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A howling comes across the sky. Reworking the past and laughing at Arsenal fans.

By Tony Attwood

And now, something of a first.   This little piece comes from Seoul, Korea, as I await a flight south.  I know it’s a first because although I generally write as I travel I ain’t been to Korea before so it must be a first.  (Just checked, yes it’s Wednesday, so it is Korea).

Of course having been on a plane all night (or is it day I am not too sure) I don’t have much idea what’s going on, but then the view of many readers of Untold is that this is the norm for yours truly, so I might as well just carry on and give you the low down.  And this morning (or evening as it is here) the low down is on a public house in Wapping called “A howling comes across the sky”.

“A howling” sits opposite another public house, “Gravity’s Rainbow” and both are the habitat of that wretched fellow, the “football journalist”.  Gravity’s Rainbow tends to attract those of a more positive outlook while “A howling” is, as its name suggests, where you will find the deep water cynic and expert negativist.

There I followed in the steps of Daniel Zeqiri who writes for the Telegraph and he has just concocted this little spat called “The conspiracy theorist” that has been woven into a full blown assault on Arsenal – which is by and large what the scribblers in “A Howling” do.

Here’s what he wrote under this heading of, “The conspiracy theorist”

“There is a daily radio show dedicated to Arsenal, with fans starting to believe the ‘meejia’ have an agenda against the club. Something called ‘the narrative’ starts to irritate the Arsenal fan, particularly when references to ‘leaders’, ‘mentality’ or ‘physical strength’ are mentioned. Nobody can think what the Premier League would gain from orchestrating an anti-Arsenal plot that would discredit an incredibly lucrative competition, but that doesn’t stop fans donning their tin-foil hats.”

Later he adds “Infamy, Infamy,” which is a reference to the first two words of a joke in a 1964 movie “Carry on Cleo”.   They do this sort of thing in the Telegraph – give bits of very old jokes.

Now you’ll notice several things here of course (apart from the attempt at humour).  First the attempt at suggesting that Arsenal fans have a unity and a warped sense of reality.  The use of the word “meejia” suggests somehow that we can’t speak regular English.  And that when we try we discuss matters we come up with obscure terms such as “Something called ‘the narrative’.”

We think or speak in terms of obscure of simplistic (hard to tell which) words or phrases and overall suggest there is a conspiracy.   But

Nobody can think what the Premier League would gain from orchestrating an anti-Arsenal plot that would discredit an incredibly lucrative competition, but that doesn’t stop fans donning their tin-foil hats.

Yes we are all bonkers.   And I am sorry for the multitude of readers who either a) don’t agree with me or b) can’t understand my ramblings, because you are bonkers too in the eyes of the Telegraph.

You will also perhaps in passing note that there is no attempt to analyse what we really have been talking about in terms of (to give one example) the way Italian football was fixed during the Calciopoli era and the fact that the PGMO is run in exactly the same way as Italian refereeing was run during that period – while the rest of Europe has gone in a very different direction.

No mention of course of the three types of match fixing, all carefully analysed and researched, and the fact that Type III match fixing was so widely used in Italy precisely because it is so very hard to spot – especially where one has a refereeing organisation that is hyper secretive.  And this is odd because we know Telegraph writers have read Untold because they took our research on why England do so poorly compared to other countries, and re-ran it in a very similar fashion.  Hey ho.

In case you missed it Type III match fixing occurs where Team A says to refs who are willing to listen, “we see Teams B and C as rivals this season.  When you get a match involving them, if there is anything you can do just to help turn a potential win into a draw, or a draw into a defeat, well, you know we’ll be pleased.   Don’t make it obvious – just the odd ruling that helps.”

So when Team B is 3-0 up you will see perfect refereeing, but when they are only 1-0 up you might see a dubious last minute equaliser, that sort of thing.

Now to make this work you need several things

a) A very limited number of referees so the same referee gets the same team over and over rather than a maximum of just twice a season as in most countries.

b) A secrecy clause to be signed by all referees so that they restrict what they say to the press during their tenure and they get a big pay off at the end of their tenure as a reward for staying quiet thereafter.

c) A hyper secret organisation that does not have a public face, does not put up speakers when issues are debated, does not have a website or way for those who pay their wages (fans) to make representation, and does not respond to enquiries.  Also it is helpful if it is an organisation that keeps an eye on Wikipedia and ensures that any questioning of why it is so different from ref organisations elsewhere, or records any statistical analyses of its referees that leads to criticism, is deleted pronto.

And that’s what we have.

Now those of us who have followed PGMO and its activities don’t say that Type III match fixing exists in the Premier League.  Rather most of us seem to argue that it happened in Italy and it makes sense to set up a refereeing system here that does not have any of the attributes that were utilised to corrupt football in Italy.   As most of Europe has done.

If such steps are not taken, we ask “why not?”

But then that’s another of those difficult “why” questions which gets everyone in such a tangle, and they might be a bit much for Telegraph readers.

And anyway, as they say in the darker reaches of “A Howling”, “never ask why.  It only confuses us.”

More thoughts anon, when I reach the next stopping point.

Recent Posts

And from the Arsenal History Society

When Arsenal were willing to criticise the press; Arsenal in November 1920.

39 comments to A howling comes across the sky. Reworking the past and laughing at Arsenal fans.

  • Josif

    I remember how Inter had been mocked for years before Calciopoli.

    Mind you, they hadn’t won the league between 1990 and 2006.

    They had spent hundreds of millions on the most popular players on Earth without any success – Ronaldo, Vieri, Roberto Baggio, Zamorano, Ince, Bergkamp, Djorkaeff, Paulo Sousa, Roberto Carlos, Toldo, Zanetti, Simeone, Fabio Cannavaro…they had all been part of the teams (most of them played together and still went through numerous humiliations such as going out to Helsingborgs of Sweden in Champions League play-off) but each time they were beaten to the title – AC Milan, Juventus, Lazio, Roma, Sampdoria…had all won the league during their dry spell. Massimo Moratti had changed number of managers – Hodgson, Lucescu, Simoni and even Marcello Lippi himself but aside from a few cups (UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia), they hadn’t been able to win scudetto. Juventus were lauded for their smart policy, Inter were mocked for theirs. Inter fans had a lot of reasons to feel bad.

    For instance, Hector Cuper lost the title on the last day of the league 2001-02 against disinterested Lazio which fans had cheered for Inter hoping for both Roma to lose the title race and their own players to have less summer break as they would have to play Intertoto Cup. Even Lazio players didn’t look happy with the final score – Diego Simeone scored a header and then shaked his head as he wasn’t happy Roma could win the league. But there was a guy called Vratislav Gresko, a Gus Ceasar of Inter history, who was at fault for at least two Lazio goals. At the end of the day, Juventus won scudetto and Inter fans were left in tears.

    Poor Cuper – who had lost back-to-back CL finals with Valencia – beat Invincibles 3:0 at Highbury but didn’t stay on the bench to see his team beaten 5:1 in the reverse fixture as he was sacked and replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni.

    Now, during all that time Inter did make number of idiotic transfers (just take a look how they lost Clarence Seedorf and Andrea Pirlo to their city rivals) and managerial changes (I mean, Hodgson who didn’t know Roberto Carlos’ ideal position was left full-back), their defending looked like, well, as shit as ours from this season or even worse (Marco Tardelli lost 6:0 at home to Shevchenko inspired AC Milan) but at the end of the day…

    …it turned out there was indeed something rotten in the Italian football and that Inter were the biggest victims of it. Ronaldo’s tears after the Juventus game in 1997-98 were caused by pathetic refereeing by Paparesta, the referee who still stands behind his wrong decisions on that day.

    That being said, I don’t have hopes that the same thing will happen with Arsenal. Moratti is a guy who put his own money for the club while Kroenke would probably need a translator to understand a single thing Untold writers have been writing about PGMO for a decade.

  • AFC Nemesis

    I suggest anyone who really cares about the integrity of the game should watch the Invincibles game at Old Trafford. There is no doubt that something very fishy was happening in that game.

    Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM747L9Wf8M

    We had Ferdinand take out Freddie in the first half when through on goal. Not only was there no sending off he waved play on.

    We had RVM rake his studs down Ashley Coles shin in front of the linesman. Not even subtle. No action. Then we had the Neville sisters and Scholes flying into Reyes and kicking him – Gary Neville now admits Reyes was targeted. Then Ashley Cole gets booked.

    We had the Rooney dive over Sol Campbell, which resulted in a penalty being awarded.

    No person can watch that game and not agree the referee got all those decisions wrong. All decisions for the home team and the biggest club in World Football.
    Why did he have such a bad game? Was he intimidated? Was he bent? The referee that day was Mike Riley. Mike Riley was promoted to head of PGMOL. There is something going on here, how did he get that job?

    Conspiracy theory or not, something stinks.

  • Pat

    Excellent article, excellent contributions to discussion. Shared on Facebook (for what it’s worth). Something does indeed stink.

  • alexanderhenry

    Back to the PGMO theories again. The problem is that you have no actual evidence that corruption exists. It’s all conjecture.

    More to the point, wenger should go at the end of the season, surely.

    We’ve been surpassed by Spurs and Liverpool – no money excuses there.

    Our recent expensive signings have been a let down- xhaka in particular

    We sold our best player to man utd

    We’ve kept ozil on an insane wage largely due to allowing him to run down his contract. He’s not worth that much

    After all the PR about youth development,we’ve ended up selling three of them and the rest aren’t exactly setting the PL on fire.

    We sold giroud which was unnecessary and a big mistake. Why keep wellbeck?

    We have almost a whole defence to replace.

    Ramsay is entering his final year. Is he going to walk away or hold the club to ransom like ozil?

    We play predictable tippy tippy football that is easy to defend against.

    wenger with be almost 70 when his current contract expires. Enough is enough surely.

    ..need I go on?

  • since that zeqiri seems to be so fond of old jokes, i can’t resist the pleasure of quoting dale cooper to him (“twin peaks, the “pilot” episode”):

    “if you could get paid that kind of money for being wrong 60 percent of the time, it’d beat working” … hi, dave

    you started drawing a parallel between corbyn and AW lately, tony.
    as a supporter of jean-luc mélenchon in france, i couldn’t agree more with you

    actually, when “we” (“la france insoumise”) are being smeared, libeled, ec … by the mainstream media (all the time, basically), i always think of these two articles (one from “the intercept”, the other (yeah, yeah, i know …) from “the guardian”):

    https://theintercept.com/2016/01/21/the-seven-stages-of-establishment-backlash-corbynsanders-edition/

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/06/stewart-lee-jeremy-corbyn-new-christs-bin-laden

    replace corbyn/sanders with wenger in those pieces, just to check out how uncanny their reading gets …

    my guess is that, like most of you, readers/contributors of untold, i can’t shake off the feeling that the boys in red behave as though they were psychologically hurt, at the moment.
    but, honestly, how could it be otherwise?

    whatever everything the dave zeqiris of the media underworld might have to spit out, the fact of the matter remains that at least 2 goals (jesus at the etihad, kompany last sunday) out of the 6 city scored against us so far this season have stood when they should have been ruled out (or some rules of football have changed, which i am not aware of).
    the full, naked truth is that 4 of these goals should have been disallowed, actually, if we add up to the 2 goals already mentioned – as we should – sterling’s dive at the etihad, and aguero’s shove last sunday: i’d like to know how many teams in the world would be strong enough to beat this city team if they should start the game being (let’s be nice) 1,5 goal down

    none of this can take away the fact that, contrary to what i/we hoped, the lads didn’t make us proud last sunday; but we have to keep in mind that such fishy refereeing has just taken place in the last mile of a season which started under the sign of both the watford’s (richarlison’s dive) and the stoke’s (lacazette’s goal) robberies … well, there is a whole thread about this on twitter (“mrarsenal93”)

    which bunch of players wouldn’t be mentally shaky under those circumstances, i wonder …

    i keep thinking our lads have the talent (remember the leicester – mutd – chelsea (home) – liverpool (home … well, part of) – everton – cpalace games; they do have the grit (remember what kostafi did to costa last year, and the semi-final and final of the FA cup that same year), they have become tactically flexible … but they just can have the so much needed consistency in such a negative environment – and if rambo could stay fit a whole season, that’d be nice, too …

    anyway, if there ever was a moment when the lads needed our support, this is right now

    thursday night, cheer them up you lucky season ticket holders, be loud, vocal, defiant; the great man and his boys don’t deserve anything else

    ps: i translated the above-mentioned articles in french (some of you might be interested in languages – i certainly am)

    http://echoes.over-blog.com/2016/02/la-replique-des-dominants-en-sept-etapes-edition-speciale-corbyn-sanders.html

    http://echoes.over-blog.com/2015/09/jeremy-corbyn-et-moi-sommes-les-nouveaux-christs.html

  • jet

    Most conspiracy theories have been proven correct, One only needs to seek the evidence which speaks for itself.

    Conspiracy Theoriest, a term cooked up by the CIA during the Kennedy assassination, sure, there were theories before the 1963 incident, from then on the establishment gladly weaponised it.

  • Chris

    @Polo,

    thanks for that excellent piece. I like the sentence about an unbearable 9 months since last trophy for Arsenal.
    I mean, in any other normal club, after 5 days without a new trophy, the manager would have been sacked.
    Well, in Spain, its what : a few weeks or months without a trophy that were to much to bear and got the Neville sister fired right ?

  • knobby

    Wow, check out the Spurs Rochdale game, VAR a complete mess, ref cannot make his own decisions… Spurs 2 goals disallowed and a penalty appeal turned down..
    Half should go on for an extra 10mins.
    Fans booing, Poch pissed off.
    Could be the start of the end of VAR.

  • coyg

    can anybody tell me what this radio show is that zeqiri refers to?

  • coyg

    thanks for sharing that article. reminded me of a time someone called up 606 (or possibly talks*#*#) and said they’d be happy to replace wenger with pardew. really added a bit of perspective to the madness, even the presenters were in stunned indignance. haha!

  • Gord

    Medja crap.

    I think Arsenal need to break ties with Merson, Wright and Henry. Revoke permission to use news from Arsenal.com, and whatever else is possible. This never ending supply of negative news from former players has to end.

  • Alexandra you ask “Need I go on?” No you need not. Your statement at the start “The problem is that you have no actual evidence that corruption exists. It’s all conjecture,” shows you have completely failed to understand the point I have been developing all these years. I don’t blame you – I am sure it is me – but there we have it. I say x, you don’t understand it and say z. We get nowhere. Time to stop.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks for that link , Polo . Very uncommon positivity about the unfounded negativity.

    As for those ‘howling ‘ non fans , you ARE being properly mooned ! And you ARE the butt of others’ jokes ! And in no way are you contributing to the betterment of the Arsenal.

    It would be better for you long term health that you take more interest in you work/finances and family commitments , rather than waste you money ,time and limited intelligence on matters that are obviously beyond your comprehension.

    As someone mentioned before , Arsenal are the sixth richest football club. Did YOU personally contribute to this monumental achievement ? Or was it all due to diligent and meticulous plans and utmost care by the people in charge ?

    As for the ex-players – fuck them ! They too stupid to see that they are being paid to make jackasses of themselves !

  • Menace

    Alexandra – You should go on because your opinion is more than stupid. Our best player? You claim part ownership of Arsenal using ‘our’? It is time you stopped to think. Our best player was never Sanchez. He was the hardest worker but gave the ball away more than most.

    The team plays with 11 players that make the ball work. These players are all equally to blame for success & failure. None of them are superhuman – you off course are unique.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Here is a simple way to understand taxes and what you really contribute –
    https://www.snopes.com/business/taxes/howtaxes.asp

  • MickHazel

    Menace
    Your assertion that Sanchez was the hardest worker is not accurate, His running stats per game where frequently the lowest or near lowest in the team and way below Ozil. Yet it was and still is Ozil who bears the lazy tag and Sanchez the player putting all the effort in. Sanchez gave a good impersination of a hard worker by doing it in short bursts but was never a consistent hard worker in my opinion.

  • Menace

    MickHazel – you’re right. Ozil looks like he does very little but he is deceptively quick & preemptive in his positioning.

  • Mike T

    Tony butit is conjecture.
    Reference has often be made to the Italian corruption yet it came out indeed it was the press that forced the matter into the public eye.
    You and many on here have a view but you have no tangible evidence to support your view that match officials or indeed their are corrupt
    That said I am not naive enough to believe that match fixing doesn’t take place but nor would I dismiss anything being possible but that doesn’t mean that anything you have documented or floated on here gets anywhere near proving corruption. Your “ evidence” would be laughed out of any court.
    Sorry but debatable decisions and structure of referee bodies proves nothing just as a manager picking a team contrary to the rules of a competition and then losing to a lower league team with a weakened team proves nothing more than it being just one of those things .

  • AFC Nemesis

    @alexanderhenry and others. You can complain about conspiracy theories but ican’t answer when evidence is provided. Please explain this because I don’t know anyone who can:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM747L9Wf8M

  • Mike T

    AFC.. is that evidence of a corrupt referee or an incompetent or poor one.?

    Don’t mix the two things up.

    If you say it’s down corrumption where’s the evidence of financial gain or Riley being involved in any sort of shenanigans?

    What Tony is eluding to is corruption by match officials almost on an industrial scale to achieve that would involve massive numbers if not all match officials keeping that sort of criminal activity quiet would be near enough impossible and whilst I have no doubt the odd official worldwide is bent the Issues in Italy were very much isolated to individuals who were able to manipulate matters.

    I know Tony thinks the FA sit on their thumbs and it’s very easy to look at that organisation and draw such conclusions but there are some very good people involved in football administration and indeed governance I know for a fact that most of the whistle blowing is from those that are disgusted by criminal activity and significant monitoring of those that bet and indeed when evidence is conclusive they will act and there’s the point here say isn’t eveidence

  • porter

    All this running makes a player is nonsense . I used to go to the old Wembley to watch the most boring England home internationals with the coach of my non league saturday team . We used to go to the upper tier and sit on the steps , such was the paucity of the crowds specifically to watch Bobby Moore . Did he run about ? NO his positioning was all that mattered. From that height it was like watching a game of chess . One side made a move Moore moved and compensated and the fullbacks came round to cover. it was like watching a pendulum with Moore the fulcrum. If the attack came from the right the left back tucked in to cover the centre backs. If it came down the middle in the air the other centre back went for the ball and Moore dropped back and covered’
    Running about and doing Kilometre stats is not the bearing of a great player and this is now the problem .
    Our players were criticised for walking back but they should have been criticised for being in the wrong place . Mustaphi claimed he was pushed in the back by Aguerro but as you can’t be offside from a goal kick , he should have been goalside and the rest of the defence should have moved to cover . There was no reason for Ospina to be so far out of his goal , a comedy of errors which unfortunately like the mousetrap has been running for a long long time.

  • Chris

    There is one question I’d like to as to one ex player :

    “Mr Henry, how did you feel during the MU Invincibles game ?

    Was it not that Arsenal, having won 49 in a row were just on the field with a mindset : we can’t lose, why don’t we even bother to show up ?
    Was is not that on this day, the Arsenal team and you Thierry Henry gave a lousy performance, the manager chose lousy tactics and oin return they were duly punished for being bad on the field ? And had they been better, the series would have gone up to 50. So it was their own lousy performance that was the reason for the loss in that game and not the referee.”

    I wonder what is answer to that one would be ?

    My bet is that he would be still mad at the refereeing and would thus have to admit that refereeing DOES INDEED have an influence. And the question ought to be asked to other retired players who were present in that game. I mean, they did not sign a waiver forbidding them to talk about their past games in the PL did they ?

    Coming back to Sunday’s game, Mustafi’s body language, to me, was telling. He is getting pushed while concentrating on the ball, from behind. There is no way Aguero is playing for the ball as the ball goes past both of them. he is deliberately attacking his opponent from behind. Thus this is a foul. And it ends up as a goal against Arsenal. As Tony wrote it : here we go again, this is one of these games immediately must have been into each player’s head. Millionaire or not, they are in the end just human and have a human psychology that kicks in. Sure, ‘rebelling’ is an option. But when the same problem happens over and over again, there comes a point where it has a real negative effect.

  • porter

    Chris I agree , he was pushed however he should have been goalside and would have been doing the pushing. Rank bad positioning.

  • Chris

    @porter,

    well, his positionning is another issue. Had he been behing Aguero and the ball had gone differently, he’d be criticized for having not put him offside…. so it can be argues either way I guess.

    And the issue at hand is that a player making a mistake ought not to justify a wrong call from a referee, I feel.

  • Nitram

    So being out of position means your opponent is allowed to foul you then.

    I must of missed that rule somehow.

    Could someone point it out for me please.

  • Nitram

    Must be hidden away with the rule that says its ok to kick Arsenal off the park, but kicking City off the park is out of order.

  • Chris

    To elaborate further on referee influence, just look at the last 15-20 minutes of last year’s PSG-Barcelona game.

    God knows I’m no PSG fan, but can any one of these pundits say that the ref did NOT have an influence on the outcome and that the way the last minutes unfold are indeed very very strange, in fact they stink like some order from above ?

    Had such a remontada happened to MU, City or Pool, the Brexit people and the UK press would have been howling and have started a referendum asking for the FA to leave UEFA and joins some other continent’s association…..

    It is not only in the PL that strange things happen. But then again there is so much money involved and the organisations running the competition are cloudy and un-transparent, so : What did you expect ?

    In this regard, Untold Arsenal is damn right to keep hitting her drum to the ‘transparency’ rythm.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Miket T, it was 1 Judge who went on the search to unravel the calciopoli case in Italy. In fact it showed that many of the media man was somehow involved by using what to show and what not to show on TV shows.
    Only when that Judge had found evidence from Phone tapping and the football authorities who were part of the scandal didn’t want to take it up that the media jumped on the bandwagon. Well that is in short what I remember from a book that I read about it.

  • porter

    Chris as I said you can’t be offside from a goal kick. If you are the last man and oit looks like being headed on then you step up and force the forward to go towards the halfway line.

  • Zedsaunt

    A good mate of mine, another former union rep, told me an interesting anecdote a few weeks back. Hearing it I immediately thought of this site, the years spent where Tony & Walter & everyone else have tried to bring out into open discussion how corruption actually does work, how mindsets get created and then maintained without anyone having to stuff money into envelopes, how people can be positioned to do the right thing, be a safe pair of hands, be one of us.

    My mate’s father was the county’s Chief Constable. As Chief Constable he had a regular invitation to be one of the judges in the county’s annual Summer Show. In this annual three day jamboree the county’s farmers exhibited their animals, flowers, vegetables, plants, along with an array of butchers, insurance agents, pie-makers, restaurant owners, machine salesmen and everything else that makes up a Summer Show. There are a number of tents for boozing through the day.

    One year his fther asked him to grab a mate and come along. They arrived and made their way to the VIP Hospitality Tent, took a table. His father went to the bar. After getting a couple of rounds his father excused himself, he had to go out and start judging. Before leaving the table he pulls out a chit book and gives it to his son, tells him when he goes to the bar just sign the chit and hand it over to the barman. Obviously my mate and his pal stay all day.

    Make it into these circles you will do anything to make certain you stay there.

  • Mike T

    Hi Walter good to hear from you hope alls ok.

    The Calciopoli was more about influence as opposed to pure match fixing and the lengths that some went to to have their choice of referees appointed but the point for me was how quickly the whole saga unraveled once one brick of the secrecy wall was removed.

  • rupert cook

    @Mike T. I made this point about the absolute nightmare logistics of keeping quiet the level of corruption that Tony suggests and yet it made no odds. So I accept that he and I will have to beg to differ on this issue.

    I’m not in favour of casting wild aspersions on whole nations but isn’t corruption in Italy endemic in many areas of their society? I’m also not implying that it doesn’t exist in our country, it’s just not seen as a national trait. The mafia have a huge influence in Italy, there isn’t a similar illegal entity like that in England, or if there is then it’s a well kept secret. I do understand my view of Italy maybe extremely prejudiced and I am willing for anyone to put me straight if I’ve made idiotic assumptions.

  • AFC Nemesis

    Mike T.
    “is that evidence of a corrupt referee or an incompetent or poor one?” and “If you say it’s down corrumption where’s the evidence of financial gain or Riley being involved in any sort of shenanigans?”

    For many years I fought any suggestion our game could be rigged.

    I knew that teams with power could manipulate the selections of referees and Fergie was very successful at this. He had the power to prevent a referee he didn’t like from refereeing his teams. Referees knew this. As the biggest most profile games tended to include Manchester Utd, referees knew being banned from their games was not a good career move. So they refereed in a way not to upset him. In Graham Polls book he mentions the intimidation officials were subjected to which would start as they arrived. The “watch out for the number 5 holding at corners” etc.

    Now, this may explain Rileys performance on the day. We do know from Gary Neville that Man Utd were determined not to let Arsenal get to 50 games on the unbeaten run. He said they were going to do anything to stop that. They may have ramped up the pressure on Riley and that may explain his one sided performance.

    If this is the case money did not exchange hands. However, it still means the result of that game was manipulated by the referee. Is this corruption?

    Of course, one can take the view that Riley was so one sided that day and made so many mistakes in the home teams favour, that pressure does not explain it. My best mate is a West ham fan, he is convinced that game was rigged. I believe it was too. Not long after Riley was appointed head of PGMOL. Alarm bells?

    Now Riley has surrounded himself from referees from the North of the Country. We know this by looking at the constitution of PGMOL. Some excellent articles from the missing Proudkev explained this and he cited comments from former referees to this effect.

    None of us want to think our beautiful game is corrupt. Why would we? We know how much money is the game now, just look at how the Fair Play has developed into a joke. Consider how they seem to be deliberately making a pigs ear of VAR. Consider the numerous Arsenal players we had to witness having legs broken during games. Ramsey, Eduardo, Diaby etc. No other team had that. A self sustaining club trying to fight against the money flooding into the game but being painted as some villains of the piece.

    Follow the money.

    I am sorry Mike but I am no longer in denial. I would love to be proved wrong. With sadness I have to say that 50th was rigged, I just cannot ignore the obvious incorrect decisions because there was so many of them.

    I have a sad heart writing this.

  • Menace

    Mike T corruption is not necessarily for financial reward. It is corrupt when it strays from the norm deliberately. Riley & Andy Gray were colluding in the corrupt broadcast of on field cheating by Manchester United players & their paid for official Riley.

    The PGMOL are a corrupt organisation that select officials without fair & open competition. It breaks all the rules of public business.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Hi MikeT, could be better but as I am optimistic things will get better. 😉 I would call it the poisonous influence and how it can affect and lead to a set of mind. But it had taken place a few years before that brick actually was removed.

  • Mike T

    AFC . Ok I know it could be the old double bluff thing but I personally believe that had Riley’s been corrupt his actions would hardly been as obvious as is being suggested. In reality all I see is a poor team of officials There’s no doubt Man U went way over the top their aggression should have been stamped on hard but Riley’s performance was for me more about incompetence. That said referring and interpretation of the laws in 2018 is not the same as it was 14 years ago things like intent have been removed from the laws and in 2004 far more physical contact was allowed or ignored.
    Menace
    I am well aware corrumption isn’t always about financial gain hence the use by me of the word shenanigans
    I get it that you don’t think the PGMOL is fit for purpose that’s an opinion for which you have every right to articulate but when you start to throw accusations about regarding corrumption then you probably overstepping the mark and leave the owners of this site in a vulnerable position.
    Tony often talks about evidence but unless I have missed a massive disclosure all that ever is put forward to support the claims of corruption are opinions rather than the sort of evidence that manifested itself in Italy or indeed would be taken seriously by any objective reviewer
    Walter
    IAm missing our exchanges but fully understand you priorities are of course elsewhere. Keep well and best wishes. Mike

  • Arsene Nose

    Arsenal have beaten three teams away from home in the league this season. And they have lost seven games this year already. Surely you can’t blame the press for this?

  • Arsene Nose – no not at all. What an extraordinary thing to think.