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The only question that remains is, was the ref bought or was he just incompetent.

By Tony Attwood

Ewan Murray is the Guardian and Observer’s golf correspondent, with added responsibility for overseeing coverage of Scottish football. Ewan’s outside interests revolve around his own substandard golf game and Vladimir Romanov’s stewardship of Heart of Midlothian.

So by and large he is not the man you would put at the top of your list of those likely to break that absolute code of the media in all its guises, that match fixing and the buying of favours from referees actually exists.

And yet he is the man who has done it for he actually wrote this week in the Guardian, “Once again the cottage industry that is the lauding of all things La Liga, and Barcelona in particular, belies what appear to be dark arts. The Barça brand matters more than what should always be established codes of football conduct. So too, perhaps, does the Champions League brand, as backed further by BT Sport within recent days. Pundits fawn, laughably in respect of former footballers who would rightly be incandescent had they suffered at the hands of Barça’s routinely wobbly forwards.”

Now you might want to read this twice just to get what is being said because the key points are…

1: That somehow and somewhere football is routinely bent.

2: That the football media looks after itself and its own interests and most of all its own agenda, more than it considers the truth, or come to that reality.

3: Barcelona is one of a number of teams that must be protected from all allegations at all costs no matter what they get up to.

As he says, sarcastically, “It is Barcelona, they are brilliant, fresh parameters apply.”

Or as he adds a bit later in his review of the game, “If you watch back through the dying stages, Barça’s players are throwing themselves to the floor with such desperation it is comical.”

Of course this is the British media so the writer then makes excuses for the ref, saying, “Referees wouldn’t be human if they didn’t feel pressure to bow to the demands of the bawling masses,” but he does not retreat on his other allegation that the media does not and will not report or challenge, nor on the implicit point that no one but no one is sorting out the referees when they make such appalling errors.

 

56 comments to The only question that remains is, was the ref bought or was he just incompetent.

  • Rantetta

    Tony,

    Thanks.

  • Mandy Dodd

    All very interesting.
    Think it was quite significant that the Barca ref, well the media kept quiet, but he was so embarrassing, even UEFA have demoted him on that performance. Of course, the Arsenal Bayern ref suffered no such fate, Arsenals board might not be as influential , or as vocal , or put in as much money to the wider game as those of PSG.
    But, the Barca ref, like Busacco for the same team ,put it out there to the world that game was tilted.
    The Arsenal Bayern ref clearly made a couple of to decisions to ensure Arsenal had no chance of an unlikely comeback. Arsenal are probably the easiest team in the world for a ref to fix against, we certainly get no media support, in their hurry to be rid of the manager, the most vocal of the fans will back the most outrageous of ref decisions against us, and our board…appear at least to keep their silence
    Bent, biased, incompetent or pressurised? I would say, quoting Watergate , and as in all aspects of life, if you want the answer, follow the money. The game is awash with it, the PGMOL and their colleagues elsewhere will want their cut, especially as tilting in favour of certain teams ensures career progression, and may even satisfy inherent bias of certain refs. Selected deliberately for the occasion in the knowledge of this…..like Mr Taylor yesterday.
    Another small, but significant event this week, Mr Wenger…not rated I’m this country it seems, but widely respected worldwide, warned the governing bodies that delaying video refereeing will open authorities up to law suits. Could you imagine UEFA justifying the refereeing Barca get in General in a court of law?
    Mr Wenger has a lot to weigh up in coming weeks. He said he was revolted by the officials in the Bayern game. Coming hot on the heels of some pretty poor decisions in other recent Arsenal games. All the penalties we concede, those we do not get, the softest red cards in the game……I wonder if this will form at least a part of his decision……Wenger the purist wants to go one way, but he is clearly up against those punishing his club for their stance and his principles
    As for the referees in Europe and this league, I have no doubt …not all, but the worst of them are biased, career minded…..and know what Riley wants, and I would be amazed if some haven’t gained direct financial reward with it

  • Knobby

    6 mins injury time in the first half (two injuries, a minute each, one sub, one goal)

    0 mins injury time second half half.
    (4 goals, 5 subs,)

    If I had a bet on for 6-0 or 5-1 I may be a tad unhappy.

  • Norman14

    Very good Tony.

    It was, of course, one man who brought down Blatter’s FIFA – Andrew Jennings. Also a Scot I believe.

    Mandy:

    Given that it is not just PGMOL who are bending the rules, but UEFA and therefore, probably FIFA as well, we can only assume that the protagonists of global corruption are from a higher level. Like you say “Follow the Money” – and that leads us where? Multinational conglomerates, who control Gambling, TV and Print Media. You can name those on the fingers of one hand. However, no doubt if one did so, they would quickly find themselves on a trumped up charge of some sort.

    In response to Wengers suggestion regarding court cases, I have suggested this in the past – that a group of supporters are eventually get crowd funded, and take a referee and/or PGMOL to court to challenge the outcome of a match.

    Knobby:

    Absolutely right, and see the comment to Mandy.

    Three weeks ago, I sent an email to the Acting Chairman of the CMS enquiry into Governance in Football, Damian Collins MP, basically asking if he was planning an investigation into the structure operation and activities of PGMOL. Surprise surprise, I have not received and acknowledgement, let alone a proper response.

    All we can do is keep the pressure on, and support people like Ewan Murray, who at least has the balls to say something.

  • Bergkampslaces

    Did anyone else notice that Taylor’s decisions significantly improved after we got the second goal and there was no chance of a come back?

  • Rich

    I read that article with great interest and a sense of relief. However, I really didn’t get the sense he was suggesting real corruption was in play.

    Seemed more a comment on the ridiculous diving and poor sportsmanship from Barca, the fact the ref was under tremendous strain, and din’t cope well, and then the amazing hypocrisy and the like involved in the media whitewash which ignored Barca’s means to their end.

    I feel he was suggesting certain unofficial pressures steadily exert their influence on referees, as opposed to, you know, phone calls, envelopes, direct instructions. My belief is that it is probably similar unofficial pressures which have led to us being treated the way we are on the home front, and that the results are no less damaging to us than if outright back-and-white corruption was involved.

    I got a weird and ultimately hollow sense of satisfaction in seeing how the media and football world dealt with that victory. There may be a few rare exceptions- the writer of the article for instance- but it made clear that for the most part it is all a sham.

    For instance, I’m pretty sure Lineker has expressed contempt for diving on a few occasions, and yet he was unbelievably happy about a victory for a team diving systematically and winning as a direct consequence. I’m sure the same applies to virtually every one of the journalists, commentators, pundits who gloried in the victory yet have moralised about diving in the past and will do again in the future.

    To celebrate the Barca victory while ignoring the diving and theatrics should mean forfeiting any right to complain about any kind of bad sportsmanship or cheating for the rest of your football days or until you recant. But unfortunately that just isn’t the world, or the football world.

    This year, the very last vestiges of doubt have gone for me that any of the football people we see do not carry around a set of biases or make any serious, credible effort to overcome them.

    The FA cup, with a series of underdog matches, including some memorable ones for us, made all this clearer than ever. The same people who will gasp censoriously and profess indignation at,say, an amber Xhaka challenge, will happily laugh off a much worse one in a different context. Context is everything, biases go unchecked, standards are all malleable.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Norman14 , if there is corruption, would certainly put gambling, and especially illegal gambling right up there, the sums involved are colossal.
    The media will eventually turn if they have to, as British cycling is finding out, off the back of government interference , but it takes a lot.

  • ossasa

    That Barcelona win was amazing and I have watched the highlights more than once and it was just a crazy game. One in a thousand. Suarez is in the top five best in the world and Neymar now looks to be at least number three. Cannot fathom the constant griping about other teams and officials on here. Think you are teasing out ideas in that article that are normally the bread and butter for those who are trapped in life is a conspiracy and why ewon’t know one listen to me culture. I mean as a bit of perspective Sanchez was diving against mighty Lincoln but hey thatsa futeball. Anyone know when the semi final draw is? Merry month of May and all that.

  • Norman14

    Yes, I know when the draw is. I’m a supporter so looked it up!

  • MickHazel

    There seem to be a few ‘supporters’, if indeed they are supporters, commenting on Untold who are going out of their way to justify the dubious actions of players from other clubs whilst finding reasons to take the opposite view with players from their own club.

  • Just wondering how the number nine of Lincoln (matt rhead)his first so called foul,he was treated on the field and then stayed on it,well us mustafi was treated n went off the field.Plus almost all arsenal fouls had to be yelow. So looks like taylor replaced mike dean shit all antics. But who cares & now a whorelist says Ozil comitted one of the worst fouls he has ever seen.

  • Nitram

    The thing is, they sometimes let there mask slip.

    During the commentary we had this from Steve McManaman when PSG hit the post at a crucial moment in the 2nd half.

    “…luckily it didn’t go in”

    Not much I know, but as they say, the ‘Devil is in the detail’.

    So I have to ask. Lucky for who Steve? You? Me? Barca? UEFA? BT Sport? World peace?

    You tell me.

    Look, I know in isolation it might not mean much, but it could, because it is at these unguarded moments that true feelings come to the surface.

    Much in the way Tony Gale letting slip his little yelp of glee when our opponent scored in a Champions League match, showed where his head was.

    Much in the way Mike Dean can’t hide his love for Spurs as demonstrated in the way he appears to wheel away in glee after Spurs score against Villa:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/referee-mike-dean-appears-to-wheel-away-celebrating-tottenham-goal-twitter-erupts-a6719106.html

    And in the way he does his little jig of joy when Spurs scored against us:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si81XxId9zw

    Similarly, it was at that moment that McManaman let the shield of impartiality slip, and showed where his, and I have no doubt everyone else’s at BT, loyalties laid.

    From the article above I think the following sums it all up brilliantly:

    “”There is almost the sense that the Champions League needs Barça’s involvement, regardless of the means by which that transpires.”

    “The only bit he misses is that the media is utterly complicit in insulting the intelligence of onlookers””.

    Perfectly put.

    And from Rich:

    “…..the amazing hypocrisy and the like involved in the media whitewash which ignored Barca’s means to their end.”

    Exactly. Comparing the medias utter indifference to it all, with how they treat us, is frankly sickening.

    Whilst everyone was lapping it up, me and the better half just sat there watching in disgust.

    Nice to see it wasn’t just us.

  • Knobby

    Wenger also made very strong comments about the referee on Tuesday, yet nothing has been said by UEFA.
    Is a potential unemployed Wenger a dangerous animal to UEFA with the amount of respect he carries within the game?

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    This comment posting of mine may not be published. But regardless, I’ll still say what’s on my mind as regards to Le Prof’s comment that, criticism of the Gunners after their poor performances in the big games of Chelsea, Liverpool and Bayern Munich is unjust.

    I beg to disagree to an extent with Le Prof in his comment in which he has rejected criticism of the Gunners apparently made by Patrick Vieira who has commented that the Gunners have let him and in extension the club down with their recent poor showings in the Chelsea, Liverpool and Bayern Munich games which have led to Arsenal exiting the PL title race and UCL competition this season. In as much as we’ve taken notice of some referees questionable and appalling officiating performances in the PL and UCL matches, and in these games that involved Arsenal, urgent action is needing to be taken to stop the rot continuing unabated against Arsenal in their games.

    It’s true some Gunners performances in their recent games for Arsenal have become questionable and looking to be appalling in some games. And that’s brings to scrutiny the quality of some old Gunners at Arsenal and the recent ones Le Prof have signed in the last summer window for Arsenal.

    The Gunners of, Xhaka and Perez have shown in their games they lacked the quality consistency to play for a big club of Arsenal status to help us win titles. Xhaka has shown he has no footwork (ball control) and he can hardly dribbled out of tight markings situation as he has shown in our FA Cup against Lincoln yesterday which I watch live on my TV set. Has Le Prof not been misled by the Arsenal scouts to buy this Xhaka in the region of transfer fee of £35 – 38m as was reported in the media? If Le Prof had added a few pounds to that sum and bought Kante from Leicester, would it have been better at Arsenal midfield? Can Arsenal compare the effectiveness game playing wingback quality of Alonso and Moses of Chelsea with our Bellerin and Monreal or Gibbs wingback game playing quality? That’s the point. Bellerin is a top wingback but he lacks effectiveness in his game for Arsenal. He hasn’t scored any goal for Arsenal this season, and has he given some assists that led to goals for Arsenal this season? The OX is good but needs to step it up in his game for Arsenal so that he can become effective directly or indirectly for Arsenal or Arsenal get a better than him who will be regularly be effective in terms of goalscoring for Arsenal. Iwobi is coming up but should be told to improve vastly in all aspects of his games for Arsenal and forget about girlfriend issue for now. Welbeck is good but he can still improve on his quality and in his games for Arsenal. Ramsey too needs to improve on his quality and in his game for Arsenal. The left wingback Gibbs has pace but can’t score. Did we see how he ballooned a sitter yesterday? With his experience as a senior Gunner, that was bad and inexcusable.

  • ossasa

    Sam
    Excellent stuff mate and glad to hear such a credible voice again. You are right about the new signings which have cost a lot money for such a cash strapped club. The squad is on an evolution of mundanity. Faceless journeymen and not confident enough to go against the big boys. Even yesterdays’ first half was awash with the jitters. Poor souls.

  • Nitram

    And yet despite all these shitty players and shitty performances we still out perform Spurs and Liverpool.

    2 Clubs that apparently show Arsenal and Wenger:

    How to buy players.

    How to coach teams.

    How to motivate players.

    How to organise teams.

    Yada yada yada.

  • ossasa

    And Totts and Scousers have pushed Arsene out of the top four. What season are you on? lol!

  • KR

    Sam – Great post, the money spent on Xhaka is shocking.

  • Nitram

    ossasa/Sam

    And in case you missed it on an earlier thread, THIS is why we struggle to win things and beat these teams:

    Lets have a look at what’s been happening, spend and trophy wise these last 5 years:

    MAN CITY.

    Net spend £402 Million or £80+ per season.

    Won: 1 PL, 2 LC’s, 1 CS’s.

    Last 4 League finishes: 2-1-2-4: This season? Top 4 likely.

    MAN UTD

    Net spend £352 Million or £70+ per season.

    Won: 1 PL, 1 FAC, 2 CS’s,

    League finishes: 1-7-4-5: This season? Top 4 possible.

    ARSENAL

    Net spend £206 Million or £40+ per season.

    Won: 2 FAC’s, 2 CS’s

    League finishes: 4-4-3-2: This season? Top 4 possible.

    CHELSEA

    Net spend £186 Million or £37+ per season.

    Won: 1 PL, 1 LC, 1 EC.

    League finishes: 3-3-1-10: This season? Likely Champions.

    Looking at those numbers we are really, to coin a phrase ‘up against it’. So given that, honestly, are our achievements these last 5 years really THAT BAD ?

    Okay, some points to note:

    First the spending.

    Despite us spending more we still have a net spend about 50% that of Man City.

    Despite us spending more we still have a net spend about 60% that of Man United.

    Chelsea on the face of it have cut back on there spending, and with a net spend of £186 Million have actually spent £20 Million less than us. But lets not forget that that £186 million is building on a net spend of £135 Million over the previous 5 seasons, (and even more prior to that). A period over which Arsenal actually achieved a £30 Million net PROFIT.

    Also of course, City and United’s last 5 years spending is ON TOP OF similar amounts spent over the previous 5 seasons.

    What this shows is that despite our relative increase in spending we are still not in the same league as those 3, and are actually playing a massive game of catch up, in which those 3 have at least a one lap head start, and we have one hand tied behind our back.

    So given the still massive difference in financial power, what the figures above show is that our over all performance over the last 5 years stacks up pretty well, when compared to the 3 financial juggernauts whom against we are always judged, despite still not being anywhere near in the same financial league.

    So yes, we do have bad days at the office, but so does everyone else, but to me the only fair judgement that can be made is of the big picture.

    And given all the financial restraints under which Wenger still works in relation to others he does pretty damn well.

    If you don’t agree please tell me why you think we should finish above/out perform 3 Clubs that for TEN years where spending TEN times the money we where on transfers. And are now still capable of spending 40/60% more than us.

    When you consider that 10% is a massive differential in elite sport, that is some handicap to overcome, and I for one don’t see why we should. I’m not saying I don’t hope we can. Even think we can at times. But it’s this expectation that we should that gets me.

    I look forward to hearing why YOU think we SHOULD.

  • Markyb

    Season has ended has it ?

  • Nitram

    ossasa

    So despite Spurs finishing bellow Arsenal for over 20 years you make your judgement on this ONE moment in time, with still 2 Months of the season to go.

    Just shows how your brain works, and it aint good.

  • Knobby

    Poor “HARRY” Kane has wrecked his ankle again.
    Oh dear.

  • Menace

    Don’t feed the trolls! this one is hungry because his family have dumped him on the streets.

  • insideright

    May I just repeat a comment I made post Bayern please?
    Their fans held up the game for 2 mins by throwing toilet rolls on the pitch and the ref added no time at all for it. Why?

  • ossasa

    Poor old Menace has run out of excuses. Economy class is it? Nit(ram) – look at practice in the here and now, not theory projections. Some goals from those bleedin spuds hey? Doubt if many of you have even been to WHL. I was there in 71 for the big one. Credit where credit is due. Stop lowering the standards. It’s not classy.

  • Nitram

    ossasa

    Did you actually get an education?

  • Nitram

    Sorry, the reason I asked is because:

    -To fail to acknowledge the importance of economics within football is akin questioning the importance of grass in a field.

    -To suggest that all that matters is the ‘here and now’ is so naïve as to be ridiculous.

    -To suggest that Spurs scoring 3 goals today has any relevance to this debate what so ever is mind boggling.

    -To say ‘I was there in ’71 and I bet you wasn’t’, as if it puts you on some kind moral high ground, is just sad.

    And I’m lowering standards. Oh dear.

    Sorry, I cant take you seriously.

  • Tommo

    Insideright, against Bayern, the ref played one minute of added time in the first half. So how do you work out no time was added?

    Furthermore, my stopwatch made it 54.7 seconds that play was held up for with the toilet rolls. Where do you get two minutes from?

    Is this another defining turning moment we are talking about, or is it a competition to see who can pick the most corrupt incidents in the game?

    However, the ref did add three minutes in the second half to give us every chance of pulling the 8 goals back, unlike yesterday’s corrupt official.

    Why the difference in the two games? I don’t know!!

  • ossasa

    Nice one Nitty and obv were not there in 71 and perhaps Cardiff or Wembley. Ah yes edu – have you done your O’s yet? I do have a degree and numerous certs but who cares? Not me mate. Hope Klopp is not going to rub it in today. Who needs top four when there is an FA Cup for the taking. Sorry – that was 2 & 3 seasons ago. Aaah the old walk from Manor House to WHL – all the lads and Nitty, not.

  • Nitram

    ossasa

    As I said, degree or no degree, I cant take you seriously.

  • luscious lisa

    Nitram,
    nicely put. Which brings me to the off-topic but perennial question of the manager, actually triggered by the BT pundits determined to talk about the manager’s future and not the game.
    The problem at Arsenal, I’ve come to conclude, is the ownership. Let’s suppose we had owners, like Chelsea and Man City, where winning was more important than money. I Imagine the discussion with a new manager goes something like this

    – your job mr manager is to win xyz or you will be sacked
    -ok, how much will you give me to spend to win xyz
    -how much do you need
    -£xyz and a 5 year contract with a huge parachute payment if things go wrong.
    -Jeepers, £xyz?, that’s 3 times what that old codger spends at the Emirates and he finished 2nd
    -you’re testing my patience, do you want to win xyz? are you accountants or are you winners?
    -Ok, you arrogant tit, you can have your money
    -thanks,
    -but you’ll be sacked mid-season if things go belly-up
    -and what is the downside to me about that?

    So do we want want a club owned by winners or by accountants, (and a charlatan for a manager?)

    The owners are not going to change to suit the supporters. So I put the ball in AW’s court. He should be telling the
    board what he needs to deliver XYZ. It’s called an ultimatum. Something like

    AW: Listen you money grubbers, i’ve been lining your pockets for 20 years, now it’s payback time
    Moneygrubbers: Uh?
    AW: I’ll sign your damn 2 year contract, but I want XYZ for transfers and wages, or i’m off to Barcelona
    Moneygrubbers: But that’s as much as those loony arabs and dodgy oligarchs are spending
    AW: Yeh, it’s called the price of love…and limitless ambition.
    Moneygrubbers: Ok, but if things go belly up you’ll be sacked mid-season
    AW: You’ve got a deal.
    Moneygrubbers: But we’ll be doubling ticket prices.
    AW: The supporters will understand. Winning is everything.

  • Bergkampslaces it is very difficult with the resources we have to say for sure that there is dubious goings on with the referees beyond the obvious incompetence we see, but one of the key ways is that which you have pointed out. In type 3 match fixing, the ref is instructed to try and ensure x doesn’t win – but if they get goals which can’t be disallowed and are in control, the ref then backs off so that his corruption does not show.

    Of course just seeing a ref improve is no proof – but it is a suggestive indicator.

  • Nitram

    luscious lisa

    Thanks

    You ask:

    “So do we want want a club owned by winners or by accountants, (and a charlatan for a manager?)”

    I think I know what you are doing here, but I think by definition, what you are implying is that our owners are currently not ‘winners’. I have to disagree.

    The fact is none of them would be the enormously wealthy individuals that they are, if they where not ‘winners’ within there field.

    But how did they become winners? What values do they hold? That could be the key.

    We can only surmise.

    But I’m sure it is within those values that the key to the way they conduct the stewardship of Arsenal FC lies.

    Maybe the foundation of there lives, and in turn there wealth, is that for something to be of value it should be achieved through hard work, dedication and determination, rather than just purchased like some trinket off a shelf?

    I don’t know. As I say I’m just surmising. But if I’m right, then maybe the question that should be sked of the fans is:

    Do you want them to dip there hands in there very deep pockets and simply ‘buy’ us these trinkets, ala Chelsea and Manchester City, or, do we want to ‘win’ these trinkets, through hard work, dedication and determination.

    Well, that’s my take on it, and I’m 100% behind the Club for stetting us down this path, and in turn 100% behind Wenger as he steers us along it, as rocky as that path may be.

  • MickHazel

    Nitram
    I am with you 100%.

  • Mandy Dodd

    So Can scores the winning goal for Liverpool, a player who should be serving a suspension for a red card, except for the fact a referee didn’t do his job…..scared to upset a media darling.

  • Menace

    HE was at the game in WHL in 71. Should have stayed there the snake. hissississ.

  • Norman14

    Regarding referees, in the Scouse/Burnley match, Barton took a throw in towards Barnes who was between 2 Scousers. The linesman flagged and Pawson gave the Scouses a free kick against Barnes..

    Barnes “Ref, REF! What was that for”?
    Pawson “I don’t know”

    WTF

  • Mandy Dodd

    A Charlatan for a manager!!
    The Only One I Know who has managed a team called the invinclbles …in this league…..for well over a hundred years.
    And Just When You’re Thinking Things Over……Wenger isn’t finished yet this season.
    How High can we finish this season….?One To Another, can tell you I strongly think we are going to really kick on until seasons end…..but Wenger just needs to be a little wary of the North Country Boys in black.

    Sorry, a bit of a fan of that band

  • Anybody want a bucket of sand, some supports need to bury their heads in it……reality it to hard be admit.

  • Leon

    Nitram
    I’ll take the first option as we will never be able to compete with the cash rich clubs on a even playing field otherwise. If it’s not illegal why not do it their way?

  • Is To hard to admit….

  • Tom

    Mandy
    I can see you are having difficulty getting over the Can second yellow against Arsenal that wasn’t given.
    Do yourself a favor and go to “arsenal player.com” and have a look at the Coquelin challenge on Coutinho in the sixth minute of the game.

    Pay special attention to the replay on 6’12 seconds and then tell me it was Liverpool who got the better of the referee’s decisions that day.

    Arsenal should’ve been reduced to ten man since minute 6 of that game.

  • Ernest

    I highly doubt there is corruption involved. Poor and incompetent officiating! Likely, but even I have a hard time believing there is any degree of corruption involved. The game has taken enough hits that it can Ill afford what is being suggested by some. Poor officiating is the culprit and nothing more.

  • ossasa

    Bloody hell! Scousers playing rubbish and 5 pts to the good while the other scousers are coming up fast. Most of the old dodderers who own Arsenal no doubt are lazy duds who inherited their wealth and spend most of their time between meals fast asleep. Say what you like about AB he loves a game and recent figs are showing cash strapped Arsenal are indeed richer than Chelsea. Buying the right players and coaching them seems to have some effect. Get most of that right and who cares what the ref does. Oi Menace you virtual nutter!

  • luscious lisa

    Nitram,
    i’m shamed and humbled by the high ground you have taken.

    But where you err is that spending is not an alternative or substitute for hard work. Our competition work very hard for everything they win. The indians fought very hard against the cowboys. But it’s very hard to win an unequal fight.

    It seems AW lost out on the Kante transfer to Chelsea because of money. If Kante were with Arsenal and not Chelsea our respective league positions might have been reversed, who knows. Sometimes maybe we need a board that will, on occasion, back the managers judgement irrespective of cost. And a manager that will demand, on occasion, that they do so.

  • Tom

    Mandy
    But I agree with you on the money issue in football and CL specifically.

    Here’s the thing though, who would we rather watch in the final of the CL:
    Sevilla v PSG , or Bayern v Barca or RMadrid?

    I know my answer.

    Clubs like PSG and Arsenal have to take their chances when the opportunity knocks ,against the UEFA favorites like Bayern and Barca.

    Arsenal had a fair ref at Bayern but choked.
    The return leg was purely a formality.

    PSG got a fair ref in their home leg and a flat Barca team , and should’ve closed the deal away but choked.
    Electing to park a bus from minute one for a club like PSG is a disgrace to football regardless how dubious Suarez pen was.

    My personal opinion , if a player is caught diving for a pen and cautioned , to give him a pen minutes later, there would have to be paramedics involved in bringing him back to consciousness.

  • Knobby

    Was Koscielny a victim of double jeopardy on Tuesday or are the rules different in Europe to domestic competition?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @Ernest

    Is there a lot of money in the game? Yes…boatloads.
    That alone tells me there is going to be corruption. Just as there is white collar crime…tax evasion, money laundering… whatever, in any other mundane industry, so would there be in sport. The difference is that I don’t cheer for Tesco vs. Sainsbury’s nor do I bet (though those who buy shares in those companies, do). It seems more likely to me that there is corruption in sport than the opposite. Of course, I have no proof but just as there is insider trading and the like in industry, I would surmise that there would be in football.

  • Josif

    Just a little note:

    Bayern knocked out Juventus in 2015-16 in the Round of 16. The first leg in Turin ended 2:2 after Bayern had had a 2:0 lead but in the second leg it was Juventus that scored the first goal of the game. At 0:1 Alvaro Morata scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled out. Juventus eventually got their goal for 2:0 but Bayern managed to make a spectacular come-back, got the game into extra-time and won it 4:2. If Morata’s goal had been given… Who knows.

    The referee was Jonas Eriksson.

  • para

    Ossaso, Nitram:

    I thought having degrees meant being that much further indoctrinated into the wants and needs of the world rulers.

    Those with degrees are like the “house” slaves, the ones who get to eat and sleep in the “masters” house.

    The rest are the field slaves.

  • Nitram

    luscious lisa

    Firstly, please don’t patronise me.

    I am not taking the ‘high’ ground. And you certainly do not have to be ‘shamed and humbled’. I am not even saying I am right. I am just giving my opinion.

    You said:

    “Our competition work very hard for everything they win.”

    Nobody says they don’t work hard.

    But I don’t doubt for one minute that Arsenal, Spurs, Everton, Stoke, Bournemouth etc. etc. all work just as hard.

    The difference is Man City are working hard with a Billion pound donation from The Abu Dhabi United Group

    Chelsea are working hard with a Billion pound donation from Roman.م

    It does make a difference you know or why do it?

    And also, don’t miss understand me, I have no issue with wealth per say, or the acquisition of wealth, or indeed with how that wealth is spent. My issue’s are 2 fold. Firstly with HOW the wealth is acquired, and secondly the denial that that wealth is the basis of there success.

    The first thing is just a personal thing. I understand that some people just don’t care at all how the wealth is acquired, and that’s up to them, but I do, for reasons I said above. Ergo I see no achievement in just being GIVEN a Billion quid (Where’s there hard work there Lisa?) and told, there you go, win me a title.

    But conversely, if Arsenal continue down this self sustaining path and acquired there wealth through the 3 or 4 main money streams, namely, Match day revenue, Sponsorship and marketing, TV and prize money, then I would have no problem with that because non of that is a GIFT. All of those things are either earned or are related to performance and success in some way or another.

    So, as I say, I have no issues acquiring that BILLION quid through hard work, good business practise, clever marketing, and success on the pitch, which is why I haven’t mentioned Manchester United, because by and large, there enormous wealth and standing in the game has been acquired with a heady mixture of all the above.

    The second issue I have is with the denial that it is that enormous wealth that is the basis on which the success is built. Even you did it lisa, with your notion that it was down to ‘hard work’.

    Poppycock.

    Of course they work hard, that’s a given for every club.

    As much as I cannot abide Stoke City, nobody can deny that they work hard. In fact, they may be the hardest working club in the land. They work with limited resources but year after year after year they maintain a very respectable placing in the PL.

    But they haven’t won the PL have they? They haven’t got even close have they?

    But tell me Lisa, if Roman suddenly fell out with Chelsea and decided to invest his Billions into Stoke City rather than Chelsea what do you think there chances of winning the PL would be then?

    So don’t give me it’s down to ‘hard work’ because that’s just nonsense.

    It’s down to the money, and if anyone doesn’t believe that then it is them that have there heads in the sand.

    Whether you believe our owners should bank roll us, as Leon believes, is up to you, but as I say, I just don’t want to do it like that, for reasons stated above.

    Ah, I see Toms around.

  • Nitram

    Hello Tom

    Have you found that evidence of Eboue and Pires diving all over the place?

    Did you take a look at Rooney and Gerrards little montages? Hilarious.

  • Tom

    Nitram
    What’s your point?

  • Tom

    Nitram
    I think you might be confusing me with another poster named Tom,
    who spells his name with a lower case t.

  • Nitram

    Tom

    My apologies, you are correct. Hadn’t even noticed there where 2 Toms, or is that 3 ?

    Tom, tom and Tommo.

    All too much for me it seems.

    Fact remains I’m still waiting for tom, with a small ‘t’, to return with his evidence.

  • Luscious lisa

    Nitram,
    I totally agree that money invested in the squad is the key to success. I’m just saying there’s nothing wrong with that. Sure, to win despite investing less is great, but very difficult. That’s why in the NFL the team that finished lowest in the ranking gets first pick of players in the draft.
    I don’t think Arsenal need to necessarily outspend the competition, because the competition have made many atrocious investments. But I do think that as long as Arsenal will not spend what it takes to get a player the manager really wants, who is also wanted by our competition, we will struggle at the highest level. (Changing the manage, or anything else, won’t alter that equation, unless the new manager is able to force a change in the buying policy.