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Chelsea suffer from not taking ref reviews seriously; Telegraph ignores history and reality.

By Tony Attwood

Doing research and taking note of the information that is available to you, is part of the job if you are going to comment.  Whether you are a manager, a blogger, a pundit or a journalist, knowing a little bit about the game is helpful.  As is reading the research that others provide.

Of course, as the Carragher fella showed in Hull v Arsenal, contradiction is also  part of the game these days, as he came out with one analysis before the game yesterday (about Arsenal having no pace and that the selection policy of Wenger was bordering on the insane) only to tell us at half time that Wenger had got it quite right with the way he selected the team and that his use of Ramsey was brilliant.

Changing one’s mind is ok I think, at least if one can do it with grace and admit when one has been wrong.  But then coin throwers like Carragher probably don’t live by the rules the rest of us have.  Apology and admission of error was never his style.

Mark Ogden in the Telegraph however must be visiting an alternative planet these days, one in which the whole issue of accuracy is so old fashioned that it doesn’t require any sort of contemplation.  Just make it up is now the name of the game.

In today’s Telegraph he says, and I quote word for word,

“How Moyes can survive a season that has been United’s worst in living memory remains to be seen following Sunday’s abject performance while losing 2-0 at Everton.”

So let us consider the worst season in living memory.

My memory isn’t very good but the last time I looked I was still living, and I can distinctly remember 1973/4, a season in which I was not only alive, but also watching football.  I even saw Man U that season.   This is how that season ended.

Pd W D L F A Pts
1 Leeds United 42 24 14 4 66 31 62
2 Liverpool 42 22 13 7 52 31 57
3 Derby County 42 17 14 11 52 42 48
4 Ipswich Town 42 18 11 13 67 58 47
5 Stoke City 42 15 16 11 54 42 46
6 Burnley 42 16 14 12 56 53 46
7 Everton 42 16 12 14 50 48 44
8 Queens Park Rangers 42 13 17 12 56 52 43
9 Leicester City 42 13 16 13 51 41 42
10 Arsenal 42 14 14 14 49 51 42
11 Tottenham Hotspur 42 14 14 14 45 50 42
12 Wolverhampton Wndrs 42 13 15 14 49 49 41
13 Sheffield United 42 14 12 16 44 49 40
14 Manchester City 42 14 12 16 39 46 40
15 Newcastle United 42 13 12 17 49 48 38
16 Coventry City 42 14 10 18 43 54 38
17 Chelsea 42 12 13 17 56 60 37
18 West Ham United 42 11 15 16 55 60 37
19 Birmingham City 42 12 13 17 52 64 37
20 Southampton 42 11 14 17 47 68 36
21 Manchester United 42 10 12 20 38 48 32
22 Norwich City 42 7 15 20 37 62 29

Worse, the journalist then dug a grave for himself saying, “there is a distinct sense of the 50-year-old losing his grip”.  One perhaps might say the same about the journalist concerned.  A semi-decent sports editor would have words and even offer a P45, but probably these days, that isn’t the done thing.  United were, of course, relegated, and made the news the following season by having supporters that wrecked just about every second division stadium in England.

Moving on, and before I get to Chelsea, it has been a bit of a bad day for the Telegraph, a paper perhaps best known for laying into MPs and naughty vicars, while writing the best obituaries in the English language.

Jeremy Wilson has done a piece on transfers, and here is a bit of it.  “In true Daniel Levy style, Arsenal struck when their negotiating hand was strong and doubled Ramsey’s weekly salary with a new five-year deal that places him with Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott among those who earn beyond £100,000.”

“In true Daniel Levy style”????????   What the fuck does that mean?   Levy style means having £80m in the bank and spending it on poltergeist and other invisibilities.   Oh come on!  I mean!  Really!

But let us move on

A while back, Untold, in the guise of referee Walter Broeckx, reviewed all the refs in the Premier League, and looked in depth at the antics of PGMOL, the limited company that employs the refs and hands them out to the Premier League.

The conclusion was that there was something very very wrong with the whole system, with individual referees doing very naughty things and the organisation that runs them behaving inexcusably.

Sadly, the general response from supporters of other clubs was that this was just Arsenal winging.  Typical Arsenal always looking for excuses.

Chelsea supporters were among those thinking they could have a laugh, although by and large they didn’t quite make themselves look so silly as Tottenham fans who complained that our analysis was wrong because we commented on Tottenham’s penalty errors.  “Tottenham didn’t get any penalties” they screamed among various insults.

And we replied yes, that was the point.  We are saying you should have had, but now you’ve insulted us so much, maybe we won’t bother.

Anyway, now things have changed.  Mr M from Chelsea, a manager, has said of Mike Dean,  “I think his performance was unbelievable and I think when referees have unbelievable performances, I think it’s fair that as managers we give them praise. So, fantastic performance. He came here with one objective. To make a fantastic performance. And he did that. And…, congratulations also to Mike Riley, the referees’ boss. What they are doing through the whole season is fantastic, especially in the last couple of months, and in teams involved in the title race. Absolutely fantastic. I also congratulate Mr Riley.”

Mourinho also cancelled his media conferences before the games against Swansea City and Sunderland after he had a go at Chris Foy.

Maybe Chelsea fans will now realise the work that Untold Arsenal has done on their behalf.  If you didn’t see the review of how Chelsea fare under the referees it might be worth a look:

http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/32094

There is also an index to many of the articles in that series in relation to referees.  The reviews and analyses were undertaken by referees whose allegiance is to many different teams.

Makes you think.  Maybe money isn’t everything.  Well, not quite.

———————-

The daily anniversary file is published on the Arsenal History Society blog

Do you fancy writing for Untold?   Here are the guidelines.

51 comments to Chelsea suffer from not taking ref reviews seriously; Telegraph ignores history and reality.

  • avatar Asif

    Again one of those from you Tony which is straight from the heart but the irony is that I know deep inside even you would have enjoyed seeing the-saddest-excuse-of-a-human-being Moaninho moaning!

    I guess now some of the Chelsea fans will realise what we have gone through season after season…atleast Dean didn’t celebrate the Chelsea loss like he did once to us…he is the special agent of Riley and will go to any extent to make his boss’s wishes come true!

    The PL winner was decided long back…

  • avatar jambug

    Some time ago we had Benetez openly questioning the Referees pro United bias.

    Now we have Mourhino openly questioning the Referees pro Liverpool bias.

    Bot, are openly accusing the PGMOL/Referees, of being biased towards one particular team, and by definition having an agenda.

    You would think this would prompt the media in to at least looking a little deeper as to what is being inferred wouldn’t you?

    But would you?

    Well not really.

    Why would the Media question or criticise the PGMOL/Referees for having an agenda when it’s the Media that sets the agenda in the first place?

  • avatar ClockEndRider

    Given what Maureen has said this weekend, I wonder now if the media will start picking on him? We might even see articles stating that his team who up until recently were held by the journo mini brains to be the best thing since sliced bread have amassed a whole 5 points more than Arsenal to this point. That’s 1 point every 7 games.
    It is very difficult to feel any sympathy for the serial king of gamesmanship that is Maureen. His teams systematically kick, dive and cheat their way to victories, in England, Italy, Spain. They regard sportsmanship as weakness and gamesmanship as the natural order of things. No mention from him that clearly Ramires ought to have been sent off yesterday and would then miss the remaining games of the season. Of course not. Far easier for him to orchestrate the Faria dismissal so the idiot journalists don’t raise the issue allowing the corrupt conniving premier league/FA to sweep this under the carpet. I loathe him and everything he stands for.

  • avatar AL

    ClockEnd
    Absolutely true about Mourinho’s sides. I doubt though we’d ever see articles picking on him. They’ll still be back to praising him again I’m afraid. These journalists are so spineless it’s sickening. Ferguson used to swear at them etc but they would never have the balls to start writing bad things about him. Only this year Rodgers questioned the impartiality of one ref as he was from greater Manchester, but that didn’t stop them doing his team countless favours. The only people to get punished for questioning refs/media are Wenger and Benitez.

  • Tony,

    I am working on an article about how this season has panned out with PARTICULAR emphasis on the media. I am waiting for the EPL winners to emerge and for the CL places to be determined before making my conclusions but it is already about 80% completed and very little will change other than the 2 issues that I am waiting to be settled.

    I don’t want to hype it but in my true fashion, it is going to be controversial but just not for the sake of it.

    I FUCKING HATE THE MEDIA and this season, that hatred has been more than quadrupled.

  • avatar Quincy

    Lazy, populist journalism. None of the media outlets, as far as I can see, bother any more with trying to give balanced views, or having several writers with different views. Not even slightly. They keep the same talentless hacks who write whatever drivvel they think is going to sell papers or get clicks on their websites.

    How many writers, commentators or pundits at the main media outlets are pro-Arsenal? I can’t think of any. Tony Adams is an occasional pundit. Wright unfortunately has been very harsh with Arsenal in the past. We all know about Robson, apparently simply having been a minor Arsenal figure in the past qualifies you as an Arsenal pundit, so the media feels it has ticked the Arsenal box with Robson. What a joke, just stick to independent blogs.

  • Bootoomee

    It would be excellent to have the sort of media analysis that you suggest, but I regret i don’t have time to do it. At the moment the most I can do is reflect on some of the more extreme moments.

    What I really need is someone doing a book on the subject, or maybe a doctorate, and letting me have the info as they go. My trouble is I’ve already got the new book on Arsenal Anniversaries to complete, and a half written novel: Untold visions.

    but more of that anon.

  • avatar jambug

    Bootoomee

    Looking forward to it.

    Do your worst !!

  • avatar ClockEndRider

    Bootoomee,
    I look forward to your end of season article hugely. Nice work sir.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    It is a bit ironic to see the Chelski manager moaning about the ref & PGMOL. I know he did not directly do so but the interpretation of his sarcastic praise can only be the moan of a livid little prat.

    Chelski under the moaner have “played” the refs almost continuously, they have dived for penalties, dived for free kicks, they have bullied other teams, and have alternatively feigned injury to get an opponent carded. All this with the connivance of the referees. Now that that unfair support has (perhaps temporarily) been directed elsewhere the sour little git is livid.

    We desperately need the whole corrupt infrastructure surrounding our game cleaned up, so that there is no place in it for those, like the moaning prat, to manipulate the system to win – when they do not deserve to do so.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Very surprised that Jose did not mention that Mike Dean, apart from anything is a Liverpool supporter.
    As for Chelsea, looks like the assistant…..and Ramires will be in a bit of bother. The latter should not be playing in this league, you cannot keep elbowing players.
    But, in alignment with this article, Jose may well have a point about the pgmol…..just it is rare he is on the receiving end
    It it just me, with no stats to hand, but are Chelsea seeing less of Mr Atkinson this season?

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Just referring to Moyes, earlier reports said he had been sacked, later contradicted by the press officer, but who remained silent on Moyes future. I would hope Utd would have enough class to at least wait until the end of the season. A few rumours Giggs had been summoned to a board room meeting. What can it all mean?……apart from beware of losing long standing managers…..

  • avatar jambug

    Just settling down for MNF.

    Apart from all the Chelski issues I’m waiting to see if they delve into the Suarez disgraceful playacting episode.

    I doubt it very much.

  • avatar dan

    @jambug

    Don’t hold your breath.

  • avatar jambug

    dan

    Well they’ve just done 15 Minutes of Liverpool analysis and not deemed worth a mention yet.

    Lets be honest dan, it isn’t going to happen.

    In a way I’m pleased, Why?

    Because surely the contrast in how SKY (and the rest of the media) analysed the sagna incident to death, in order to highlight the perception that Arsenal ‘got away with one’ compared to how they don’t even touch an incident that shows what a nasty cheating little git Suarez still is, dispels any lingering doubt about the media and there agendas !!

  • avatar dan

    jambug

    Yesterday can’t recall which presenter/commentator claimed Arteta’s knee touched with the Hull player, even after repeated viewings I failed to see any contact.

  • avatar jambug

    dan

    MOTD2 didn’t even review our 2 stone wall penalty claims that where not given.

    You’d of thought they would of been dead keen, especially as the one involving the Ox was very much in the same category as the Sagna incident !!

    Well it wouldn’t do to highlight the fact Arsenal where harshly done by now would it ?

  • avatar dan

    jambug

    We’ve been fucked over so many times, it’s unreal.

    lack of protection
    Disastrous Ref call’s
    Physical violence
    Media bias
    Alan Hansen
    Enormous forehead

  • avatar para

    I really do not think that it is lazy journalism, as the editor decides what articles are published and i think the writers just get to know what type of article will keep them their job.

  • avatar nicky

    I too recall 1973, our silver wedding anniversary year, when even ropey QPR finished above Arsenal in Div 1 and Manure nearly got relegated. (“Never mind”, my dear wife said “Maybe they’ll go down next season”…. and sure enough, they did!!

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Vaguely remember a Denis law cheeky back heel that sealed Utds fate way back then….and he refused to celebrate….was only a kid, but that’s how I remember it. Also remember Utd being pretty dire early to mid eighties

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Should have said…Denis law playing for city at the time!

  • avatar Paul "The Gooner"

    They reckon that Suarez is going to get the premier league player of the year, or the Football Writers.This could only happen here..A cheat, a racist and many other things.

  • avatar Linz

    The only thing the ref did wrong in the Chelsea game was failing to send off Ramires.

  • avatar Tom

    So now Mourinho is the highest authority on referee bias? You guys must be f…ing joking!!

    The man has had a trail of referee abuse ,whenever calls didn’t go his way, longer than the Appalachian Trail.

    At Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real and back at Chelsea again.
    His manipulations of referees in Portugal led to Portugease FA stopping sending certain referees to Mourinho’s games.

    His antics at Inter and Real alienated him and made him the persona non grata in less than a few years each time and who could forget the Chelsea / Barca/ Frisk debacle when he lied about Frank Rijkaard and referee Frisk having a private meeting at half time in CL clash.

    So now Mike Dean is at fault for Chelsea loosing to lowly Sunderland?
    Didn’t Chelsea loose to Sunderland in the league cup before?
    Was Mike Dean at fault then too?

    Perhaps if Chelsea had scored more than one goal on more than 30 shots while dominating possession almost 3to1 , then perhaps they would’ve won the game, or was it Mike Dean who stopped all those shots on goal himself?

    Isn’t funny how the only truly outrageous call or non call of the game went Chelsea way( Ramirez elbow) but it was Dean who cost them the game.
    You guys are cracking me up!
    Perhaps Chelsea players ,like the aforementioned Ramirez or Willian should be blamed for their measly goal returns this season and Chelsea loosing to sides like Villa , Crystal Palace, Sunderland or failing to beat West Ham at home when Mourinho blamed them for the 19th century football.
    Wasn’t it the same Mike Dean who made sure Chelsea got a draw at the Ems when Walcott was denied a stone cold penalty?

    Is there or has there ever been another person in the history of PL who has made more disparaging remarks about Arsen Wrnger than f…ink Mourinho, but he’s the victim now?

    And how about his whining about not having any strikers?
    Perhaps you guys should feel for him on that front too. After letting Lukaku go on loan because he dared to miss a penalty against Bayern which Mourinho though had cost him the super cup. We all know how he loves his trophies.

    And now when Chelsea are on the precipice of having a trophy less season unless of course they win the CL, the ultimate ‘winner’ might have to face the fact he will have failed this season and not Wenger whom he has belittled time and time again.

    If anyone is really interested , I can compile an exact record of wrong or ‘soft’ calls that went Chelsea way , against the calls that went against them.

    Chelsea are most definitely still playing with the house money!!!!

  • avatar Asif

    @Tom – very well said…almost biographical…only part missing is him trying to gouge out the eyes of a member of Barca’s coaching staff.

  • avatar Rupert Cook

    Moyes gone. Was the PGMOL responsible?

    So are you lot now claiming that the PGMOL are against Chelsea? Tom makes many relevant points.

    I maintain there’s no PGMOL conspiracy against us, just loads of poor refs in the league, that’s the main issue.

    I’m sure Walter and his team of mysterious anonymous refs do great work monitoring every Arsenal game after it’s been played but their results will always be questioned because sitting in a room watching a game is not the same as actually reffing it on the day. Two big problems: conditions CANNOT BE REPLICATED and what Walter and friends view on TV is NOT THE SAME AS THE VIEW THE REF HAS.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    And not forgetting utd wouldn’t touch Jose with a barge pole! On that subject, au revoir mr moyes. Next spud manager if utd get van gaal?

  • avatar Rupert Cook

    I wonder if Manu will go for Brendan Rogers. A manager successful in the league unlike Moyes.

  • avatar Shard

    So Moyes was a patsy for ensuring that people discount the influence referees had on Man U at least the past 4 years. It was all down to Ferguson they’ll say. Meanwhile they took a break from helping ManU as it was gathering attention, and are now free to start again. Poor Moyes. He took over a poor side, with players who were obviously not motivated to play for him once all their diving antics weren’t paying off like they’ve grown accustomed to.

    So, who’s the manager who will want to move to ManU, but spend a year out of the CL, still win something because the referees will be back? I hope it isn’t Klopp, not only because he’s good, but because I would lose respect for him.

    Jose’s just cribbing that the referees association switched their script mid-season to aid Liverpool, or at least to stop helping him (since he doesn’t care about Chelsea). That’ll make a wonderful story no? Liverpool, Hillsbourough anniversary, Gerrard..

    Rupert
    Liverpool and Rodgers haven’t won yet though. If they lose to Chelsea, it is back in City’s hands.

  • avatar Tasos

    Man Utd will be back next season.

    They will benefit from non-European football, as both Liverpool and Everton have done, spend big and bring in a new manager. The Premier league brand has been hurt by Man Utd’s failings this season and that will not be allowed to continue.

    Also Man Utd have huge sponsorship that demands success, Champions league football as a minimum requirement and I wonder if those deals have clauses attached if not met.

  • avatar Shard

    Tasos

    I think I read somewhere that not getting CL football means that Moyes will only receive a one year payout rather than the 5 years he would get otherwise. Since it is only this week confirmed that they can’t get into 4th this season, I think that might explain their action. Plus they’ll want their new manager to both pinpoint targets and get the targets to come.

    As for whether they lose sponsorship money, I think that is almost guaranteed. ManU are above all else a brand. And they are a brand that is only positioned on winning. Without that, it is almost guaranteed that they’ll fall off. Which as you said, will not be allowed to happen. This season was a one-off needed to ensure that business as usual can continue.

  • avatar Rupert Cook

    Moyes was no patsy, he just wasn’t very good at managing a big team. The refs had no influence in Manu’s downfall and they’re hardly going to make much difference next year. What will make a difference is if Manu get a manager who is up to the job and spends the money they have wisely.

  • avatar Shard

    Rupert

    Thank you for perfectly proving my point.

  • avatar AL

    I feel sorry for Moyes, he definitely was undermined one way or another. If it wasn’t within his club then certainly from those involved with refereeing. The sheer number of penalties they conceded this season alone is ridiculous by their standards. Maybe it was all done to make fergie look good? Not sure what putting Gigs in charge will achieve. But one thing is certain, Moyes will bounce back.

  • avatar Rupert Cook

    @Shard, anytime. I do enjoy all these conspiracy theories. Let’s make sure Manu don’t qualify for the CL for a year so they can come back next year without Moyes at the helm. And that’s somehow an advantage. I don’t think the Glazers would think so. And how does this bad year help the Manu brand exactly or the league? If the PGMOL back the premier league brand they’d hardly let Manu fail so badly. You can get yourselves all tied up in knots. I honestly don’t know why any of you follow football as you think everything is fixed.

    Truth is that Pool, City, Chelsea and even ourselves have better squads than Manus. Which is why they’re struggling.

  • avatar Shard

    The last part.. I agree with.. I never said the refs hurt ManU. They had simply been propping up ManU, in increasing amounts, for years, because ManU have been declining for years.. This is not to say that Ferguson was a poor manager, or that Moyes is great. But referees did make a huge difference.. Even the key difference.

    If you go back to the start of the season, when Fergie’s announcement of retirement took place, and Mourinho was appointed, I had opined that whoever comes into ManU next will not get help from teh referees for the next season, so that they can consolidate Fergie’s legacy (and lay the blame for decline at the new manager’s door) and also because people were starting to notice. It also helps the league by generating an ‘exciting title race’ which the German clubs had been able to do the previous 2 years and hence were gaining ground on the English league in terms of popularity.

    Conspiracy theory or whatever, money rules the world. Yes, sometimes I wonder why I bother too. It certainly isn’t a pure sport anymore. I guess I still live in hope.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    Has anyone tried to estimate the total loss of revenue the Manures will incur from falling out of the CL qualification, from losing their brand position and then changing manager?

    There will be compensation for Moyes, the possible buy out clause and salary for a new manager (not considering costs for Giggs – should be relatively low), reduction in TV revenues & gate fees and of course the CL earnings.

    In addition the shares will decline in value. I have a feeling that these shares do not provide voting rights, but do they pay a dividend?

    Will there be knock on effects on commercial deals?

    As Shard has pointed out the Manures team is well past its sell by date and will need a massive rebuild if the brand is to be re-established – at a time when the Glaziers have been using the club as a source of revenue to prop up their other ventures and consequently they cannot match the Oilers or Chelski for total expenditure in players.

    We shouldn’t forget the massive long term wage deals for Rooney and van Pursey – these two deals would cripple most clubs and may now cripple the Manures.

  • avatar Rupert Cook

    Well I don’t buy it. There’s plenty of cheating in sport all over the world and we’re not immune here in England but the idea that the refs or some higher authority decides who wins the league or whatever is too far fetched. I agree that Ferguson intimidated refs and anyone following him with the squad he left behind would have a hard job but it would have been made a lot easier if they’d appointed a manager with a successful cv. That’s Ferguson’s fault and maybe he did want to pick a manager who wouldn’t overshadow him. Vanity like that is inexcusable if true.

    Trouble with believing in the league being fixed is that if we win it then logically that would be fixed too.

  • avatar Tasos

    The great “Conspiracy theory” remark.

    Premier league chief executive Richard Scudamore;

    “When your most popular club isn’t doing as well, that costs you interest and audience in some places.”

    “There are lots of fans around the world who wish Manchester United were winning it again,” Scudamore told Bloomberg.

    “But you have to balance that off against, generally, we’re in the business of putting on a competition and competition means people can compete.”

    I find Scudamore’s comments disturbing at the very least. His brand clearly requires a healthy challenge from Man Utd.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    Rupert

    “You can get yourselves all tied up in knots.”

    You are tying yourself up in knots.

    “Trouble with believing in the league being fixed is that if we win it then logically that would be fixed too.”

    That line is not in itself logical; we could win the league despite it being fixed, alternatively; because the league is fixed could explain why we have not won it recently.

  • avatar Shard

    well rupert

    You use words like ‘higher authority’ and then make a false logical statement to extend the idea, such as it is, to places it was never meant to go.

    Is the league open to fixes? In my opinion yes. Do they have success with it? yes. Do they control every aspect of every game? No. That would be near impossible to do and keep secret. So no, it’s no ‘higher authority’ running the game. If there is a ‘singular’ authority that is doing so (I don’t think there) it is the lowest of the low authority because they are cheats.

    And it is possible for Arsenal, or any other to team, to beat a fix.. It’s just a lot harder (and depends how pervasive and persistent the fixer is).. Just like you say, it would have been easier for ManU with a more established manager. Just like Ferguson was a brilliant manager. But those aren’t absolutes. So yes, if Arsenal do well, really well, then they should be able to win. It’s just that it isn’t, or hasn’t been a level playing field.

    But whatever.. I’m just a conspiracy theorist. So everything I say can be ignored or twisted around to imply things I never meant. Isn’t that how any theory is damned? Make it seem outlandish so that the logical points can be whitewashed over.

  • avatar AL

    Shard 11:03
    Spot on. I have friends who support united and they concede they’re no longer decisions from the refs that were considered a given during fergie’s time. Some of them even go on to add it maybe payback time.

    Anyone can see that the refs were treating united players differently this time round. They were not getting penalties they used to get, were even denied stonewall penalties, while their rivals who went for years without getting a penalty against utd suddenly are now getting them, very soft ones at that, and at OT too. Some got not one, not two, but 3, in a single game at OT for that matter. I mean, can anyone try and convince us here this would have happened under ferguson? They even went for something like two years without conceding a penalty, when we all know Vidic was capable of and should have been conceding a penalty every game then, and/or being red carded(Has Skrtle morphing into Vidic this season, certainly looks like :)). It just didn’t happen.

    I don’t care one bit about utd’s bad fortunes and will never be a utd sympathiser(a club that ruined the prem imo, and thoroughly deserve all the ‘bad luck’ coming their way), I would even see it as karma if I didn’t suspect there are some dark forces behind it all. Someone is pulling the strings in the background, and unfortunately for utd, not for them. That is the point that I feel some are missing.

  • Rupert, you miss the point I fear. Or rather lots of points.

    First, PGMOL deliberately keep the number of refs available low, much lower than in other leagues. Thus if there were to be anything wrong, an individual ref would have a lot of chance to influence a club’s fortunes. We’ve never been able to find why they do this, or why they maintain their regional bias.

    Second, PGMOL claims a success rating for refs way above anything we can find. If PGMOL hvae nothing to hide, why not show us some details. Why close down their web site the moment we started challenging them?

    Third, there is no doubt that standards of refereeing are different in various countries, and yet should not be. Why not come out and debate the problem.

    Fourth, we didn’t just monitor Arsenal games. You really should look at the articles published to see this.

    Fifth, we have never maintained that there is a conspiracy. Rather we say that the way the PGMOL behaves suggests there might be a conspiracy, and it is odd that they don’t take the most obvious steps to open up.

    Sixth, it was equally odd that our attempted survey of refereeing processes across Europe was blocked. We just wondered why.

    I could go on and on, but it has all be said before so many times. Just picking a couple points and then saying that casts anything we have said into doubt, has been done over and over, and each time we come back and say, you really do have to look at the whole situation and what we claim.

    Saying all this over and over is getting rather dull.

  • avatar Menace

    There is no doubt that the referees are an unhealthy monopoly. They are biased consciously or otherwise.
    Arsenal have won is spite of this as have other clubs. This season is unusual as there are several incidents where officials have erred on the side of one club or another. Only stats will bring out the truth of the beneficiary. Some of the officials are blatant cheats including Riley. There are racist elements in bias but stats on this are not easy nor available.

    My love is for the beautiful game and for Arsenal. It hurts when cheats become successful as the sporting element in football is an intrinsic part of its beauty.

    @Rupert Cook – I agree with most of what you say – and don’t disagree with the rest but have a slightly different opinion.

    @Bootomee – I hate the media bias and more than hate their corrupt reporting.

  • avatar jambug

    Rupert.

    Personally I have always said that any bias there is, and whether you like to agree or not a vast majority of people believe there is, is influenced by the media.

    Whoever the Media favour at any one time are the ones that the Referees will favour.

    Why?

    It’s simple, the media are the ones who ultimately make judgement on whether a ref has had a good or bad game.

    They don’t care in actuality whether the ref had a ‘mare’ or not. As far as the PGMOL are concerned if there ref doesn’t get hauled over the coals on the back page of the SUN, on SKY, or on Talkshite on a Monday morning, that’s a result.

    That’s why they don’t want anyone to see how they judge a referee because they don’t actually care about his performance. They only care how he is judged in the media.

    They care more what Graham Poll is going to say on Talkshite than how he ACTUALLY performed.

    How does this invoke bias?

    Again simple.

    A Referee knows if he even dares to not give ONE possible penalty against Arsenal that the media say he should of, then God help him, as he’s likely to be lambasted from dawn till dusk all over the media for the rest of the week. RING ANY BELLS RUPERT?

    On the other hand if a ref misses 2 clear penalty awards to Arsenal then he knows the media will not say a dickybird. In fact there more likely to praise him for a good game. RING ANY MORE BELLS RUPERT?

    This is why, in my view, it is not as simple as a corrupt PGMOL or Refereeing, it’s more about weak people, in powerful important positions, being manipulated by a greater power, THE MEDIA.

    I am convinced if suddenly say, Sir Alex was managing Arsenal, and we by definition became flavour of the month/Year, whatever, we would see a massive upturn in refereeing bias in our favour.

  • avatar bob

    Rupert,
    no fix? Alright then: so it’s ref incompetence theory? all just coincidence theory? “it all levels-out”-ism? So tired and tiresome your pov.

    What to make of the day of the bad seed being planted – game 49 – at the OT crime scene? Try this: (1) Perpetrator: micky r. (2) Reward: named head of pig-mole. If there’s no fix, how are the last two possible?

    Easy. The power to selectively bend or enforce standards; the power to define the situation. The power to exclude in-game video review (pro baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, etc. etc.) of any sort (except the goal-line tech fix, that contract that took obscenely long decades to bring in to virtually no actual use – except the contract beneficiaries). Too few refs. Too old to sustain 38 plus games year after year. No in-game (rugby) micing. No post-game report ever available. No ref exposure to the press, even (especially) after dire controversy. De facto contract system of pressured good-service retirement reward [a quid pro quo] for no comment and non-disclosure in exchange for 50K payout. There’s far more.

    AFC: disproportionate fouling, disproportionate injuries, disproportionate absence of penalty kicks. And all the above juggernauted away by the relentless (blood in the water) media demonization of AW/AFC.

    And then there’s The Rupert: all this becomes a creature of Walter Broeck, conjurer in chief, and his anonymized elves – which reason anyone but willful you would fully understand. After dismissing conspiracy theory, it’s now – by snide insinuation – the Broeckite Heresy. What’s next, Rupert? (witch burning) Fortunately you have no power. Unfortunately string-pullers at pig-mole HQ do.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    An interesting day, Fergie not coming out of any of this at all well.
    Fortunately, our critics dont run the club, if many of them did, we would have ended up with Moyes…..or Owen Coyle…

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    Moanin’ho ‘s statement reminded me of this speech from long ago .
    Unlike Antony ,who ” …came only to bury Caesar and not to praise him.” , the special one decided to praise the PGMOL and its leadership and bury them at the same time !
    From ,

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends,_Romans,_countrymen,_lend_me_your_ears

    Brutus is a respectable man and is himself honourable, but most importantly he has mastered the art of rhetoric.

    Throughout his speech Antony calls the conspirators honorable men.

    Antony tells the crowd to “have patience” and expresses his feeling that he will “wrong the honourable men whose daggers have stabbed Caesar” …

    “Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot. Take thou what course thou wilt.”

    Even though in his speech Antony never directly calls the conspirators traitors, he is able to call them “honourable” in a sarcastic manner that the crowd is able to understand.

    Finally, Mark Antony leaves them with the question, was there ever a greater one than Caesar?, which infuriates the crowd. He then turns and weeps.