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How Man City has weaved its around the anti-child-trafficking laws, and what Fifa are doing about it.

By Tony Attwood

As you may recall if you are a regular reader of Untold, we’ve taken a particular interest in the FC Barcelona case concerning child trafficking and we were one of very few places that kept on with the story.   As we ran it the abuse poured in day by day (most of it of course we didn’t publish).  We were told there was no case, that the Court of Arbitration in Sport would throw it all out, that we were rumour-mongering. 

But then at the end of 2014 we found that the result of Barcelona’s behind-closed-doors appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the charges of dealing in children between 2009 and 2013, had been rejected and it was finally confirmed that they would not be allowed to sign any players in 2015.  Interestingly I don’t think any other outlets had covered that CAS session – but we had been following it for months, waiting to see what CAS would do.  The media eventually caught up.

As we had said throughout, and as became clear from the CAS appeal, the truth always remained that Barcelona had put forward no defence at all, save the fact that their academy was world famous and could not possibly be seen as a centre of the illegal movement of children across national boundaries.  It’s main line of defence other than that was that the case was “utter nonsense”.  This was Barcelona, after all.

After CAS said in a statement, “The panel found in particular that FC Barcelona had breached the rules regarding the protection of minors and the registration of minors attending football academies,” Barcelona then changed tack and suggested that the errors were of an “administrative nature and to a large extent have been caused by the existing conflict between the Fifa regulations and Spanish legislation.”

But we always knew that this was not the end, because even as the Barcelona case was going through there was clear evidence that Fifa would be taking on Real Madrid, if not other clubs in Spain, and we got little whispers that there was a British club involved too – which was something that would explain why the media was so keen either to ignore the issue totally, or hush it up.

Fifa rules forbid the movement of children beyond national boundaries (other than within the EU) to train in another country unless a parent has an established proper job in advance in the other country.  It is suggested in some quarters that Barcelona were providing jobs for parents – something specifically forbidden by Fifa, following pressure from UNICEF.

There was also much involvement from the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) which established the International Safeguards for Children in Sport.   Its reports estimates that there are maybe 15,000 trafficked child players in Europe from the age of 11 upwards.

These are boys who have been promised the earth but end up penniless, homeless, sleeping rough, talented, but not talented enough.  As we now know the La Masia academy maintained its standard because it had a non-stop array of young players supplied by agents who loved FCB – because Barcelona never asked questions about players, parents, jobs, and all the other pesky bits and pieces of regulation aimed at protecting children.

So FC Barcelona got a reputation for taking on children, no matter what, no questions ask.  And not just from Africa.  Seung-Ho Paik, from South Korea was one the children recruited by Barcelona illegally.

Now when Untold ran the story, following the original case, the Fifa appeal and the CAS appeal, I wrote on Untold, “Barcelona may not be the only club that doesn’t mind trafficking in children – there may well be others, but so far the evidence is not there.”

Then we got emails from people saying “Arsenal do just the same”.  No one ever provided a scrap of evidence however.  That’s how it goes.

What we did find was that there are even what are called Schools of Football Excellence in Africa which claim they are set up by the clubs in Europe, to find young talent and bring it to the clubs.  It is all a con and a sham but it seemed the Metropolitan Police in London did get involved in trying to liaise with countries in West Africa.  But the FA didn’t want to know so gave no support.  It was, they said, not their problem.

So it has been down to the little guys, the people like Untold.   Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid were also eventually found guilty by Fifa but in January this year their cases were suspended as Fifa investigated their appeals.   But there has also been another case lurking around, and that is the case of Manchester City and Kelechi Iheanacho. 

Now in what follows I want to make it quite clear I am not at all sure whether Man City have found a loophole to get around the rules on under 18 year olds from outside the EU, or whether there is something more nasty going on.  But even if they have done nothing worse than find a loophole, I still think it is bad news.  Very bad news in fact, because if Fifa don’t act, everyone will be doing it.

Iheanacho was signed by Man City on a pre-contract when he was 17 years and 3 months, with professional terms to be signed when the player became 18.  That is quite legitimate and ok.  It recognised the work Man City had done with the player.  And it recognised the EU law in the sense and so no money was to be paid to the player until he was 18, in accordance with Fifa article 19.

But then (it was reported) Porto moved in and offered to take the player, and break the Fifa rules on child trafficking – meaning they would pay various sums that Man C were going to pay on the boy’s 18 birthday, but they would pay up immediately.

And we are not talking peanuts here.   The complete amount that Man City offered to pay on the birthday was over £1.5m, with the biggest share going to the player, but around one third of a million to the father, and slightly less to the Academy in Nigeria where the player had been developed as a footballer.

Next up came a story which is said by a number of sources to have been in Sun News in Nigeria.  However I can’t find that story and the page often cited as an internet link leads to a scam site that invites readers to download software that will do nasty things to your computer.   However “Goal” did report it, seemingly when the story was still on the internet.

This added to the many reports around to the effect that Iheanacho’s father and the Nigerian academy were given their money at once by Manchester City.  

It is a model that has interested other unscrupulous clubs, and if Fifa take no action against Man C it will give the green light to the manoeuvre of paying the father rather than the player.  The father then can, of course pass on the money to the player, and so totally by-pass all the laws that are designed to protect under 18 year olds.

But there is worse, because this story is now out, big time.  Which means agents and parents of under age players outside the EU are now demanding pre-contract agreements for under age players, with money going to the father – exactly what the Fifa rule in Article 19 was out to stop.

What is also clear is that young players are being shunted around countries like Nigeria, being moved hundreds of miles from their homes, to train up as players to be offered through this new system.  And then, if they are found not to be up to standard they are left, with no resources to get back to their home.

So, the player joined Man City and while still 17 played in pre-season matches, including one against AC Milan.  Indeed although only holding the player on a pre-contract agreement it seems Man C refused to release the player to play for the Nigerian under 20s.   

When he became 18, and so no longer subject to the anti-trafficking laws, Iheanacho became a Man City player.

Then in January this year the Real Madrid director general Jose Angel Sanchez said in an interview “I have relations with British clubs and I know for a fact that in many of these cases the disciplinary investigations have already started a while ago. I imagine that Fifa’s resources for these investigations are limited and Fifa cannot do everything at the same time but I have the impression that this is being done at European level and that more cases will follow, one after the other.”

We await further developments.  And of course just because we called it right over Man C being fined and having the squad reduced for the Champions League while others refused to run the story, and over Barcelona being banned from transfers and losing its appeal, and over the failure of the EU legal challenge against FFP, and spotting in advance the change to Swiss law that then allowed the Americans to arrest Fifa executives, that doesn’t mean we are always going to get these cases right.   But at least our record shows that despite the abuse we have got in each case, we really do try and do a bit of digging and do try and check our sources first of all.

Recent posts


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73 comments to How Man City has weaved its around the anti-child-trafficking laws, and what Fifa are doing about it.

  • Boris

    What exactly have City done wrong here apart from helping him develop his career?

    You have stated that neither he, his father or his agent received any money until he was 18. The fact he played whilst still 17 is irrelevent, 16 year olds have played in Premier League games.

  • Alan

    How is this site able to gain access to the price Iheanatcho? Cost? If huge media outlets like sky cannot? £1.5m where is this info from? Is it fact? That may help anyone believe a word of it as surely most just see a small web site with an opinion base on…well gossip.

  • Blewmoon48

    So it seems according to your article that Man City were going to follow the correct procedure with Iheanacho, but, because Porto were prepared to break EUFA rules to possibly steal Iheanacho they paid earlier than they had intended.
    Can you blame them? They don’t want to risk losing Iheanacho so what choice do they have?
    It seems to me the ‘baddy’ in this case is Porto and yet you hardly mention them.

  • Omerta

    I think the title is missing the word “way”

  • Alan, of course you may have the view that the information here is worthless, that’s fair enough. And I am sure you won’t be back, because you hold that view. But equally you surely can’t expect untold to reveal its sources on an issue like this.

  • Boris, I think you miss the point. The father appears to have got the money before the boy was 18.

  • srexr

    So what you are saying is that it is likely City did nothing wrong but that a loophole that my cat could have come up with needs to be closed? Sounds reasonable to me – though I could do without all the drama – ‘something more nasty’ – LOL.

    Perhaps the highly paid lawyers who came up with the detailed stipulations should be paid nearer $5 an hour than their actual rate if they can’t do better.

    And I can see more merit to the article if the player was 13 or so, but at 17+ he isn’t exactly a kid and certainly not quite the gamble all the young abandoned kids might be. In fact a prepayment to a parent or guardian seems like it might be a good idea so that the individuals and their parents do have some monetary resources if a boy is turned away – added to the fact the clubs then have a more vested interest in deciding to whom they should make offers.

    Obviously it makes sense that any payment to the player still be deferred till they come of age.

    However its good to point out the facts and that the intention of the rules need to be clarified. A loophole is only a loophole if it wasn’t intended. For instance if it is a requirement that a parent must have a job in the foreign country to which the child is destined, some provision needs to be made for parents that are independently wealthy and don’t need to work – the position Iheanacho’s father clearly found himself in once City gave him a big bag of money. Getting a job at McDonalds for 9 months just so his son can realize a dream move in his career is sheer nonsense. These ‘rule’s’ sound more like a framework – hardly even guidelines, given they are so full of holes. Morales and ethics apart, City have taken good care of the player involved in this particular case, and the onus isn’t on the clubs lawyers to try and make heads or tails out of poorly constructed regulations – that’s up to the authorities to get their act together and make them tighter – unless they actually want to leave certain things up to interpretation – which is a very common approach here in the USA and keeps lawyers and accountants extremely rich.

  • M18CTID

    Evening Tony,

    I know you don’t want to reveal your source but here it is below – published nearly 6 months ago and it looks like you might’ve copied and pasted directly from it. Oops!

    http://www.financialfairplay.co.uk/latest-news/how-to-work-round-fifa’s-‘anti-trafficking-of-minors’-rules

  • Pat

    There is one thing I don’t understand – how can it be any better for children to be shunted about and possibly abandoned inside the EU than from outside the EU?

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    When clubs are proven to have cheated in one area of their business there should be no surprises if they do so in other ways.

  • Alan

    No Tony I asked where you got your information from as you seem to be calling it’facts’ i.e the player cost £1.5m. Yet a World wide media operation with billions at it’s disposal doesn’t seem to know about this £1.5m. Also comically ‘The father appears to have got the money before the boy was 18.’ (Isn’t that the same as the people saying Arsenal cheated with players. Only you said ‘No one ever provided a scrap of evidence’. not sure if you’ve noticed but you haven’t provided ‘a scrap of evidence’ either lol) Where even a scrap of evidence? You’ve gotta be joking right? Tony you didn’t miss the point, the only thing you seem to have missed is that you don’t think that Tony appears to think ( with not ‘a scrap of evidence’) That the players father was paid a few month before he signed! I mean why would the do that? There was already a legally binding agreement in place for payment as the father said in January 2014 “The situation is that Kelechi hasn’t turned 18 yet and until he does, he can’t sign but what he has done is sign a pre-contract with Manchester City pending his 18th birthday.” 7 months later he was 18, so why wouldn’t they wait for any ‘payment’? Show people your facts not what you think appeared to happen!

    This story isn’t that far from libel not just to City but Barcelona, I mean you are actually saying Barca bring children in and leave them homeless and destitute lol Why wouldn’t they avoid any PR disasters this would 100% bring clearly if it were true by using their multi-million € PR team to pay the pennies it would cost to get them home? I suppose you know this for a fact too? Love Barca’s legal team to see this, comical!

    ‘These are boys who have been promised the earth but end up penniless, homeless, sleeping rough, talented, but not talented enough. As we now know the La Masia academy maintained its standard because it had a non-stop array of young players supplied by agents who loved FCB – because Barcelona never asked questions about players, parents, jobs, and all the other pesky bits and pieces of regulation aimed at protecting children.’

    Again show the facts not what you ‘appear; to think lol

  • Boris

    I think it’s a bit ironic that this (non) story should be on an Arsenal blog considering the Gunners have a long history of importing under 18’s into this country.

  • M18CTID

    Boris,

    I think it’s equally ironic that it took Tony nearly 6 months to copy and paste said story from fellow City-hater Ed Thompson’s website and then tried to pass it off as his own. Then again, if I’m not mistaken Ed is a Gooner too so maybe he and Tony are best mates!

  • Ryan F

    I thought the main UK offender was Chelsea? Rather than the use-a-loophole-not-technically-illegal exploits of Man City, I was under the impression that Chelsea were being investigated for the signing of Bertrand Traoré, who left Auxerre in 2010 to join Chelsea (even playing in a youth game against Arsenal), but only officially signing in 2013, with all prior appearances chalked down to a ‘trial’ rather than a permanent signing.

    Wikipedia gives his clubs as Auxerre 2009-2010, then he goes missing for three years before turning up aged 18 at Chelsea in 2013. Surely this is the main focus of any article about football child trafficking in the UK, not the rather tame-by-comparison example of Iheanacho?

  • dominicscarlatti

    If it is a ‘loophole’ in FIFA regulations, as you posited here in this article, then no illegal act has been committed, unless you have further evidence of misconduct. However, you have admitted here that you do not, instead referencing an article on the web which, by your own admission, no longer exists, and which you seem to know nothing about (other than it was linked into goal.com). This is the same standard of “reportage” commonly seen in such media organs as The Sun, The Daily Mail, etc.

  • William Rickson

    As has been pointed out you have provided no evidence. As has been pointed out it appears you are committing slander.As has been pointed out you have not even pointed out what is wrong with what you suggest.

    However my point is this you finish this article off by saying.

    And of course just because we called it right over Man C being fined and having the squad reduced for the Champions League while others refused to run the story, and over Barcelona being banned from transfers and losing its appeal, and over the failure of the EU legal challenge against FFP, and spotting in advance the change to Swiss law that then allowed the Americans to arrest Fifa executives, that doesn’t mean we are always going to get these cases right. But at least our record shows that despite the abuse we have got in each case, we really do try and do a bit of digging and do try and check our sources first of all.

    You did not call it right on Manchester City people did not refuse to run it. I have no idea what you said about Barcelona but I cannot imagine how you would know more than others perhaps you guess or worked out they where unlikely to win there appeal I could have told you that I knew of the Ban I take it your not claiming to have know they where going to be banned before the original verdict. I did not read your article on changes in swiss law are you saying you knew of this change and no one picked up on it thats odd and you actually posted on it?. Again how would you know better than the big boys ? Everyone thought FIFA Was dodgy no big prize there it was only really proved when the FBI got involved Did you know what they knew I doubt it ?

    I am on here fairly often yet saw neither and do not frankly trust you

    In conclusion I can only think your a cheat and con a slander

  • William Rickson

    Where has the 1.5 million come from ?

  • Alan

    William, it seems ( M18ctid posted site and page above) he plagiarized it from a site (financialfairplay.co.uk) that took it from yet another site called Goal, a site with a millionth of the budget of any serious source like the BBC or SKY etc, a site that gets thing hugely wrong on a constant basis, and simply just copies other sources like so many do. Goal come up with figures using the words ‘around’ always a bit of a give away. Like Tony here and those nasty people who dare to say bad things about his beloved, straight as a right angle club Arsenal ‘(n)ever provided a scrap of evidence’ yes absolutely nothing backing them or a source similar to this. So our bigoted (I say so having previous encounters and reading some of his weird conspiracy theory based rubbish before, watching him not give an inch even after hard proof was posted, bit like he’ll do with this) friend here Tony. So really it’s best just to take his clip bate with a pinch of salt as he says about others he hasn’t got a ‘scrap of evidence’ lol

  • Double standards, its the main reason I,left this site. You cannot call people out on copy and paste and then go and do it yourself. There are some genuine people on here who only have the best interests of the club at heart then you have people who use it as a platform not only on footballing matters but also,political matters. I have learned a lot more since leaving here so I’m glad I made the right decision for myself.

  • nicky

    Tony at last you have been found out.Not only have you double standards but for years you have censored this site to allow only followers who are prepared to kiss your arse and follow some of your brainwashed storys!!!

  • lee

    Tony at last you have been found out.Not only have you double standards but for years you have censored this site to allow only followers who are prepared to kiss your arse and follow some of your brainwashed storys!!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    I have read the link to the other report about it and apart from the facts I see two different articles.

    But when I publish a match report and use facts (goalscorers, final score,…) that are also being used in other reports it is called copy and paste? As I am usually the first in the world to publish a full match report I should ask for copy rights from now on? 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    Come to think of it… it just that the supporters from Man City don’t want to get it exposed too much. So they attack the messager so they don’t have to answer to the real issues.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Morris comes home to find his wife, Sadie, crying.

    “I found out from the neighbors that you’ve been having an affair with that cheap secretary in your office! Why would you do that to me? Haven’t I always been a good wife? I’ve cooked for you, raised your children, and I’ve always been by your side for thirty-five years. What haven’t I done to make you happy?”

    Embarrassed, Morris confesses, “It’s true, Sadie, you’ve been the best wife a man could hope for. You make me happy in all ways but one. You don’t moan when we make love!”

    Sadie questions: “If I moaned when we had sex, you’d stop running around?! All right, come to the bedroom so I can show you that I, too, can moan!”

    So they retire to the bedroom, get undressed, and climb beneath the sheets. As they begin to kiss, Sadie asks, “Now, Morris, should I moan now?”

    “No, not yet.”

    Morris begins fondling Sadie. “What about now, Morris? Should I moan now?”

    “No, I’ll tell you when!”

    He climbs on top of Sadie and begins to have intercourse.

    “Is it time for me to moan, Morris?”

    “Wait, I’ll tell you when.”

    Moments later, in the heat of passion, Morris yells “Now, Sadie, moan! MOAN!”

    “OY! OY!” Moans Sadie. “You wouldn’t BELIEVE what a day I’ve had!”

  • Nicky “at last”? People have been saying this for years. But it is only because they don’t read the basic rules of the site concerning the way in discussion works.

  • Leon

    nicky & lee

    What little game are you playing?

    Why is this blog always goes tits up when it gets involved in other PL clubs business?

  • Leon

    nicky & lee

    Looks like you’ve been “found out”

  • M18CTID

    Walter,

    “I have read the link to the other report about it and apart from the facts I see two different articles.”

    Behave. Even your fellow Gooners are laughing on this occasion which tells you all we need to know 😉

  • petersmith

    So quite legally and within the regulations City agree a contract with a 17 year old from a Nigerian academy with the contract to kick in from his 18th birthday.

    Just like Arsenal who also quite legally and within the regulations agree a contract with a 17 year old (Kelechi Nwakali) with the contract kicking-in from his 18th birthday.

    Not much difference there then is there?

    But you have “heard” the City deal might be dodgy because cash payments were made prior to his 18th birthday but there is NO credible evidence of this anywhere.

  • Ajay

    I don’t see the reason for this site to concern itself with the behaviour and practices of other teams. It’s the off season and we have very little to write about. To do so about other clubs misdoings can also be our down fall, should any skeletons come tumbling out. And surely if the FA is not bothered why should any one else be. Oh and they sold Hayden to The Toons on a long term deal. Don’t know how much we are gonna miss him but seems to be highly rated.

  • nicky

    Re Nicky & Lee,it’s a sad reflection that obscenity and good grammar cannot go hand-in-hand.

  • Menace

    This whole area is of little interest to me as FIFA who are supposed to control it are dishonest in almost every aspect anyway. The likes of City, Chelsea & many of the privately owned clubs are just pipelines to wash money or suck up money through a much loved game.

    Corruption, Tax evasion & money laundering are part of today’s norms. Football for the punter is a way out. A way to try & forget the absolute vile aspects of today’s society. The fact that some of the bile is seeping into football is to be expected. Until fans unite to clean up our game by staying away from non UK owned clubs, nothing will change.

  • Leon

    “Until fans unite to clean up our game by staying away from non UK owned clubs, nothing will change”.

    Kudos to any fans who would do this, especially North Bank season ticket holders.😬

  • Peter Coyle

    Arsenal shareholdings are 97% held by a Russian and an American.

    Hardly makes Arsenal a UK cultural Icon

  • WalterBroeckx

    M18, we have a few Arsenal supporters who hate us. We know that. So some of them jumping on to this is just a way of bashing Untold.
    Some other Arsenal website even discusses and makes arrengements on how to come to us. As if they are taking numbers at the shop….

  • M18CTID

    “Until fans unite to clean up our game by staying away from non UK owned clubs, nothing will change.”

    Kroenke and Usmanov out then – way to go Menace!

  • Jambug

    Blewmoon48

    “So it seems according to your article that Man City were going to follow the correct procedure with Iheanacho, but, because Porto were prepared to break EUFA rules to possibly steal Iheanacho they paid earlier than they had intended.”

    So just because someone else is breaking the rules it’s ok for you to?

    Oh, that’s how it works is it?

    I’ll have to remember that if ever I break the rules.

    ‘Sorry officer but he was speeding so I thought it was alright for me to’

    You City fans manage to find a way to justify anything.

  • Petersmith as you rightly say, the difference between the clubs so far appears that Man C seems to have paid the father money in advance. This is of course, as you say, not illegal, but is clearly an activity that if it were to happen, would be a way of getting around the regulations. Such things often happen in life, and as a result the regulations are then tightened up. That’s all I am writing about. I am not sure why it seems to upset people so much.

  • PeterCoyle – you’ve got me there. What is the relationship between the article I wrote and your reply? Normally when there isn’t a link I tend to delete the comment, but I’ve kept yours just in case there is a link, and at the moment I can’t see it. Did I say that Arsenal was a UK cultural icon? Seems unlike the sort of things that I say.

  • M18CTID

    Tony, Peter Coyle was responding to Menace – not you – after he said “Until fans unite to clean up our game by staying away from non UK owned clubs, nothing will change” which was rather bemusing when you consider the nationalities of Arsenal’s major shareholders!

  • M18CTID

    Walter,

    I’ve been around here long enough to know that that is indeed the case but this is a different issue altogether. It’s not the usual Arsenal-related spat between Gooners holding differing opinions. It’s pointing out that none of this is Tony’s work and has been blatantly lifted from another website despite Tony passing it off as his own, and then being caught red-handed into the bargain. If that’s investigative journalism then my girlfriend’s 6 year old grandson can do a better job!

  • M18CTID

    Anyway, enough of Tony and his copy and paste jobs. What I want to know is this – how the hell can anyone “dislike” one of Brickfields’ jokes? THAT should be a far more pressing issue.

  • William Rickson

    Jambug except we did not break the rules according to Tony making the article pointless

  • Leon

    “how the hell can anyone “dislike” one of Brickfields’ jokes? THAT should be a far more pressing issue”.

    Because they are also cut & paste jobs. He doesn’t make them up himself (likewise the other joker colario), they are recycled crap.

  • William Rickson

    Menece are you saying that Manchester city are involved in tax avoidance evasion and corruption ? Where is your proof ?

  • Al

    M10ctid & others,
    Not sure you guys know what copy and paste is? Copy and paste is selecting text, right click and choose copy, then in destination file fight click and paste. The end result is identical pieces, word for word, comma etc.

    Now I have used two tools to compare the two articles and cannot for the life of me what you’re finding in both to come to that conclusion? The first tool (burp suite) which compares words letter for letter failed to come up with a single sentence that is similar in both articles. The second tool is a free online plagiarism checker found here and I copied the whole article by Tony and pasted it here, and the only thing the tool could find was the quote by Real Madrid director Jose Angel; he was quoted in the Telegraph, the same quote which Tony also quoted.

    The first tool compares words block by block, it doesn’t care where the article may have been published or not. The second uses complex algorithms which check billions of articles online for similarities. Both tools failed to point to the FFP article as Tony’s source. Fair enough, Tony doesn’t create news, he relies on other sources, so for him to report on something that may have been reported elsewhere, albeit in his own words, is not a copy and paste job. I watched CNN’s Richard Quest report on Madrid getting fined for state aid over the weekend, something Tony has reported on previously here. But I didn’t go ‘CNN plagiarised that!’ News is common from one source to another, I can’t see how each site will have unique news.

    You may accuse Tony of something else but copy and paste? Surely??

  • Al

    Meant ‘right click’s and not fight click…

  • Al

    2 dislikes already to my 2:38 post, but no response to counter my post… tells you all you need to know.

  • Tom

    Al
    Just out of curiosity , what might you accuse Tony of in this instance?

  • M18CTID

    Al,

    Pedant alert or what? So what if Tony didn’t actually copy and paste the whole article – what’s obvious is that he blatantly lifted it and used it as the basis for his article on here and implied that it was, in some part at least, his own work when it clearly wasn’t when he somewhat laughably said he can’t reveal his sources. Tony even goes right down to stating “Next up came a story which is said by a number of sources to have been in Sun News in Nigeria.However I can’t find that story and the page often cited as an internet link leads to a scam site that invites readers to download software that will do nasty things to your computer.” That link is in the story on Thompson’s website along with the Goal report he mentions and one can only assume that he has stumbled across the story long after it was published and thought “Ooohhh, some juicy gossip about City – let’s throw it on my site and indulge in a bit of fishing” like he has a tendency to so often do. In short, the story that Ed Thompson – someone with a clear agenda against City who has often been demolished by City fans who have a bit more of clue than him by the way – carried was basically a one-stop shop for Tony to get all his info from for this article and that’s every bit as bad as copy and paste.

  • Gord

    M18CTID

    I am a materials science and engineering person, with extensive background in nuclear. Including nuclear biology issues.

    A few days ago, I seen a news article about Fukishima, which I thought rather imprecise and possibly biased. I had thought about writing my own version of that same report (referencing it) so that it appeared less biased, and submitting to wikinews.

    As I understand your 4:16pm statement, I should not do that.

    Yes, I often get pedantic.

  • M18CTID

    Gord,

    Some clutching at straws there mate. Right, go back up the thread and one of the first comments asked Tony where he got the £1.5 million fee for Iheanacho from to which he replied: “Alan, of course you may have the view that the information here is worthless, that’s fair enough. And I am sure you won’t be back, because you hold that view. But equally you surely can’t expect untold to reveal its sources on an issue like this.”

    Which suggests to anyone reading this that Tony had gotten this incredibly juicy info off the record from a highly secretive source but here’s the rub because if we go back to the Ed Thompson article where Tony has clearly gleaned all his other info on this topic from, somewhat amusingly it also states this:

    £650,000 to the player when the player
    £350,000 to Iheanacho’s father
    £250,000 transfer fee
    £300,000 for the Taye Academy in Owerri (Nigeria)

    You see Gord, the point here (and some Gooners get it to be fair to them) is that Tony gives off the impression that he gets hold of stories that nobody else does which in turn gives him an over-inflated sense of importance, when the truth is that he just plagiarises stuff from other websites and puts a bit of his own spin on it.

    Conclusion: He doesn’t have any “sources” as such, never has done, and never will do. Unless you call re-hashing a story that has appeared elsewhere as a “source”.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ M18CTID – July 12, 2016 at 1:38 pm – Long time no see ! I think I have a stalker on here who just dislikes jokes ! Maybe he thinks that its ( the jokes ) all about him ?
    Most probably its just that pesky , prickly , pissedoff self appointed ‘hall monitor ‘ who doesn’t like anyone having fun on here . Or being happy , or contented .
    Anyway cheers !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And why is that those who post as different persons always fuck up in the end ? Why don’t you learn to ‘flesh’ out you characters’ whims and fancies , so as not to be caught out !

    I did predict that these fool(s) will tie themselves in knots with their own stupidity !
    Some things are all so predictable !

  • Gord

    I have no idea how many possible sources for that information are on the Internet, and no inclination to look.

    The first thing I see, as an accusation of copying an article or copying selected parts of an article. Al seemed to show that hadn’t happened. Then copying the gist of an article. So, I presented a copying the gist of an article argument (which has nothing to do with football).

    What I take from Tony’s article, is that the spirit of the rules is that no money change hands before age 18. But as often happens, a loophole allows money to change hands in some instance.

    I think that Tony would like the loophole removed. It seems to be unfortunate that ManCity happens to be the entity to demonstrate that the loophole exists. But couldn’t ManCity see the intention of the rules, and instead of exploiting the loophole, write to the governing bodies in question and tell them about the loophole?

    Or is life supposed to be an endless search for loopholes to get around rules meant to provide a level playing field?

    Which would indicate to me, that all mankind has an MBA.

  • Al

    M18
    You accused Tony of copying and pasting, which is not true as you can’t show me a single line that is identical in the 2 articles. Secondly you use the word plagiarism, and again, wrong, as you cannot prove he has plagiarised. Nor can the tool that I have put up for anyone’s use, it does not link Tony’s article and the thompson article at all. The closest the tool comes to comparing anything inside Tony’s article to any other article is that quote by Jose Angel, which to a tool looks like its been copied as a tool can’t tell what’s a quote and what isn’t. So this boils down to this; you read the article on Thompson’s site, and when Tony ran his today which has more or less similar findings you thought aha, gotcha. So just to be clear, you and your fellow side-kicks got both things wrong; no copy and paste, and no plagiarism. You misled some of the dimwits on this site into believing you had ‘exposed’ Tony, and being the silly tw*ts they are they jumped on the wagon without bothering to check what copy and paste or plagiarism is. I bet if they did some higher education learning they would have been familiar with both, and might have flagged that up earlier instead of making fools of themselves (shame on those fools). Yes, they made fools of themselves as they actually believed Tony was guilty of the conventioanl copy and paste job. Ok, you now say ‘he blatantly lifted..’, but the tool I provided can’t even detect any plagiarisation. If you want find your own tool which thinks there is plagiarisation and post it here..

    In my view, you’re trying to goad/trick/bully Tony into revealing his source/s, but Tony is refusing to reduce himself to that level.. and rightly so, he has got nothing to prove to you. In your response to Gord you demonstrate how shallow your argument really is, by saying Tony has got no sources but acts like he has. The £1.5m figure could have been found from different sources. So if this or that paper reports that so and so was bought for £x million does that mean another paper quoting the same figure is guilty of plagiarizing? The fact that Tony’s article has similar findings with thompson’s article does not prove plagiarism, does that mean the telegraph plagiarized the sun as they are both reporting Theresa May will become the next PM? It’s as if in your head 2 reports have to be totally different, or else it’ll be plagiarism on one of the reporter’s part. If something is in the public domain, then there is just no way it may reported completely differently from one publication to another, unless someone decides to add juicy bits.

    You could have done a much better job by doing your investigation which completely counters Tony’s article and the other ones you refer to as Tony’s sources. I suspect you only saw these two and thought Tony must have copied it from that source, but fo all you know there might be another article or more out there, which you may not even be aware of. I don’t have the inclination to do the digging for you, so won’t bother. As for the claim that Tony doesn’t have any sources, wow, I am lost for words. All I can say is show me one paper that has its own unique set of news not found anywhere else, and i will show you a lying publication.

  • Al

    Bricksfields
    The same people guilty of copying and pasting, and posting under multiple identities are the same people accusing Tony of copying and pasting…. what a joke.

  • Al

    Noticed a few seconds after my 5:37 post it had attracted 10 dislikes.. we have some demented and disturbed people lurking amongst us. Scary, if such person were your neighbour.

  • Al

    Tom,
    Had missed your post (probably because I’m used to skipping your comments!), I will not accuse Tony of anything, because there’s nothing to accuse him of, logically. Tony has even acknowledged that he has sources, so even if it turned out that this Thompson guy was Tony’s (just trying to follow you guys’ logic, not saying that is the source Tony used) that doesn’t make him guilt of anything. I can’t see anywhere Tony claimed he was the only person on earth aware of this story, so really this business of trying to accuse him of anything is bonkers, ridiculous and downright crazy.

    As an aside, Tom, is it coincidence that when you’re around some articles gain a sharp number of likes/dislikes in record time? I ask because this happened again previously and I asked you about it. It happened again soon after I posted my post at 5:37… again, it might just all be coincidence.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The hall monitor –
    http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1950/11/07

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Al July 12, 2016 at 6:01 pm – A Dislike from ‘them’ just means that WE are right !
    And it pains ‘them ‘!
    Rejoice !

  • M18CTID

    Al,

    Thanks to you, I’ve just wasted 5 minutes of my life reading that long-winded inane post of yours. Did you seriously use a tool to prove/disprove whether it was a copy and paste job? Crikey mate, I think you better stick to trainspotting 😉

    Anyway, I stand by my statement that Tony doesn’t have sources and articles already in the public domain don’t constitute a source in the sense that Tony refers to. Simple fact is that everything he referred to in this article referenced in the Thompson article……nearly 6 months ago! So it hardly constitutes a world exclusive does it? Now if that’s how Tony wishes to run his blog that’s his prerogative but he can’t complain if people call him out on it and believe me, having us lot point it out could turn out to be the least of his worries.

    I will add that I could claim the credit for revealing his source but I only found out about the Thompson article myself yesterday when another City fan highlighted it.

  • M18CTID

    Al,

    Re all the dislikes, I’m not guilty mate 😉

  • Al

    M18
    1. Using a tool was simply to check for similar words/sentences in both articles, sure you appreciate that both articles are quite lengthy so not easy to spot any obvious lines that have been copied and pasted. So us ‘tech geeks’, being the lazy bums we are, use tools and scripts where we can to do such jobs for us. It takes less than a minute, is much much faster than any human could ever be, and 100% accurate. To you it might look like a mammoth task but it took me seconds to conclude there was not a single line that had been copied and pasted.

    2. I have to be honest and admit I’ve never ever heard Tony crow about his sources, and I’ve been a regular on UA for more than 5 years now (visit at least 5 times a week). What I have known Tony to bang on about is evidence-based reporting, think he has said that more than a million times. And it seems that’s his main gripe with the mainstream media. Now, that suggests to me he goes hunting/digging for information. I would imagine that’s what every journo worth his salt ought to do as well. So does it necessarily mean that Tony’s sources have got to be classified secrets? Don’t think so. I have even heard him say the evidence is right there under their noses but those that work in the mainstream media won’t bother to dig for it or check.

    3. The article Tony wrote, had it been a thesis he was submitting for a study, would have resulted in him getting a mark and not getting penalised for plagiarism. That’s why the second tool was used. If he took that article and chopped and changed it to pass as his own, then he did a damn good job of it because the tool failed to draw any similarities. The only similarity was the quote, which he attributed to the right person. I challenge you to find your means of proving plagiarism, not this ‘its plagiarism coz I say so’ where tools that are a million times better than you at that fail to detect plagiarism.

    4. Sorry for my long winded and inane posts, I really didn’t wish it that way but when you have to explain what is copy and paste to people who seemingly don’t have a clue what it is sure you appreciate it’ll have to take a few more lines to do that.

    5. With regards to dislikes I wholeheartedly didn’t at any moment think it was you. It’s an endemic problem here on UA, with a discernible pattern to rule out man city fans 😂

  • Al

    M18,
    Know we need to drop this, and move on to debating real issues about football, but would you care to drop a line just to those people you inadvertently misled by using the term copy and paste?

    The reason I ask is UA moderators abhor the practice, and a few repeat offenders have been banished for that very offence. And it wouldn’t be nice to leave them thinking Tony is guilty of the same stuff he’s highlighted as being against here. Sure if you look at some of the posts you can see that’s how some of them took it to mean actually. Thanks.

  • Al

    And M18, sorry I always assumed you were 18 as your name suggests(and nothing to to do with Bryan Adams), but if your girlfriend has a 6yr old grandson….WTF!?!😂😂

  • M18CTID

    Al,

    Nah, that’s part of my postcode mate (must admit I wish I was still 18)

    When you used that tool, did you compare the 2 headlines? You have to admit that they look rather similar 😉

  • Al

    Headlines are usually similar, after all they’re talking about the same thing…

  • Gunnerjoe

    The way I see it m18 has done he’s job with the copy and paste nonsense and deflected the story.
    The story is that man city has been caught bending the rules or maybe breaking them again.
    The last time it was FFP and the site had the same reaction lots of man city fans telling us it was not true in many different ways just like above.

  • M18CTID

    Gunnerjoe,

    Nothing to do with deflecting the story – for once, I couldn’t give a monkeys about a negative City story on here. After all, we’ve kind of gotten used to them down the years and it’s not exactly unexpected these days – the summer months in particular usually see a spike in such stories on UA. My main issue was to do with Tony’s “source” for the £1.5 million fee and how he acted all secretive when the fact is that figure – whether true or otherwise – was out in the public domain for all to see for the best part of the last 6 months. Anyway, it’s been done to death now and there really isn’t much more to add. Plus I see Tony has posted a new article asking why us City fans get so angry whenever an article is posted on here. Maybe that’s because we’re a bunch of obnoxious northern c*nts, who knows? 😉

  • Cookster

    The following post seemed to have a non-existent email address which of course is now automatically blocked. But I’m including it because it raises an interesting point.

    “Nigeria wonderkid Kelechi Nwakali has confirmed he has signed a five-year deal with Arsenal.
    The 17-year-old is understood to have joined from Diamond Football Academy for a fee which will rise to around £3million.”

    So it’s OK for Arsenal to sign a 17 year old? Well researched again Tony!

    I have never seen any evidence that Arsenal paid any money to the family before this lad’s 18th birthday. That seems to me to be the difference.

  • Gunnerjoe

    Not sure that’s true 😀

  • Menace

    My opinion is not limited to others. I dislike the Greedy swine that hold majority stake in Arsenal just as much as those that have bought other clubs. Football is or maybe was our national game but when those that control it are allowing ‘outsiders’ to own it, makes a mockery of the word ‘national’. China is in the process of creating their own ‘team’ & do they know what ‘national’ means!

    The good thing about a shareholder owned club is that it can be limited to British national ownership by legislation. I presume it is more awkward to wrest ownership from private individuals.

    Cameron couldn’t, Boris wouldn’t but Theresa May!