Albion was the name!

  • marcus

    “Perfidious Albion” is attributed to Augustin, Marquis of Ximenez in a 1793 poem.

    @Rupert
    the English banking system is more an example of corrupt practices employed to create wealth, rather than wealth attracting corruption.

  • nicky

    @Marcus,
    Aug must have borrowed it from Bill, who published the term in 1598.

  • Adam

    As always Don, a good read, thankyou.

  • weedonald

    Rupert…..I never said that any paper called him so scathing a name but the media have laughed at his warnings for years, branding them as disingenuous and unrelated to the ¨British¨reality (Mirror) so it comes down to the same thing.
    All one has to do is review his statements to the media,fans and fellow managers about the need for Financial controls, better officiating management, evening the playing field for less fortunate clubs, the current and past European financial crises, the involvement of criminal elements in football worldwide and so on.
    Corruption will be reduced when transparency and accountability are enforced by the governing authorities, hopwever when they are corrupt as well, then it becomes the politicians demesne, and since they tend to be easily corrupted as well, it all comes back to us as fans and supporters.
    I know that it was originally Perfidious Albion but I took some poetic license and adapted it for this article.

  • John

    Tony

    Could one of untold writers look at writing a article regarding how the previous shareholders sold out at top dollar making a mint on the deal after saddling the club with a debt that shoud have been finance with some capital injection by the shareholders at the time.

    We once stood neck and neck with Utd if not above they have grow year on year thanks to continually investment in the team and an outstanding commerical team which is second to none at bringing in revenue streams.

    My basic point is this handcuffs on Wenger should not have been there or at least not so tight I believe Dein was agnist the staduim move for this reason alone.

    If I own a asset (shares) and the company needs to invested in an income generating unit like the new staduim then the shareholders should have been asked to contribute especially when it automactically increases the value of their shareholding.

    To burden the club with this debt which has strangled the team dear I say if we were in a position to actual challenge for the title instead od hoping for 4th spot would Van Persie have left the club who knows????. The shrareholders then sold out making a forunate.

    You might say this is business and every investor has a right to make money especially when they dont take dividends. I agree accept when it comes to football clubs were most owners put money in again and again I cant think of any shareholders that made the moeny the previous Arsenal shareholders did.

    We have been had by greedy money men make no bones about it.

    Thanks

    John

  • bob

    Don,
    A great primer on the state of footballing in the septic aisle (aka perfidious albion 🙂 It is a green and pleasant land still in the hearts and minds but not outside on the pitches of the stadia, nor, of course, at the hives of riley (undergoing colony collapse at the hands of $tringpuller$). The specifics are bound to be filled in by the week, from weakness to weakness (as ye old cliche reverses it).

  • bob

    “Your average person is hardly going to be involved in high levels of corruption.”
    Rupert,
    Did you really write this? So insightful this leap of the imagination.

  • bob

    “If I own a asset (shares) and the company needs to invested in an income generating unit like the new staduim then the shareholders should have been asked to contribute especially when it automatically increases the value of their shareholding. To burden the club with this debt which has strangled the team dear I say if we were in a position to actual challenge for the title instead od hoping for 4th spot would Van Persie have left the club who knows????. The shrareholders then sold out making a forunate.”
    Mandy Dodd,
    To my eyes and ears, John’s analysis has substance. As I wasn’t yet following the side and as I’ve valued your views, I ask if you would credit John’s analysis or not?

  • bob

    Don/weedonald,
    Let’s not forget this from the Bard’s King John: “So foul a sky clears not without a storm.” (I’d bet the farm that Arsene knows this passage.)