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It is getting to the stage that what the UK media doesn’t tell us is a lot more interesting than what it does

By Tony Attwood

In my piece earlier today I pointed out that the Conservative Party’s proposal to introduce huge restrictions on what people can post, share and publish online in the UK, and so allow Britain to become “the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet”, is not being reported in the British mainstream media, because it so obviously benefits them while scaring the hell out of those of us who write blogs.

The newspapers are of course major donors to and supporters of the Conservative Party.  Bloggers tend to take a different point of view.

Equally interesting is the fact that the mainstream media has constantly refrained from keeping its readers up to day with the topic of corruption in football, largely because the media pays to keep football going.  They have the biggest vested interest of all.

Indeed the fact that so much of the background concerning corruption in football is hidden away and regularly avoided by the UK press is yet another reason why we need an open internet, not one controlled by the state as us being proposed for Britain.

As you may have heard if you have been paying close attention Sandro Rosell, president of FC Barcelona from 2010 to 2014, has been threatened with a prison sentence in relation to money laundering and belonging to a criminal organization. Rosell has rejected the allegations.

Rosell has been at the heart of European and indeed world football for years. If he can be persuaded to talk we might well learn a lot more about how the World Cup was given to Qatar, a country that has no human rights record, has no inclination to move towards human rights, and which has ludicrously high daytime temperatures.

As those papers in Europe that are reporting the issues report with glee, journeys to Madrid were one of the recurring themes in Sandro Rosell’s life through 2014 when he was still president of FC Barcelona. Recently he went back there, but the trip was not as pompous as it used to be. Instead of the Learjets, an armored van was waiting from the police station in Barcelona, ​​and from there he was taken to the Tres Cantos headquarters in Madrid, where Rosell had to spend the night. On the next day, Carmela Lamela a judge at the National Court awaited the pleasure of his company.

The subject under discussion was the old curse of football, and one that Untold has interested itself in many times: money laundering and belonging to a criminal organization. Rosell, unsurprisingly continued to reject the accusations.

But it does not look good for the man who ruled Barça for those four years, for he is now in police custody along with his wife, and the hefty sum of 35 million euros have been frozen by police in the couple’s bank accounts.

Rosell is also the focus of interest by the US Justice Department. He is considered a central “domino” in the game now being called by European commentators FifaGate.  (One might hope for a more imaginative name some day, but Fifagate it is.    The title is not being used in the UK where Fifa largely remains off-limits to the press (at least until the arrests start again) and quite simply describes the growing number of corruption cases surrounding the Fifa – the organisation to which the UK government has continued to pay money, via the bankrupt FA.

But the thinking in Europe and indeed in the USA is, if Rosell can be taken down, he will then bring down the rest of the edifice.

Rosell was closely linked to key figures in Fifa, including Fifa General Secretary Jérôme Valcke, who was fired in 2016, and with  former President of the Brazilian FA Ricardo Teixeira. Between them it is alleged, they controlled the TV income of the Brazil national team, holding back substantial sums that should have gone to the Brazil National Association.  Instead the money went into an account of a private company in New Jersey that belonged to Rosell.

Various star players including Neymar were then approached to play an unspecified friendly, but with the funds for the game paid not to the Brazil association, but to a company in the Caribbean.

According to documents now before the court, 1.6 million dollars were paid to a company called ISE, which included investors from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. ISE passed only 68% of the money through the proper channels, the rest going into Rosell’s company.

In fact the allegations added together now suggest that in 2011, a company of Rosell sent a total of 1.7 million euros to the account of the eleven-year-old daughter of Teixeiras. Many millions are said to have then been laundered via Andorra.

The Rosell case is doubly explosive…

On the one hand, he connects the main suspects in FifaGate: In addition to Teixeira, Rosell is also closely with Jérôme Valcke the former Fifa General Secretary, who is in the focus of Swiss Federal Ministers investigation, who had set up another sports agency in Barcelona

On the other hand the Rosell case also leads to a shadowy area that has barely been considered in the football investigations: the sponsors.   Nike is the first sponsor to be picked up by the US judiciary, the group is mentioned in a Fifagate lawsuit under the term sportswear company A.

Nike has said it is cooperating with the authorities.

Elsewhere

5 comments to It is getting to the stage that what the UK media doesn’t tell us is a lot more interesting than what it does

  • ob1977

    I think between deals and coverups it will mostly all blow over and very little releases said and done. I mean I truly believe the whole thing is corrupt from head to for throughout all aspects, probably leastly the players themselves. I can’t just can’t see how the game continues if one day the truth comes out.

    I have said for quite a few years I am an Arsenal fan, but sadly no more a football fan.

  • Nitram

    ob1977

    “I am an Arsenal fan, but sadly no more a football fan”. Ditto.

    Far and away our biggest problem is apathy. Nobody gives a f**k.

    When football is talked about at work, almost to a man opinions follow those as laid down by the main stream media. When I say to them you shouldn’t believe all you read in the Sun or hear on talksport they say, ‘I don’t’. But you know they do because everything they say is in line with the crap those particular sources pump out on a day to day basis:

    From:

    The Diabolical standards of referees.

    —It all evens out in the end.
    —All the big clubs get all the decisions.

    Wenger.

    —Whinger.
    —Cant coach.
    —Dithers in the transfer market.

    Arsenal

    —Most expensive tickets.
    —Greedy owners

    PGMOL

    —Never even heard of them.

    British coaches.

    They don’t have a clue about what happened to the grass roots money and the loss of funding, or how money was redirected to the building of Wembley Stadium, or spunked on corrupt World cup bids.

    They haven’t got a clue exactly how far behind the rest of Europe we are in the way we produce coaches, or rather don’t.

    As regular readers of UA know, there’s more, much more, but these people just haven’t got a clue, and what’s worse they just do not give a shit.

    By and large they see no further than there own team. No further than the last result.

    The problem is the media know there audience. They know, that basically, despite the possible long term implications, these people don’t really want to know the truth, because as so eloquently put by Jack Nicholson in a Few Good Men:’You Cant Handle The Truth’.

    It’s an uncomfortable feeling to be told that the game you love is rotten to the core.

    The Body that Runs World football is corrupt and infested with criminals.

    Our own FA is simply not fit for purpose.

    The body that runs the referees is organised in away that allowed the corruption in Italian football to go unchecked for so long and that it is more secretive than the Masons.

    The referees they run perform at such a low level as to be embarrassing, yet our main sports broadcaster actively support them in there claim that they get 98% of there decisions correct, yet at work this hardly merits comment.

    And I’ll be honest, if I didn’t read this magnificent blog I wouldn’t know have the things I do.

    And perhaps that’s the point. Perhaps if I didn’t know what I do, and I too lived in the ignorant bliss that so many do, I would still love the game.

    But I do know, and because of that, I don’t.

  • MickHazel

    Excellent as always Nitram.
    ‘more secretive than the Masons’
    I have often wondered how widespread membership of this organisation is within the football fraternity, particularly with regard to referees, and whether said membership could have a bearing on the way some teams are treated by the various parties, from refs through to the media.
    Maybe Riley belongs to the same lodge as Ferguson, that would explain a hell of a lot!
    Maybe Wenger was invited to join but declined ( they don’t like being turned down) which would also explain a lot!
    I have mentioned the masons on here a couple of times before but no-one seemed interested in discussing it.

  • Nitram

    MickHazel

    Thanks as always for your kind words.

    That’s certainly a possibility and would explain a lot.

  • Menace

    MickHazel -as far as I’m aware the Masons help each other & are a generally a force for good. They must have a presence in football as they are generally people with success & disposable income that works towards charity. The secrecy is an issue as always.

    They fulfil the select criteria of the PGMOL but I hope they have a better moral code.