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Why would anyone ever believe that the Premier League is not corrupt?

By Tony Attwood

There are, it seems, many people who don’t or won’t believe that the Premier League has been corrupted in way.  And I have begun to wonder why they believe that there is no corruption.

After all, one only has to look around the UK to know that corruption is everywhere.   Indeed the news media that seems to want to ignore corruption in football is full of corruption elsewhere.   Consider these headlines

British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money |

The Guardian

British banks complicit in Nigerian corruption, court documents reveal …

Global Witness

Natwest bank managers led £350,000 loans fraud in Bradford …

Yorkshire Post

RBS accused of fraud and forgery by customers and ex-employee

BBC News

FCA fines RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank Ltd £42 million

Financial Conduct Authority

It goes on and on, and it is everywhere.  Try local government

Rottencouncil.co.uk (a website) “has been created and dedicated to members of the public, to enlighten them as to the unsavoury techniques employed by North East Lincolnshire Council officials on a daily basis.”

Rotherham: a putrid scandal perpetuated by a broken system

The Guardian

They knew and did nothing: Police and councillor ‘protected Rotherham grooming ringleader’

Yorkshire Post

Police face 55 investigations over alleged Rotherham child sex gang …

Telegraph

So my question now becomes, since we know that England is corrupt from its banking systems through to its local councils, why would one be determined to believe that this is not happening in football?

After all, we already know football is staggeringly corrupt in terms of Fifa and Uefa.  I have been through this so many times before on this site, and there are so many members of Fifa who have either been found guilty or are awaiting trial, that surely not many can be in doubt.

And how many times do we have to quote the refereeing scandal in Italy?

But maybe you need another corruption scandal in England to convince you?   OK how about the corruption of MPs over their expenses claims?   That was a huge scandal, and you might have thought that the scandal which was symbolised by one MP claiming expenses for the building of a duck house in his garden was now over.  But in fact not.  Under the last 10 Conservative prime ministers (Cameron and Mae), the amount that MPs claim each year has risen by over 43%.

I could go on and on, but I don’t want to take up your time.  My point is simple, there is mass corruption being exposed all the time in the UK by the media, and I suspect we are about to have another huge scandal in terms of the Grenfell Tower disaster.  And football too has its awful stories, such as the total and absolute inability of the FA to investigate the child sex abuse cases that have been reported to it.

The question therefore is, why, in these circumstances, would anyone ever choose to believe that there is no corruption within English Premier League football?   After all, it has all the ingredients.   For example:

  1.  It is part of football, and we know football is corrupt (see Uefa, Fifa etc).
  2. It is in England, and we know England has rampant corruption, not least vis a vis its politicians and its banks (see above).
  3. It us awash with huge amounts of money which moves between one country and another and often goes through agents who have been shown not to be averse to corruption.
  4. Football is administered by itself, in each country, rather than being overseen by outside bodies that might blow the whistle on corruption.
  5. Even Fifa finds the actions of some of our clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester City too awful to accept and have banned their academies from signing players.
  6. And we have Watford, found guilty of forging bank documents.  Why were they doing that?

And that is just the start.  When we turn to PGMO that runs refereeing what we find is a highly secretive organisation that operates in a way that seems to invite corruption.  As we have said so many, many times, if you wanted to ensure that corruption did not take place in refereeing in the Premier League the first thing you would do would be to employ enough top referees so that no team got the same referee more than twice in a season.  Thus if you did have a corrupted ref, the most that could happen would be that the club would be hammered twice.

Other countries in Europe have that rule.  Not the Premier League.  The richest league in the world.   One might want to ask the PGMO why.  But then in trying to do so we find they are a society that is more secret than the Masons.  Indeed you might not know but Untold tried to ask referee associations across Europe a series of questions about how they organise certain matters in their countries.  One replied on day one, the rest never did.  We heard that an instruction had gone out, not to answer us.  You might wonder why.

“Ah but if there really was corruption surely the media would be onto it,” is something we hear.   After all it was the Telegraph newspaper that exposed the corruption of the England manager and got him forced out of his job.  And wasn’t it the same newspaper that revealed the corruption of MPs in their expenses scandal?

The problem with this argument is that we know that the PL imposes all sorts of regulations upon broadcasters in terms of what they can and can’t say.  The PL can do this, because it owns the licence rights, and because there are multiple bidders for the licences they can put all sorts of conditions in their contracts.  And they do. Since they have a monopoly on the sale of the product, there is no limitation on what they can impose in the contract, and if one bidder doesn’t like it, they can’t bid.

And here’s another thing.  Any bidder who wants to bid for broadcast rights or the rights even to publish the fixtures, has to sign a contract about not revealing the restrictions in the contract before that organisation even gets the contract.

Of course none of this means that something is wrong, only that there is far more chance that something is wrong than there is a chance that it is all clean and perfect.  And what tips the balance of probabilities totally in the favour of their being wholesale corruption comes from our referee reviews and the reviews undertaken on the Referee Decisions website by qualified referees who supported clubs other than Arsenal.

Perhaps the most powerful analysis was that of the first 160 games in the PL last season, which revealed an appalling low accuracy level among referees.   That proved that referees made mistakes on a level never admitted by the referees or their broadcasting and journalism allies, and that the mistake levels were biased against certain clubs.

As for the mechanism, I think we first noted the most likely mechanism for corruption about nine years ago, and we called it Type III match fixing.  Here’s the guide

Type I match fixing: a club that wants a win bribes the ref to help them get a win in a specific game by favouring the club in matches.

Type II match fixing: a club that wants a win bribes the ref to help them get a win by coming down on the opposition.

Type III match fixing: a club that wants to win the league bribes referees to come down on a specific club in other games – the game in which the match fixing team is not involved.   To make this clear, let us imagine that a club (we’ll call them Club X) sees Club Y as its main rival.   In this scenario what happens is that Club X bribes referees to ensure that Club Y is hampered where ever possible.

Now if refereeing is highly competent and there are very few mistakes made by referees, or if there are so many referees that even if there are a couple of rotten apples their effect will be limited, and if the organisation that runs refereeing is open and willing to discuss its actions and decisions, Type III match fixing can be stopped.

If however the organisation running referees has only a limited number of referees and never opens itself up to public debate, but instead insists that the media is highly restricted in its debate on the merits of referees and their comptence, then there is no debate.

So I come back to my basic point: why would anyone ever believe that the Premier League is not corrupt?  With such evidence of corruption in football, and in England, surely it is up to those who think there is no corruption to offer supportive evidence?

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59 comments to Why would anyone ever believe that the Premier League is not corrupt?

  • John

    You spoil your argument by being political, or rather, anti Conservative. The last 10 Conservative prime ministers would take us back to Neville Chamberlain in the late 2930s. In the intervening period, we have had several Labour prime ministers such as the extremely corrupt Wilson ( Lord Gannex, etc), and of course Blair, who amongst other things gave his Labour donating friend the sole right to sell station tablets to th NHS, thus making him an instant millionaire. You also mention Grenfell Towet, but remember the housing committee that approved cladding included he woman who is now the Labour MP for that area, and who acts like the innocent she isn’t. Getting on the the corruption in the way premier referees are selected, for a long time I have been complaining to many, including some in the football media, about the almost exclusive appointment of referees from Lancashire and particularly Yorkshire, the home of the cheat Match key Riley. But have you noticed there are 3 new additions to the panel for 2017/8, and surprise, surprise, they are from Lancashire and Yorkshire! With about a third of the total population of England concentrated in London and the Home Counties, and given the number of matches played every week in this region, are Riley and his secret squirrels really suggesting there are no refeees in the south east competent tenough to be brought onto the elite list? Another case of corruption in my book.

  • Hesbee

    Only the aaa would do that, blame no one but Arsene.

  • porter

    There’s too much money in football for the vested interests , betting especially , not to bring corruption with it.
    Horses , Dogs , coursing , boxing , wherever there is gambling you will find it.

  • Polo

    I think the use of ‘corruption’ is quite strong without any real evidence to support it, without evidence I would give the PL the benefit of doubt.

    I am starting to think that the PL and PGMO manipulate games to make it competitive, this reenforces the mantra that the PL is ‘the most competitive League in the world’. I watched the BHA vs Everton match, and Everton should have won the match had the referee follow the laws of the game, 3 major decisions went against Everton during the match that was in the referee’s sight but ignored, why? I think to show that the small clubs can match or beat the bigger clubs in the League, it is good for marketing. Unfortunately, Arsenal cop it more than other clubs.

  • Gord

    Polo, who won the League in 2015/2016? That was far too unlikely to have been an accident.

  • Polo

    @ Gord, I think Leicester did win the League mostly due to their game plan and team spirit, yes they did get some help from the referee, but I think ‘corruption’ is just to strong an accusation without proper evidence. I might be naive but I just can’t see if there are major corruption in PL or PGMO this could be easily swept under the carpet.

  • Gord

    FA pretending to try and get rid of it. Just like the infant one is pretending to fix up FIFA.

  • Gord

    Game plan and team spirit doesn’t work for me, look how Ranieri did in the followup. Right back to usual.

    The EPL and the FA wanted to demonstrate to all the billionaires of the world, that if they wanted a EPL title, it was open to the highest bidder. That they had the power to let any team win the EPL.

    And they did show it. Yes, proving it is difficult.

  • Vince

    Just think about the fact that Mark Halsey revealed that Mourinho paid him holidays in Algarve, like it was something normal. In any other country, it would have led to a huge scandal, and an legal investigation. Yet in England the media barely cared… To me that tells the whole story

  • josh

    Jeez, we really do have people who think leicester won the league because the FA wanted it, it’s so ridiculous it becomes funny. The team we support fails to win it so we try to brainwash ourselves the team that won it did not win it fairly, nothing about team spirit, good tactics and grit. that’s actually a very convenient way to live life, blame other for one’s trouble and see how one can tarnish the image of the team who won the big one. hilarious

  • Vince

    That funny a few medias (not Arsenal based like Untold) made their whole Premier League table, taking into account refereeing “mistakes”. And for some reasons, they all came to the conclusion that Arsenal, despite finishing 10 points behind in the “real” table, should have won the title, not Leicester
    It also showed that the 2 Manchester teams should have finished outside the top5, behind smaller teams like Southampton or West Ham (who ended the season 6th and 7th).

  • Vince

    Sorry it should read their own Premier League table, not whole

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Of course there is corruption in the Premier League and also in the major and small football Leagues in the world, in the FA, the PGMO and it’s equivalents in the world, the Nigerian Football Federation and it’s sister football federations in the world, the FIFA, UEFA, CAF, AFC, CONMEBOL, CONCAFE, OFC, Banks and financial institutions in the world, Government and private institutions and organizations such as the mass media, agriculture and the health sevice like the NHS across the globe, the Armed forces and the Police of countries in the world, Multinational companies, the NGOs, and even in the private sector of the economy of countries in the world and in homes does all kinds of corruptions exist. Even in the grave, there is corruption. But I pray that one will pass over me. I won’t see it nor know it in Jesus Christ Name. Amen!

  • josh

    The same media that spews fake news according to Untold, so you choose to believe the media when it supports your conspiracy theory. I also know of some media outlets who bashed Arsenal for not winning the league when other top clubs were out of the context, remember big sam having a go too. the media outlet bashing arsenal outnumbered the ones with the “imaginary” league table but you choose to follow and believe the one that supports your theory which I understand as its pretty convenient for you. now we can all argue till tomorrow but leicester won the league and we came second, no conspiracy theory would change that as hindsight mostly never changes what has opened.

  • josh

    Mr Attwood, my question goes thus; how come we won 3 fa cups and 3 community shields in 4 years if the FA and the PGMO is against arsenal, do we say these 2 are the only trophies we are allowed to win?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Josh we have said before when doing the ref reviewing years that for some strange reason most refs have better games in the FA cup than they do in the PL. Now that is a strange observation isn’t it…….

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    When the hullabaloo on referee Swarbrick screwing up Arsenal in our last Watford PL match last Saturday has die down, Arsenal should diagnose their first team squad thoroughly to see what kind of surgery it needs to be performed on so that if the surgery is carried out, it could make the team get healed of the serious current ailment of lack of mettle that’s ravaging in their first team squad at away PL matches this season. When the cause of the lack of mettle ailment in the team has been correctly diagnosed and the surgery treatment is prescribed for it cure by the football experts at Arsenal, Le Prof should immediately perform the surgery on the team to avert a repeat of the lack of mettle ailment showing which was in evidence in the last 15 minutes of the Gunners week 8 PL match playing against Watford. But at Goodison Park against Everton next Sunday the lack of mettle symptoms would have cleared from the Gunners system after the surgery to cure it has been done and no trace of it will be in them anymore. For, even if Arsenal drop 2 points instead of collecting all the 3 in the Everton game, Arsenal might as well have said goodbye to the Premier League title win this season. But if they collect all the 3 points in that game, our hopes to win the PL title this season will start rising again.

  • Wenger warrior

    Gord your full of opinions with no basis in fact! So give us some facts?? Why?? What gain did the PGMO get from helping Leicester or Blackburn win the league?

    Now let see if you can offer evidence without reverting to your normal tactic of accusing me or others of being AAA or plastic fans??

  • Wenger warrior

    No it’s not strange!! Chelsea deserved to win the premiership so did Leicester! Stop taking credit away from them just to fit your agenda

  • Menace

    Josh – you need to see rather than look. The cheating is obvious & is usually in front of your eyes if you watch football. If you didn’t see the corrupt officiating gifting Leiceser the EPL then you need to get an education in observation & statistics.

  • Menace

    Wenger warrior – look at the glory in which PGMOL officials ride. They are not among the normal people. they have been pushed into the limelight by careful choreography & have outstayed norms for officials. Do not say that is normal. It is evidence of corruption. I am sure that the Fraud squad will get to accounts that stream funds to these angels of sport.

  • Dont forget fergie extra time,vanistroy penalties and so on….

  • omgarsenal

    Josh , you have NOT provided a shred of evidence that the EPL, the PIGMOB and the FA are clean and corruption-free….just a critic of UA and Tony.

  • Mclovin

    corruption in football has been around for a long time, let’s not forget woolwich arsenal got into top flight football through corrupt means during the inter war years.

  • To try to bring the subject back to the Watford game !!
    We will see if there is an enquiry into the Richarlison dive
    As Desmond Hackett writes in the Telegraph “There should be a ban on Richarlison for his dive”
    No ban, then perhaps Tony has a point !

    Personally, I am not holding my breath on a ban !!

  • josh

    omgarsenal. criticize UA, why would I do that to one of the few dedicated blog around! There is no day I don’t read untold, what i find fishy is this thing about blaming referees for every defeat. If we follow the theories on UA (as almost every defeat is blamed on the ref), we’d come to the conclusion that Arsenal deserved to win 95% of the matches they lost as the reason for loosing is almost always because of the ref(according to UA). Now i know Mr Attwood is a brilliant gentleman so I’d reckon he knows even the best teams don’t win that much anymore. the simple truth is that we deserved to lose a huge chunk of the matches we lost.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Leicester won because the ‘odds’ were that great that the sums invested became impossible to resist. The PGMO then leant a hand with a string of blind eyes to diving, cheating and blatant fouling by Leicester players to ensure the ‘right’ results. An example of which was Vardy barging over Monreal in our penalty area and being awarded a penalty.

  • josh

    Omgarsenal. you said i have NOT provided a shred of
    evidence that the EPL, the PIGMOB and the FA
    are clean and corruption-free, you are right sir. But I too have not seen any evidence pointing to the fact that there’s corruption in the FA, EPL and the PGMO. maybe you can help me out sir since you really believe these organizations are corrupt.

    evidence
    noun
    1. the available body of facts or
    information indicating whether a belief
    or proposition is true or valid.

    sorry for the definition i posted, I just wanted an evidence that follows the real definition of the word “evidence”

  • josh

    menace. well, i’ll try to see rather than look the next time I watch a football match, I guess i needed that advice after 30+ years of watching football. cheers

  • bennydevito

    In isolation this is a very good article and your point about corruption from top to bottom is a good one. However, as per usual after every abysmal performance and defeat you bring out anything to detract from the simole fact that Arsenal are finished with Wenger at the helm. I came on here at the start of last season and said we won’t win the league and will be lucky to get top 4 and I say the same now. Wenger should have left last season on a high and his legacy restored but he signed a new deal which is why Sanchez, Ozil and Chamberlain were waiting before signing theirs. Once Wenger signed they decided they want out and I don’t blame them. We should have bit Msn city’s hand off at £60m but now we lose him for nothing. So much for Wenger’s business acumen and degree in economics.

    We’ll be a mid table team before Wenger is finally carried out of the dugout kicking and screaming. If we fail to get top 4 again this season he should resign.

  • josh

    Walter. The fact that we won 6 trophies in 4 years destroys the notion that the FA is against us, why would they allow us to win 6 trophies in 4 years(beating City, united, chelsea en route) if they were anti arsenal?

  • I don’t think there was a conspiracy for Leicester to win the league. Referees had a blind spot that season (and many previous seasons): They did not give free kicks, penalties or cards for players wrestling at corners on the basis that they were very hard to spot due to the numbers of players moving around in a small area and also having to watch the ball, so they decided that it would be unfair to take action against the few that were unfortunate enough to be spotted. Leicester simply exploited this to their advantage. The next season referees clamped down on this type of action and Leicester suffered as a result.

  • josh

    well said mark

  • I think this comment by Mclovin is an example of where a lot of the discussion of corruption goes wrong, because it is easy to say there is corruption but harder to find it. All I am saying in this article that there is a lot of evidence that suggests there might well be corruption in football, which means we should take the situation seriously rather than refuse to discuss it – as the media does.

    But here we have reference to the events of 1919, and of course my colleagues and I in the Arsenal History Society have investigate this seriously and thoroughly. You can read the report in the article “Arsenal’s election to the first division” which is published here: http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/archives/5215

    And I quote this piece because like all serious investigations into issues of possible corruption, we didn’t leave the issue alone after that work by Andy Kelly, but continued to dig and just recently for the current series on the Arsenal History Society blog found a lot more evidence that suggests that Liverpool were involved in match fixing across several seasons.

    The evidence is mentioned in several places but one article written already pulls several instances of match fixing together: http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/archives/16018

    Mclovin gives us the usual sort of throw away line, but it is possible to look at these questions and begin to draw serious conclusions: if one wants to look with an open mind.

  • Wenger warrior

    I can’t say whether there is corruption or not, neither can anyone else on this site!

    Arsenal lost against Watford because we didn’t take the chances and we again lacked enough balls to hold on! It was the fault of the manager and every player on the pitch! The refs will make mistakes however this does not paper over the very real cracks in our squad! The fans should stop abusing the team and Wenger during the match it doesn’t help anyone,

    I think our expectations on what we can achieve this season needs to be realistic, we are not going to win the league, Man City are to strong and at the moment the best team in Europe never mind the premiership, however we have a real chance of lifting the European cup which we seem so at ease in, plus defend our FA cup and for me this will be an excellent season. Ozil and Sanchez situation is not helping and January departures would be a great outcome if we can get back 50m combined. get in a couple of replacements and I hope this will give us the push to finish strongly

  • Wenger warrior

    Omg it gets really boring when you and Gord say the same thing over and over again! If some one dares to have an opinion that differs from yours you immediately start ranting about how it’s an attack on untold and Wenger! Grow up and change the record!! Debate is a fantastic thing! Tony and Walter post some articles I agree with and some I don’t! doesn’t mean it’s an attack on them just a differing of opinion.

  • MickHazel

    Wenger warrior
    Surely just about everyone agrees that failure to take chances and a lack of balls were contributory factors for the defeat but so also were the referees and linesmens decisions, more so in fact because both goals directly resulted from their mistakes. You appear very reluctant to accept this and I do not understand why. As an Arsenal supporter you should be enraged. There is simply no disputing that had those mistakes not been made by the officials both their goals would not have counted and we probably would have won the game.

  • Menace

    Mick Hazel – The decisions by the officials were not mistakes! It is just another example of their corrupt selective vision & decision making despite the truth. Corruption in football has been manifested by the PGMOL and can be seen in footage over the years of their existence. The rules have been flouted re phone communication with managers & the most disturbing aspect is the secrecy of the selection process (if there is a process at all).

    Examples of dancing Dean & blind Riley are just too simple to ignore.

  • Menace

    josh – we win despite the cheating corrupt officiating. The FA cup wins were officiated by such blatant bias, that only the last one was reasonable.

    Mark Wellington – there is no excuse for incorrect officiating. The Game has written Laws. If this were a criminal court rapists & murderers would be running rampant.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

  • Josif

    @Polo

    Actually, it is very easy to put things under the carpet when you have the Omerta code among the journalists who cover football things in England. Hell, Barney Ronay of The Guardian literally wrote: “Let’s not talk about the referees”-piece two-three years ago where he compared the referees with…wait for it…corner flags.

    If you are still ardent in your belief there can’t be a corruption in the Premier League, just take these facts as inditions. The football industry is a giant monster that doesn’t only feed itself, it also feeds:

    -overpaid footballers,
    -overpaid managers,
    -overpaid football agents,
    -overpaid pundits,
    -overpaid journalists and, most importantly,
    -overpaid media owners.

    Do you really believe that a journalist from any British media would put his bare existence on the line to investigate corruption in the Premier League?

    Do you really believe that his boss would give him a green light to do so? And, provided that such a boss exists, do you really believe that the said journalist wouldn’t face obstacle within his own profession (his own employer would deny him funds and resources to investigate the corruption, journalists from the rival media would make smoke and mirror articles to distract the public attention from the real issues etc)?

    @josh

    Personally, I think FA Cup refereeing last season was just the indirect severence package from FA for Arsene: “Take it, leave it and keep it quiet!” We had Sterling’s clear goal against us disallowed in the FA Cup semifinal v City and the Alexis goal in the final was…hm…weird. Arsene – being the man of principles he is – didn’t want to leave unfinished business at Arsenal, didn’t want to do what everyone asked him to do (sell Alexis and Özil) and now we pay the price as matches v Stoke and Watford have shown.

    @Vince

    Take a look at this one:

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2000/jan/14/newsstory.sport4

    Mind you, Roma and Inter are big clubs that weren’t punished in Calciopoli. Roma hadn’t won since 1983 before they finally won it in 2000-01 while Inter hadn’t won the league between 1990 and 2006 (the latter scudetto was strapped from Juventus).

  • MickHazel

    Menace
    ‘The decisions by the officials were not mistakes! It is just another example of their corrupt selective vision & decision making despite the truth.’
    Until such time as we have definite evidence of corruption I prefer to call them mistakes. At the moment whatever ‘evidence’ you can see is purely circumstantial.
    I tend to agree with Nitrams theory that the referees performances and decisions are determined by the media reaction they receive to any decisions they make. Put simply any decisions going against Arsenal will be largely met by the media with approval and dismissed whereas any of the few that go for us will be regarded as the crimes of the century.

  • Jax

    Josif
    Last autumn The Telegraph published an article alleging corruption involving eight PL managers, but it was later revealed by the BBC that they had been conned by an Italian agent feeding them fake stories. But to their credit the Telegraph thought they had a genuine story and published it.
    If anything is going to be put into the media it will be by The Telegraph, Guardian or BBC and I don’t think they’ll bottle it either.

  • Goonermikey

    @ Jax

    How do you know the Telegraph didn’t bottle it when challenged this time?

  • Jax

    Goonermikey
    Of course I don’t know, there’s no way of knowing unless they were to say they did.
    Who challenged them anyway?

  • josh

    Well if that’s the general believe here I guess we all have beliefs but as for me, I think the fact that we won 3 Fa cups and 3 community shields in 4 years does rubbish the argument that the FA is against us, why would the allow us to win 6 competitions if they did not want us to win things?

    @josif. if the last cup win is seen as severance package for Arsene, what about the last 2 and the other 3 community shields?

    @menace. you said we won despite the cheating, thats fair enough but do you really think we’d have won if they did not want us to win, we were some goals down in the first one, the FA could have allowed united to beat us en route the second one and it would have been easy to bend the rules to suit chelsea in the third one as they just won the league and everyone and his dog expected us to lose, but we won. we won all these competitions because we played with all we had.

    we have a nice team and we have a brilliant veteran as its coach, we can beat any team on our ON day but at times it looks as if we simply aren’t ready. if we used the mentality and attitude we used for the FA cup for the league we’d have won at least a premier league title in the last 5 years.

  • Josif

    @josh

    Arsenal were going through awful refereeing during 2013-14 in the league. Take a look at the home games v Aston Villa (referee Taylor) and Chelsea (referee Dean) and our away games v Manchester City (referee Atkinson) and Stoke (referee Jones). Arsenal were robbed for roughly nine points in those four games. (Mind you, with all awful refereeing by Andre Marriner at Stamford Bridge, it was a well-deserved defeat just like both of our defeats in Liverpool). We had a rather decent FA Cup refereeing (Webb was plainly incompetent in our victory v Liverpool when both sides could have written a letter to FA about the refereeing) until the final in which we had four penalty shouts denied by the referee.

    In 2014-15 we were arguably the best team in the league from the turn of the year. I dare to say Arsenal 2015 was the best team since Arsenal 2004 with partnerships across our team flourishing (Mert-Kos, Bell-Nacho, Coq-Caz, Mesut-Ollie), defence being as tight as ever and midfield creative, combative and dynamic. We had one big obstacle – Manchester United away – and we should have given them a proper beating had we had better finishing. Sadly, we couldn’t challenge for the title due to our first half of the season when our wings were cut in derbies against Chelsea (Cahill getting out with a red card offence on Alexis) and Manchester United (an offside goal after a foul, McNair getting away with a red card offence without a foul, no penalty on Wilshere given). Referees Atkinson and Dean did their job.

    After all, it’s Premier League that fans worldwide adore. It’s Premier League that earns billions worldwide. That’s the business FA care mostly about and letting Arsene, a manager who has failed to accept their vision of football and morality, to win his fourth league title would be a wrong message. FA Cup is a side dish. A valuable trophy but not as illustrious as the Premier League one.

    Given that FA gave an official statement this year that they regard Community Shield as a friendly, I guess they don’t care who will win it.

  • Wenger warrior

    I agree the ref was not on his game! And the mistakes didn’t help, however I am get to hear a valid reason why the refs are against Arsenal? What gain? its not to help the Manchester clubs or Chelsea! Man united are not being helped by the refs, Chelsea are still losing games, Man City don’t need any help from refs Tottenham are struggling at home.

    I am not saying it’s not happening I am struggling to answer why Arsenal?

    We are amongst the big six! The better we do domestically the more money the premier league makes, our brand of football attracts millions of people abroad to watch us play on pay per view, which in turn puts up the premiums the premiership can charge ergo making more money! Why would the PGMO jeopardise this revenue stream by sabotaging us??

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @ Wenger Warrior
    I think it would be best if people stopped quoting that Watford player. His post-match comments reflect very poorly on him and his rather unsavoury past. Somehow summing up what happened on Saturday as a lack of manliness reveals only his outlook on life and his style of play. It is a throw away line from the gutter; it is a taunt from someone unused to displaying any charity or class.

  • Josif

    @Wenger warrior

    Manchester United are not being helped by the refs? Lukaku didn’t get away with a dangerous play v Liverpool? They didn’t have number of offside goals given last season?

    Tottenham hadn’t had a red card for 85 league games before Aurier got two yellows v West Ham. 85! That’s two full seasons! Having English core and playing thuggish football that is perceived in the rest of Europe as “English football” don’t have anything with it.

    When it comes to Arsenal, we have a manager who doesn’t spend, spend, spend his way to the trophies. He is a man of honour who is usually considered as a black sheep for not being involved in the match-fixing scandal in France in 1990s. One of his lifelong coaches is Boro Primorac who hadn’t been able to find the job for the same reason – being too honest and incorruptable – so Arsene gave him a job at Arsenal because of Primorac’s proven integrity. Above all, we try to beat English clubs with non-English football and, most of the time, non-English footballers. Put a finger on the forehead and try to remember how many times the media have stressed out that Arsenal have fielded “non-English XI” in a game. Take a look at examples of our players being almost mutilated on the pitch without a red card for the perpetrator (Diaby, Wilshere) or with just a regular ban for the offender (Eduardo, Ramsey). Finally, we are a bit of old story. We are too boring because of the constant presence in Top 5. Manchester United had the Moyes year out of Top 6, Liverpool have been more out of CL than in it, Chelsea had a hilarious 2015-16, Manchester City are still fresh princes in the hood, Tottenham have all media love for their English-ness…

  • Polo

    Not sure if this was published here but Walter is a celebrity. I missed this article completely and only just stumble on it. Well done Walter Mr BBC.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/9379989.stm

  • Jax

    Polo
    Note the quality of the comments section on 7amkickoff.
    Light years ahead of any other blog (including this one), and it’s no coincidence that these are mostly (if not all) USA citizens.
    Says a lot for their education system that they can discuss a ‘soccer’ match so expertly and without trolling.
    I’ve always been a big fan of Tim Todd & 7am.

  • F.A. Investigation
    After the F.A. decided “no case to answer” for Richarlison, is there really any question about integrity of the game ?
    To have voted 2 to 1 or 1 to 2, would have meant Richarlison would not have been punished and “perhaps” understandable
    But “no case to answer”, implies there was no doubt that Richarlison was not guilty
    Keith Hackett, Graham Poll and EVEN BBC team thought it was a clear dive
    Wenger and me may be biased (?), but Hackett, Poll and EVEN BBC

    More Brownie points for you Tony

  • https://player.arsenal.com/video/breakdown-watford-0

    interesting watch! it’s a dive, but Bellerin has to get wiser still, a good overall performance.

    Oil at 1-0 should kill i, he doesn’t. A good all around performance. I’m expecting a full strength squad for the next fixture, to seal EL. That Team was good enough, more metal from, Holding, Xaka, Elneny and Hector. Iwobi played better still. finishing now son, add swagger. Danny was not quite at it and I need more from Andrei and Oliver

    A shifty back yet AW? I understand the selection, but are you yet to understand the team and the league, we are going to be robbed if we leave even a small window open, the police will not come, and insurance won’t pay out. So no windows open at night for the season please.

    City still won, thank heavens they are gearing up for CL semi-finals and will drop off, with nobody significant around us picking up points other than, errrr Spurs! I saw them finish above us, in my lifetime, i am not happy. 2 records in one year, 13 is not enough!!

  • Jammy

    josh – There is not one person on this website (except maybe Menace) that blames the referee for every single defeat. Please stop using that as if it completely negates the hundreds of referee reviews done of this blog.

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