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October 2016
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The strange cases of Lord Copper, Dr Carneiro, Mr Abranomvich, and the high court judge.

By Tony Attwood

One of the things about the very, very, very, very (repeat 200 times) rich is that they get surrounded by employees who benefit from their largesse.

As a result, people tend to say yes a lot, and as the excruciatingly rich person starts doing bonkers things, the yes men say yes.  And then yes.  And then again.

It was Evelyn Waugh who caught the situation perfectly in the novel Scoop! in which the insanely rich and powerful Lord Copper (part Lord Northcliffe, part Lord Beaverbrook) runs the Daily Beast in order to fulfil his political and egomaniac dreams.

Working as his underling is Mr Salter, who cannot ever disagree with anything his boss says,  and Lord Copper is thus immune to the realities of the world.  He might say, “Those fascists are, at heart, good democrats,” and Mr Salter replies, “Up to a point, Lord Copper.”

I rather saw Chelsea like this, only doubly so, because it has often struck me that both Mourinho and Abramovich, were completely beyond reality and surrounded by people who say “yes” or “up to a point.”

Nowhere does this become more obvious than in the way in which the club have treated and continue to treat Eva Carneiro.   You might have expected that, because the case made the club a laughing stock, and because the owner has lots of money, he might well have settled the matter by now, with a private settlement and an agreement that each side would say nothing.   After all, it is not as if the case by Dr Carneiro is nonsense, nor is it a case that Chelsea are short of the readies.  And generally speaking employment tribunals are won by the employee.

And yet it still goes on.   The Times has said that new hearing will take place on March 7 before a High Court judge in private.  Quite an unusual ploy in employment cases.  The judge won’t rule but will recommend a course of action.  No one has to follow the recommendation, but generally speaking in business matters you are a total idiot if you go against a Judge’s recommendation.

Indeed if Chelsea do, the next action will be in an employment tribunal in June and that will be reported in full.

So what are the two Lord Copper’s doing?  Saying “you can’t do that to me” perhaps.   Or claiming that they are in the right.  Or just saying, “We are Chelsea.”

Of course I don’t know, although such evidence as we have in the public domain suggests that there is certainly a case for Chelsea to answer.  Maybe they are just taking it to the edge so that the good doctor will back off.  I suspect she won’t.  The referee called her onto the pitch, and the rules of the game are when that happens it is not a matter of choice.  The doctor goes on.

The FA also come out of this very badly in that they failed to interview Dr Carneiro even when they were investigating the affair.  How can you investigate something like this, without interviewing the witnesses?

As Dr Carneiro said, “I was at no stage requested by the FA to make a statement. I wonder whether this might be the only formal investigation in this country where the evidence of the individuals involved in the incident was not considered relevant.  Choosing to ignore some of the evidence will surely influence the outcome of the findings.

“Last season I had a similar experience at a game at West Ham FC, where I was subject to verbal abuse. Following complaints by the public, the FA produced a communication to the press saying there had been no sexist chanting during this game.

“At no time was I approached for a statement despite the fact that vile, unacceptable, sexually explicit abuse was clearly heard.   It is incidents such as these and the lack of support from the football authorities that make it so difficult for women in the game.”

Of course the case of Dr Carneiro is not the only odd case surrounding Chelsea.   There has been quite a bit of discussion of late how Diago Costa went six years without being sent off.

He shoves, he pushes and he puts himself forward in front of the referee in a very challenging manner, and then, normally, the other player gets sent off.  There have been incidents with Serge Aurier, David Luiz, Sergio Ramos (this a most unpleasant occurrence), Gabriel, Emre Can, Koscielny, Skrtel…

It all makes me think that the Lord Copper syndrome has spread among the players as well.

And despite all this activity, Chelsea still retain a respectable position in the Fair Play League for Premier League matches only.

# Team Games Cautions  Dismissals  Disciplinary Points
1 West Bromwich Albion 33 64 3 290
2 Aston Villa 32 60 1 252
3 Watford 30 53 3 248
4 Newcastle United 29 50 4 242
5 Stoke City 34 47 5 232
6 Liverpool 35 54 1 226
7 Crystal Palace 32 50 2 222
8 Norwich City 30 47 3 220
9 Sunderland AFC 29 50 2 220
10 Tottenham Hotspur 31 55 0 220
11 Manchester City 34 54 0 216
12 Southampton 30 42 4 210
13 Chelsea 31 44 3 206
14 Leicester City 31 49 1 206
15 AFC Bournemouth 32 49 1 206
16 West Ham United 31 41 5 198
17 Everton 35 41 2 186
18 Manchester United 31 46 0 184
19 Swansea City 29 43 1 172
20 Arsenal 31 36 3 164

What is interesting here is the final column.  It is calculated like this…

  • Caution 4 pts
  • Denial of a goal scoring opportunity or dismissal for 2 cautions 10 pts
  • Violent conduct, serious foul play, spitting or offensive and abusive language 12 pts

Now if you take the everyday activity of Costa you might think that there ought to be a fair number of 12 pointers, but no, that’s not the case.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if the referees were allowed to explain themselves after a match!


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25 February 1905 Arsenal 3 Sheffield W 0 concluded the first ever three match winning run in 1st division, but marked the last win until the last day of the season on 22 April.

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12 comments to The strange cases of Lord Copper, Dr Carneiro, Mr Abranomvich, and the high court judge.

  • para

    Yes, just like the Managers have to be available for TV interviews pre and post game, the refs should also have to do this.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I have written it so many times in the past on this blog that the PL is acting like an example for lower league football.

    The way Costa is let off the hook time and time and time (repeat x 100) again by the referees when he runs up to them, shouts in their face (I hope he has a good dental hygiene), waves his arms around in an aggressive way towards the referees and assistants is simply amazing. It is as if the referees are afraid of him.

    So what do lower league and pub league footballers do… the copy the Costa behaviour and do like Costa in their matches. After all, why shouldn’t they as Costa can do it, so can I is the think process.

    So it was no surprise for me that Keith Hackett has written an open letter to Mr. Dyke asking him to do something about the respect the referee campaign. Giving a few examples of the bad behaviour against referees lately.

    I once again accuse and blame Riley and his PGMO gang for not doing what they should be doing: applying the laws as it should be.

  • WalterBroeckx

    A bit off topic…

    I have also read a few very critical posts about the ref of the Juventus – Bayern match. Comments I read on an American referee blog…saying that the ref in question was behaving rather strange in his decisions. The ref in question? Aha… our dear Mr. Atkinson…..

  • Pete

    Agree Tony. Surely Chelsea should have come to an out of court settlement by now?

  • Mick

    The Football Association today confirms the Emirates FA Cup fifth round replay between Hull City and Arsenal will be played at the KC Stadium on Tuesday 8 March (7pm kick-off).

  • insideright

    Perhaps Chelsea are hoping that, having sacked Mourinho, the rest of the Club will be seen to be ‘innocent’? Such a finding would mean that the poor doctor will continue to be seen to be ‘guilty’ of whatever she was suspended by the Club for.
    What would that do for her future job prospects?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Chelsea…they even get away with falsely accusing a ref of being racist…yet still benefit regularly from the generosity of the PGMOL

  • omgarsenal

    I wonder If the doctor had been a man and a well known physician…..would the FA have taken his case more seriously than Dr.Carniero’s? Good old sexism is alive and well in the FA!
    The PIGMOB have failed to remind their faithful bumboys that Costa is like any OTHER player and must NOT be treated with kid gloves. This is the most blatant representation of bringing the game into disrepute, week in and week out. Kids and adults watching Costa abuse and harass the officials, just like Rooney has been allowed to do for many a season, quickly migrate this wretched practice into their respective games.

  • Andy L

    They never addressed the ‘ Paul Scholes can’t tackle ‘ situation and had they he would have probably played 10 % less games.

  • Mick

    Man U player (Lindegard) just booked for diving in a desperate attempt to win a penalty. Well done ref.
    ‘Twas ever thus!

  • Menace

    Things that appear far worse happened during Dykes watch at the BBC. I wonder if there will really be a proper criminal inquiry into the incidents in question. Football has had a lot of racist officials but sadly stats of black & foreign players booked do not exist.

    Before Rileys watch I had written to the FA about racist officiating & got a neatly evasive response by a carefully chosen employee (Nigerian surname).

    Just as Arsenal players are first into the book, over the years it was black or foreign players that went into the book. I still think the Vieira incident where he was sent off for foul & abusive language (& was subsequently cleared with the use of a lip reader) should be reinvestigated on the basis of racism. He was then charged with a trumped up alternative. What had been said was ‘you are indecisive’. The lying official got off without any charge!!! Indecisive? sorry Patrick these guys are very decisive -corrupt & decisive.

    The Costa incidents are not collated in statistic form as they are not recorded by officials (PGMO at its obvious).

  • AJ

    Maybe the Fair Play table should also include maybe 2 points for a foul, Should push the Spuds up the table for all the rotational fouling they do