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So match fixing doesn’t exist? Untold Arsenal removes the tin foil hats

By Walter Broeckx

Whenever we publish an article about referees and we tell it as we see it, we get called paranoid.  Or get called other ‘nice names’ by people who put it all down to honest mistakes.

Refs are holier than Jesus Christ, Mohammed the prophet, Buddha, God, the Dalai Lama, and whoever else you can think of put together in one person. They only make honest mistakes some say.

And yes most refs do only make honest mistakes. But not all. I have said it before. A dozen times. But people will ignore this until they see the smoking gun. Or someone confesses to have done something wrong. Surely it doesn’t exist will the believers in the pure soul of the ref say. I know a ref who admitted to me in person that he has taken a brown envelop before a match. It was given to him by the home team because they wanted to win that match and be sure of the promotion.

And when the score was level in the 88th minute this ref confessed that he invented a foul in the penalty area and gave  a penalty. And after it was converted he immediately made a end to the match. This involved a referee doing matches in the national leagues. Not a Sunday morning pub team league.  He took his secret with him in the grave and I am one of the few people whom he told about it in his last years on this planet.

In fact he was the one that spotted my talent for being a referee and as I am grateful for that I will never reveal his name. But in  a way it was an introduction to the referee world that made me aware of what goes on in there and about the things that nobody really knows unless you are on the inside and people talk to you.

In a way it also made me open my eyes and ears when I entered that world, and thanks to that (and to me being very discrete) I heard other things. Believe me that if you would have heard the things I have heard from referees, managers, club directors you would lose faith in fair football totally. Something people might accuse me of in fact when they say that I am writing about referees.  I think I have lost that faith in fact.

But speaking about confessions. What about this confession from the former Zenit Saint Petersburg defender Erik Hagen.  He has claimed that he had paid a referee to fix a Uefa Cup match during his time with the Russian team.

The 38-year old Norwegian footballer said that it was customary to pay for match-fixing and he and his team-mates each paid a referee $3,000 (£1,800) to secure the outcome of a Uefa Cup match between 2005 and 2008. In return he said each of them received a $12,000 bonus (£7,200).

Is Erik Hagen also a lunatic like me? Or is he someone that has something hanging round his neck that he wants to get rid off? Just like my old referee pal, is he bothered by it and wants to clear his soul? Does he want to turn the page on that episode in his life?  Whatever the reason is, this is something that should produce a very big bang in the football world.

He told this to the Norwegian newspaper VG: “I can’t remember which match it was … I asked ‘what’s going on’ and they just said ‘You got to get used to this because that’s how it is.’

“Someone has to be the first to do this,” Hagen added. “There are lots of rumours about corruption in international football.”

Asked whether he had brought the issue to the attention of Uefa he said he would “tell them the same thing if they ring me”.

Now it will be interesting to see if Uefa will call him about this matter. The least they should do is to start an investigation. If they let it go then Uefa has lost all its credibility when it comes to talk about fair play, honesty, respect, blah, blah, blah. If they don’t act then it will be seen as a cover up operation. They must investigate this and dig it out to the bottom.  But will they?

Imagine if it is confirmed by an independent investigation… Surely this will shed a new light to some other strange decisions we have seen happening in the past seasons when Arsenal have taken the field only to find some very strange things happening.

Of course Zenit denies the allegations. What else can they do for the moment? It’s not very likely they will confirm it immediately.

But one has to ask the question why would Hagen reveal this? He is retired so he can speak freely now. He can no longer be the subject of a ban. But by telling this he throws a shadow over himself and his career. It would have been much easier and probably wiser for him to just shut up about it. But by coming out with his story he surely has opened the door.

A door Untold has been banging on for a while. Will Uefa slam the door shut again or will they allow the door to be opened further? Will Uefa show intention to clean up or to cover up?

The words of former football Erik Hagen are no real surprise for me.  After all I have pointed at it many times. Followed by the usual name calling. So what will we do with Erik Hagen? Is he also a tin foil hat carrier? As I have been called? Or maybe just maybe try to imagine that I might have been telling the truth?

Just imagine that Untold was right all that time by telling that there is something suspicious going on….

——-

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31 comments to So match fixing doesn’t exist? Untold Arsenal removes the tin foil hats

  • Untold is a blog on arsenal. Your blog was not about match fixing, but about a conspiracy involving referees against arsenal. This is rubbish.
    Of course there are cases where a referred has taken a bribe or made a decision for a less than honest reason. But a conspiracy against arsenal because they don’t spend oil money? Who is going to believe that other than a deluded arsenal fan?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Luscious Lisa, all this paranoia will disappear when we win the league. The reason we haven’t is down to lack of investment in the squad, something that will apparently change in the coming seasons. To suggest there is a conspiracy against Arsenal because we don’t spend money is a crackpot notion. I liked it better when Walter used the “Mike Riley supports Manu excuse” for our lack of success. That excuse has been ditched because Manu aren’t doing too well anymore.

    I’m waiting to hear what excuse we’ll hear if Liverpool win the league.

  • omgarsenal

    Lascivious Lisa….UA is a blog about Football in general AND AFC in particular. Walter’s point is not fundamentally that AFC are being conspired against, despite some good evidence to support this theory BUT that people who refuse to countenance the possibility that referees in the UK can be bribed as easily as anywhere else, are foolish. You agree that this does happen BUT you neglect the other purpose of this post, which is to repeat UA’s ongoing contention that if ONE match can be fixed to disadvantage a team then that can become a continuous effort to undermine one team, like AFC. Why would that be so difficult to believe, when we see entire leagues corrupted so that (like in Italy and now in Russia)certain teams can win and others will lose? It may be a bridge too far to maintain that it has happened, and Walter admits that there is still no smoking gun, BUT the evidence is starting to grow that something organized is happening.

  • omgarsenal

    Rupert…..are you and Lisa living together?

  • Rupert Cook

    @omgarsenal, no we’re not. If she’s a gorgeous redhead then I’ll help her move in. Might annoy the wife though.

  • Quincy

    Are you familiar with this:
    http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/players-held-over-spot-fixing/news/anzeigen_154926.html

    The title says ‘spot-fixing’, but also talks about rigging matches in the Premier League, and even the World Cup, although most of it is about the Football League.

  • WalterBroeckx

    No Marcus,
    I am serioulsy considering to stop paying for my sports channel over here. I can watch the Arsenal matches on internet streams be them of less quality than on my big TV screen full of high tech. But in a way I really cannot stand the thought of paying for such a fix…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Lisa, would probably say: come along people nothing to see at the Etithad stadium. Move along please. Nothing to see. 😉

    Or: ‘it evens out at the end’ 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 LOL

  • finsbury

    Marcus,
    The message from A.Taylor on the opening day of the season was hard to ignore: ‘the new boss is the same as the old boss’.

    But. If you could walk up the road and watch the likes of Koscielny, Özil and Carzola play football would you be able to resist?
    I blame that Scrooge Vengaaaaaaaaarrrghhhhhh. Signing players? Every year. Year after year. For thirty odd years. Who does he think he is kidding? Remember what the Groaning AAA repeated like some demented mantra last Summer: “He won’t ever sign anyone,”, ignoring of a career full of signing players every Summer. 😉

    With such comedy on top of the Football it can be hard to turn away.

  • Sukebe

    Oh.. Rupert,
    You do have personal issues with walter..

    Oh btw, this is from mirror football:

    http://twitter.com/ogalindo2/status/452427259341598720/photo/1

  • JJ

    Conspiracies have happened before (believe it or not). Just ask Arsene Wenger and Monaco.

    “The tale of Marseille is one of subterfuge and deceit at the highest level of football. In the attempt to make his club French and then European champions, Tapie was not only buying the best talent available, but also regularly buying off opponents. He was handing out so much money to players and managers of rival clubs…” – The Telegraph

    Referees are only human and like all humans, we are sometimes tempted. I have no proof that they have succumbed but if it walks like a duck…

  • Gord

    Has Newcastle decided that they are safe from relegation, so they can afford to lose every remaining game?

  • Tom

    To whom it may concern

    If you think the PL is fixed , please declare kindly who is going to win it this season. Every time Liverpool , Chelsea or Man City get a favorable refereeing decision , some contributor makes a statement ; ” looks like PGMOL wants the so and so to win the league.

    Please ! None of that open ended b.s.

    I predicted Arsenal to win it this year and I was wrong . End of story.

    If the league is fixed , you should be able to pinpoint exactly with six games left who is going to win it

  • Dave C

    Manchester City

  • WalterBroeckx

    Tom,
    As we don’t know who is just behind the fix now we cannot say that.

    But looking at the past we could have a suspicion who was in it in the previous years…

    And with the loss of one important person at the top of the football pyramid others might attempt to fill up that gap. But if certain teams keep getting the same type of decisions it might point at something going on behind the scenes.

    Did you notice how the lowest paid persons on a football field (assistant referees) screw up in City games and usually in favour of City? Coincidence?

  • @marcus@Quincy@sukebe i don’t think Rupert have eyes he uses his ass to see so dont blame that sewer rat as he is always REFERRED too.

  • marcus

    To whom it may concern & Tom,

    The league is in favour of

    MONEY

    Does that answer your question?

    Money wins. That is why if you get your head out of your ass, you will notice that the EPL uses technology from the 19th Century.

  • Yassin

    @Tom,
    Answer is anyone but Arsenal.
    Why? I have no idea, but I know there is something fixed out there, and i can see it every other game.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Tom, it will be City.
    Match fixing exists and is widespread…..but don’t forget, the example here is in corrupt Russia, could never happen here could it…..or so they keep telling,us, no corruption in the UK is there! That is apart from MPs, the press and media, the police, the judiciary, the medical profession, the banks, various watchdogs and regulators, Football authorities covering up their role in tragedies, and god knows what else. As you say, move along, nothing to see.
    Hope there are many more like this footballer, the powers that be may well ignore this, but there will surely be more to come

  • Tom

    Marcus
    I’m only just now responding to your very ‘insightful ‘post because I wasn’t able to get my head out of my ass any sooner and no! ,” MONEY” doesn’t answer my question ,seeing as both Chelsea and Man City have outspent everybody else by a considerable margin.

    Every major European football league uses the same 19th Century technology , genius.

  • Tom

    Walter
    For every wrong off-side decision that went Man City’s way I can give you a dodgy penalty decision that went Chelsea and Liverpool’s way , so unless you are saying that the powers behind the fix haven’t yet decided who the winner should be ,and are for some reason waiting to make that determination , it should by now be perfectly obvious who the favorite fixee(is that a word?)

    Waiting till the end of the campaign gives you an opportunity to justify any conspiracy theory with a plausible explanation . For example:

    If City win it , you could say that the FA and PGMOL were instructed by British government to help City win in exchange for favorable oil drilling contracts or maybe they just did it for fat brown envelopes.

    If Chelsea win , you could say that that the media who control and influence the EPL have put their collective weight behind Mourinho because they like him so much or again maybe just for fat brown envelopes.

    If Liverpool win it , you could say that in the absence of the all time favorite Ferguson , the FA and PGMOL made sure another Britt got the title and not some snooty foreigner , or again big fat brown envelopes.

    You see where I’m going with this ?

  • Tom

    Mandy
    It very well maybe City . They have scored the most goals and have the deepest squad but I will tell you this much, if City beat Liverpool at Anfield on the back of another wrong off-side decision , I will personally apologize to Walter and become a believer 🙂

  • Tom

    Yassin
    I know what it is and you know it too. We can’t seem to keep our best players fit and that’s what cost us this season and every other season.

  • Gord

    Tom

    It is very unlikely that you can match up offsides to penalties. Any given game, has many offsides. It is possible to go many games without a decision about a penalty coming up.

    So, perhaps you want to hedge that bet a little?

    It is now many hours since the games ended today (yesterday for those of you sleeping in the UK and similar timezones). I went looking for news articles about referee decisions in the EPL. The offside for ManCity isn’t even making the news now.

    But, it is time to go to sleep. Which means turning off the light. So, more light bulb jokes.

    —–

    Q: How many topologists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: It really doesn’t matter, since they’d rather knot.

    How many cats does it take to change a light bulb?

    Cats do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So, the question is: How long will it be before I can expect light?

    How many Zen masters does it take to change a light bulb?

    Two. One to change it, and one not to change it.
    Three. One to change it, one not to change it, and one both to change it and not to change it.

    How many existentialists does it take to change a light bulb?

    Two. One to change the light bulb and one to observe how the light bulb symbolizes an incandescent beacon of subjectivity in a netherworld of Cosmic Nothingness.

    How many Buddhist monks does it take to change a light bulb?

    None, of course. Once one has achieved satori, the light bulb itself has changed …

    How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

    None — that’s a hardware problem. (See Computers)

    How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?

    Two — one to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored machine tools.

    How many oil executives does it take to change a light bulb?

    Huh? They want these things kept in the dark.

    It’s just a matter of market forces while we’re changing over from winter blends to summer blends.

    How many consultants does it take to change a light bulb?

    I’ll have an estimate for you a week from Monday.

    We don’t know. They never get past the feasibility study

    How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?

    Three – two to perform a cost evaluation and one to request bids.

    How many Teamsters does it take to change a light bulb?

    Seven … WANA’ MAKE SOMETHING OF IT, BUDDY?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Tom, agree with you on the decisions in favour of those three clubs this season. City….well where do you start, apart from anything else, they seem to exert some sort of gravitational warp on offside laws. Chelsea, as ever certainly have their moments, and Liverpool, not sure I have ever seen a team get so many dodgy pens. And then there was the media outcry at the perceived decision in our favour in the recent cup match against pool, no such outcry when they beat us five one, their first was offside, Bac was held for the second.
    I guess all we can conclude is that those three teams get favours that we clearly do not, which in itself is not right.
    I still believe this is a campaign against wenger, not so much the club. He and his coach took on corruption that UEFA tried to keep quiet….Marseille. Wenger tried to change things in the English league when powerful vested interests resisted. Wenger made a fool out of our…let’s face it… idiot journalists. There may also be rich and powerful people trying to destabilise the club….so they can buy it, arsenal have more than one other suitor. I do not believe all our refs are honest, but in the grand scheme of things, they are just relatively cheap, disposable pawns.

  • arse_or_brain

    you only have to look at history to see match fixing in every country is fact not fiction. To then suppose that football is the only business in the world where money doesn’t mean corruption is naïve in the extreme. The money that increased since the introduction of the PL means fairness would be highly unlikely. If you take that a stage further and realise that corruption will disadvantage some clubs more than others then the word logic would replace paranoia in most sane peoples view.

  • Rupert Cook

    Nobody doubts there’s match fixing, it happened in the 1914/15 season in a liverpool-Manu game although no points were deducted and Manu stayed up. So it’s been happening for 100 years and more.

    But to suggest there’s some conspiracy against Arsenal because we don’t spend money on players is the biggest load of zebra dung I’ve ever heard. If we spent more money on better players we wouldn’t be scrapping for fourth every year.

    A lot of people make excuses for our own missteps because they can’t bear to see poor old Wenger outwitted every season by so called corrupt teams, Liverpool being the latest I suppose. I’ve always said if Wenger loves Arsenal as much as he says he does I’m sure he can dip into his astronomical pay packet and contribute to our purchase power. I’m not sure why a man needs as much money as he does, we always level this criticism at players so why not well paid managers?

    Anyway we are told we have lots of money to spend on players so I await the summer with interest.

  • para

    The fact that there is match fixing and corrupt goings ons in the PL, and i think the CL too, is not the only reason why Arsenal falters and fails.
    This is down solely to the way Arsenal plays football now. Gone is the spontaneity of our players, they seem to play EVERY game exactly the same. ONLY in a few instances the team does something completely different, and scores. Every other team(especially the top teams) now knows exactly how Arsenal plays, and sets up to counter that.
    I’ve noticed that it does not matter who is playing in the Arsenal team, Arsenal plays exactly the same way every game, this is a mistake. I thought the whole point is to use the individual abilities of each player to give the team that added extra when needed, not have player clones that play exactly the same as one another.
    As i have said many times before, unless Arsenal change their way of doing things, we are destined to stay where we are instead of going forward.
    This summer is either going to be a summer of change, or we will have the same Arsenal, the Arsenal that now plays boring football. I hope for change.

  • Rupert Cook

    @para, exactly. And if we can see it surely Wenger can too.

  • Menace

    @Cook You are peculiar. Money spent on players is not an issue. Corruption is the issue. When an official makes incorrect decisions consistently he should be dropped. When several officials make wrong decisions consistently they & their organisation should be dropped. When statistics show such bias against one club on a consistent level over several years, it shows corruption on a big scale.

    I believe there is a racist element here that is having a go at Wenger. Sadly for football, it will lose a great exponent of the beautiful game.

    The cheating in the EPL goes on and very little will be done about it.

    I just love the way one commentator said it is a deliberate handball and must be booked. Handball can only be deliberate. All this bullshit about making himself big and the hand in an unnatural position; getting ‘a piece of the ball’ etc are comments of dumb ex footballers who never understood the Laws of the Game. There are still so many that don’t.

    It’s a bit like traffic wardens dishing out tickets to French cars only. ;0)