- Can we really predict the outcome of the league table from earlier in the season?
- Arsenal lose, editor injured, Untold upside down
By Tony Attwood
Now I may well have got this wrong, (and if so that will probably come as no surprise to you), but as I began to contemplate the notion propagated by a large number of Everton fans that the Premier League (of which Everton is a member) is “corrupt” I found myself in a bit of a quandary.
For as I understand things, the Premier League of which Everton is a part, is the body that has found Everton guilty of breaking Premier League rules. So if the Premier League is indeed corrupt, why on earth would some of the other 19 members of the Premier League join together to take on Everton, of all teams?
I mean, I can understand why they would take on Manchester City, because the effect of Manchester City’s current financial model is that they have made it very difficult for any other club to beat Manchester City to the league title and the various cups.
Likewise I can understand the protests about Newcastle United, one of the growing number of clubs owned by Saudi Arabia – a country that employs PGMO men at rather fine salaries to go out that referee some of their matches. The possibilities for corruption are multiple in this scenario.
Of course this doesn’t mean Manchester City won’t win the league this season, either because everything comes to an end sometime, or because their most influential player now has an injury. But by and large Manchester City’s financial model means that they are now immune to the vagaries of form. And if the club does fail to win all three major competitions again, there’s no doubt that under the current interpretation of the financial fair play rules, they can simply go out and buy some more players thus a) enhancing their squad and b) reducing the chances of other clubs enhancing their own.
But to be clear the suggestion in the ongoing enquiry is that it is Manchester City that is corrupt, and that the Premier League is the body fighting the alleged corruption.
Bujt in the Everton case, however, matters are reversed. The supporters with their mega-sized banners are accusing the Premier League of which Everton FC is a member, of being corrupt. And maybe they are – but if so why are they targeting Everton?
So let’s start with that point. That the League itself is corrupt and has now turned on Everton. Thus the first question then obviously is, why now and why Everton?
Everton have not been in the top four of the Premier League since 2005, and have not won the top division in English football since 1987. Indeed since then, they have only finished in the top four twice. So ask again, why, if there is corruption, would any other club bother to focus on Everton?
The only possible answer I can think of is that because Manchester City and Everton have each won the top division in English football nine times Manchester City feel a bit threatened by Everton’s chance of staying ahead of Man City in the issue of the number of league titles won. But really, that, as an explanation, is so obscure it seems laughable.
So where is the corruption of which the new breed of banners speak? And why is it there?
Could it be that Everton fans feel that the penalty hovering over them is being threatened, because the other thing Everton have in their record books is that they have been in the top division since 1954/5? But although that is a long run it seems rather paltry compared with Arsenal having been at the top table since 1919. And besides do most fans know this?
Of course I do know that Arsenal have constantly been accused of corruption in gaining that election to Football League Division One through a fixed vote of clubs in 1919. But that story actually emerged many years after Arsenal were elected back into the First Division in that season, and you can read all about it in “Arsenal’s fixed promotion”
That report reveals what really happened and how that allegation was designed to hide the corruption of others; corruption that the League really didn’t want expose. But that was over 100 years ago.
So what is the corruption that Everton alleges? Since the banners only carry the allegation and nothing more, I can’t say. But on the face of it, if the Premier League does consist of a bunch of cliques each trying to do the others down, picking on Everton of all teams would seem unlikely.
Besides they are members of the north west clique of clubs – a grouping that has won the top league a total of 64 times, compared with London which has 21 titles to its name, 13 for Arsenal, six for Chelsea and two for Tottenham.
So all things considered, I really don’t get this suggestion that the rest of the league is ganging up on poor harmless Everton. Unless of course there is some sort of allegation concerning the source of the money that Everton are said to be getting. But even so, surely the bigger issue still is Manchester City, and if there were to be another fight over financial sources after that, would it really be against Everton? I can’t see it.
The only other explanation that comes to mind over the adoption of these particular banners at Everton is simple paranoia; this suggestion that they are all out to get us. Maybe that could be so, but really – why would everyone else bother?
If you can work it out, do write in and let us know. If it is a short explanation send it as a comment. If it is longer, we can publish it as an article. Email it to: Tony@schools.co.uk
- How far down might these points deducations take clubs?
- Big clubs that foul less lose fewer players of their own to injury
- What takes clubs up and down the league: attack or defence?
- Referee Extremism: the situation in Spain and in England
- Didn’t appreciate KO time, M1 is a disaster, but watching Arsenal is a joy