In 2021 I ran a series of articles as outlined below…
- The biggest scandal to hit the English game is ongoing, and no one will speak
- The biggest scandal in football: who is checking on how clubs behave? Part two.
- The biggest scandal in football: no one is checking what is going on: 3
The essence of these pieces was that clubs are taking on children and teenagers and pushing them through to see if they can become top footballers. As a result of the huge value to each club in finding young highly talented players, corners are inevitably cut. Youngsters are played when they are not fully fit, injuries are often not properly treated, and by and large the children and teenagers are not properly looked after.
Now two things come out of this. We know why the clubs are doing this (because of the huge gain each time they do find and can sell on a truly talented player), but what was not fully covered in those articles earlier was how the clubs are getting away with it.
Given that the national media will not cover this matter at all, in any way, and will not even admit that it exists, we’ve had to use our own resources, limited as they are, to try and find out what is going on.
And it makes rather frightening reading.
Now before I go on, I must make it clear that I am not going to give any names or references here. It is quite obviously, simply impossible for one blog, run by a handful of enthusiasts, to go out and do research. Of course we do get passed information from time to time but we can’t quote it, because we can’t validate the claims.
But we do believe there is enough here to warrant a proper investigation… but that raises the question, investigation by whom?
The FA, we know, are tainted. The Euro final showed that they can’t even organise a match properly at their own high-profile stadium. The British police are woefully undermanned. Indeed as one report recently put it “Britain’s biggest police force is so short of detectives that it is pulling police officers away from the front line…
In 2010 there were 79,500 police staff working for forces in England and Wales. By March 2016, this number had dropped to 61,668 – a 23% cut in the police staff workforce. And when they are being called out day on day for emergency 999 calls they are hardly likely to go off to a football club where a parent alleges maltreatment – even if this comes in the wake of the football child sex scandal.
But we did make a bit of a breakthrough last year when we discovered The Scandal of the lack of medical records in football.
In this article, we reported that it appeared that clubs could regularly lose medical records with impunity. Then if a person was injured playing for a youth team the club could say, “sorry we know nothing about this, and we have lost the records.” Worse, there would be no backup records because the clubs are not required to lodge copies of medical issues with the FA or the League.
But I now think things are worse than this. For where reports are issued they are often not only not signed but also not dated, and thus if an individual were to get hold of his or her medical report from within the club it might well be utterly useless from an evidence point of view since no one could say who it was written by and when it was written.
Of course, Untold Arsenal doesn’t have the researchers on hand to go around collecting evidence on this, but the mere fact that the clubs are not required to file copies of medical reports of youngsters with a central authority, and are not seriously fined or demoted from the league if these vital records go missing, then child abuse can just go on and on.
Now the question arises – why would a club play a child when injured? The answer is that quite often the child can play and put in a shift for a junior team, but in so doing is causing him or herself long-term damage. But no one cares because everything in football is done on a short-term basis – win this match even if you can never play football again, because there will be someone else in tomorrow to take your place.
I really do think what we are uncovering – admittedly without the concrete evidence we would need for a court case – is a national scandal in which the clubs, the FA and the media are colluding.
All I can say is, if you have a child who is training with a professional club, watch out. Everything might be ok, but the club could simply be ignoring potential long term damage for the sake of winning the next match. And to the clubs that are losing their records, or dishing out unsigned medical notes, we are not going away.
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton: the club that gets cards at over twice the rate of Arsenal
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers: where will each team finish?
- Arsenal v Lens: what we found, what we felt, what they did
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences
- Arsenal v Lens: they had a poor start but are now flying