The ultimate surprise: Arteta is exhonerated. PGMO & FA admit to different rules for different people




By Tony Attwood

If you are a regular reader of Untold you will know that we have long held that there are fundamental flaws with the ways in which refereeing is conducted in the Premier League.   Indeed we even conducted a massive analysis of 160 Premier League games and presented the findings complete with video evidence to prove our case.

In recent days we have shifted the emphasis somewhat and focussed on the structure and secrecy of PGMO who run refereeing, and this season there appears to have been a very slight change in the attitude of the referees assocaition toward what it does.

But major problems remain, such as the fact that some referees have a propensity to oversee a lot of home wins, while others have exactly the opposite outcome in their matches.  This has been traced back to the infuence of the crowd upon referees – a fact proven by some remarkable research undertaken by Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, who was on the board of Athletic Bilbao for seven years and is professor of management, economics and strategy at the London School of Economics – part of the University of London (and against which I will hear nothing since the University of London is where I did my research degree).

Meanwhile the issue of the shortage of referees, and their refusal to answer the public debate has continued, and despite ever greater public awareness of their failings PGMO remain above reproach in the eyes of the media.  Referees travel to Saudi Arabia to handle games for large financial reward, fly back and then almost immediately work on games where one of the clubs has Saudi ownership, there are controversial decisions and then… nothing.

As for the media they join in, ceaselessly calling Mikel Arteta’s protests about the failings of VAR a “rant” – a word which itself implies his guilt before there has even been a hearing.

But now there has been a hearing and the Telegraph reappraises “rant” and gives us  his furious outburst at referees.  And would you believe it the newspaper has reported that he has not been punished as all “in part because the Premier League has itself acknowledged the deficiencies and weaknesses of the Var system.”

An independent commission has found that Arteta’s comments after the Newcastle game, in which he described the decision to allow Anthony Gordon’s winning goal as a “disgrace” and “embarrassing”, neither insulted the officials nor brought the game into disrepute.   The Guardian we might note is less forgiving going with “Manager escapes punishment after ref rant” but we have known for many a year that it will never give an inch in its protection of referees or its criticism of Arsenal.

So what turned the issue around?

One point seems to be a meeting that Mikel Arteta had with PGMO overlords just before the match in which he expressed his views about the failings of VAR and other matters, but at which PGMO would not give an inch.   This reveals that in his “rant” came after he had warned that this sort of thing could happen.

Against this it appears that the FA said that Arteta should be punished strongly a) because he dared criticse, and b) because he was so high profile.  That was an extraordinary claim, in that is says that punishments are not determined by the crime but by the profile of the person involved: a total abandonment of the notion that rules apply equally to everyone.   This was quite likely one of the key tipping points against the ultra-secretive FA tribunals.

There was also evidence from Joe Willock who was of course previously an Arsenal player who revealed that the ball had indeed gone out of play in the build up to the disputed goal.

The appeals panel accept that Arteta’s comments were directed at the deficient state of the VAR system approved and operated by PGMO hierarchy rather than against this official.   Indeed su the VAR was and is clearly defective it (the system) does bring the game and the PGMO into disrepute itself.

In an utterly amazing and laughable defence the FA then argued that although the comments were clearly about VAR they were also insulting towards the referees and so inflammatory that they brought the game into disrepute  – despite the fact that is the FA that has approved VAR in its current format.

But the independent commission quite reasonably said that Arteta was simply saying that the League had itself said earlier – that there were problems with VAR.   In short if Arteta was guilty with bringing the game into disrepute so was the whole league which had admitted “systemic weaknesses” with VAR that were found in the game betweeen Liverpool and Tottenham.

So finally some justice as the enquiry acknowledged that Aretat’s views were identical with “the acknowledgement by the Premier League in early October 2023 that improvement in the Var system and processes operated by the Premier League is required”.

Countering this the FA then came up with must be surely the most infamous defence of all time that as the Telegraph says, “Arteta’s high-profile status was relevant to the case, and that his words could breach rules even if those same words might not be a breach when said by lower-profile managers.”

If that had been agreed then it would have ended the notion of one set of rules for everyone would have been overthrown.

But the fact that the FA could even contemplate putting this argument forward shows how low that body has sunk in terms of understanding the notion of one game for all.   Surely more than any other suggestion or mistake, this one shows that the FA really needs to be wound up as fast as possible.

What should happen now is that the whole role of the FA is this awful affair should be investigated and their actions in this affair should result in them being charged with bringing the game into disrepute.

19 Replies to “The ultimate surprise: Arteta is exhonerated. PGMO & FA admit to different rules for different people”

  1. Tony

    John L mentions above that we can expect even more hostility from the officials, and I couldn’t agree more. But it wont just be them. I have said many many times that the media and the PGMOL are hand in glove. We wont criticize you if you do our bidding, and screwing Arsenal is the medias bidding. As such the media are also going to be upset with this. Already tonight in the immediate reports, the tone is hostile and not conciliatory towards Arteta.

    Tony has pointed out very little shift in the tone of the Telegraph or the Guardian. Elsewhere, and pasted bellow I have shown how The Mirror hasn’t shifted an inch with this little lot from their Arsenal hater in chief John Cross:

    Their headline:


    Note, Arteta hasn’t been found not guilty, oh no, he’s just somehow managed to AVOID a ban.

    Later they go on to reinforce the notion that he’s actually guilty by stating that “The let-off is certain to anger some referees”.

    So again he hasn’t been found not guilty he’s just been LET-OFF

    We also have the following from Cross:

    The Football Association have confirmed the written reasons behind the decision to not sanction Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for his angry outburst after defeat at Newcastle.

    So it starts out as and ANGRY OUTBURST

    Then we have:

    Mikel Arteta has escaped a touchline ban for his referee rant.

    But it’s soon up graded back to a RANT

    But then we have:

    Arteta was charged by the Football Association after his furious blast at the officials following Arsenal ’s defeat at Newcastle last month.

    So, it’s down graded to just a FURIOUS BLAST

    So lets be clear on this. Despite an independent commission clearing Arteta of any wrong doing The Mirror are still insisting what Arteta said was a RANT. Or was it an ANGRY OUTBURST. Or should that be a FURIOS BLAST.

    Oh well, whatever it was, The Mirror, or at least John Cross, seems certain he’s guilty of something, and as such is insisting he’s simply been ‘let-off’ and ‘escaped’ a touch line ban.

    I wish I could be more hopeful but all I expect is for both the media, who will maintain their unshakable support of officialdom, and the PGMOL, to double their efforts in screwing us over, if that’s even possible.

  2. A rant… I’d like to know what Haaland’s screaming live on TV broadcast worldwide was…..

  3. seismic and Chris

    The point is John Cross, The Mirror, The Guardian, The Telegraph, all of them. They know Arteta is right. As I showed in an article a few weeks ago a raft of Mirror reports said the very same thing about VAR a year ago, and have said much the same many times since.

    Everybody knows VAR is not fit for purpose and all Arteta did was say that. He didn’t rant or rave. He made a statement.

    If it had been somebody else saying it they would of had the full backing of the media. But it’s Arteta and it’s Arsenal so they are having none of it.

    As far as I can see, the media is this morning having a collective ‘Hissy Fit’.

    How dare they not throw the book at Arteta?

    As John and I have already said, and there was always a danger of this if you take on ‘officialdom’, things will now just get worse.

    The media are already doubling down on their criticism, of Arteta. They will surely double down in their support for the officials, which will of course include any ‘revenge’ they see fit to inflict on us.

    If we just use the Newcastle ‘goal’ as a marker. 3 calls to be made by the on field officials. 3 calls to be made by VAR. All at the absolute worst were 50/50 calls, but in truth were nothing of the sort.

    1) Ball out of play.

    We now know that even the guy closest to it. Willock. Said it was out. It looked a long way out.

    2) Push on Gabriel

    A blind man in a hood could see that was a foul. That was 90/10 a foul.

    So 2 clear and obvious on field errors, not only un corrected by VAR, but the decisions almost universally endorsed by the main stream media. Not only that but deemed correct by the post match panel.

    This is what we were up against prior to this.

    The fact we have to live with is that the media hate us. John Cross is supposedly an Arsenal fan and as I have highlighted on here many times his criticism of Arsenal knows no bounds. The notion of him actually ‘sticking up for us’ is laughable.

    And without ANY media support we are screwed.

    The referees and VAR will do their worse and the media will back them in everything and anything they do to us.

    This is not going to be pretty.

    Note: I support Arsenal and Arteta in everything they have done. It is not their fault football is bent.

  4. Indeed we can expect the worst things happening in the next weeks when it comes to referee decisions on the field and from VAR….

  5. Methinks the FA protests too much & are not likely to get any plaudits from clubs that try to be honest when looking at the state of football in the UK with VAR so inadequately implemented with their blessing of PIGMOB’s use of it. It hopefully leads to a more transparent system where the VAR / ref discussions are broadcast to the stadium & not just the ref & commentators. Just watch the way the ‘pundits’ know the result before the ref gives the verdict. It enforces the notion that Nitram is correct with, when he states that the media & PIGMOB is in cahoots.
    Let us all engage our clubs to ask for more transparency with the use so all can see the abomination that PIGMOB is more clearly. That way it will force them to start sharing what they do including how refs get added to the panel as well as what the criteria are. This should be a start of something better for all of us, please!!!!

  6. Anyone expecting football to be refereed like rugby where they are miked up is likely to be disappointed. Secrecy has been part of the culture since professional football started and is unlikely to be voluntarily given up. As far as I can see there is nobody with the power and the will to force referees to change their ways.

  7. Now we know why Arteta was given that ridiculous yellow card at Luton for celebrating. The PGMO & referees already knew the verdict & so decided to hand out their own “justice” in retaliation. I’ve long given up on legacy broadcast & print media since they became the spokespersons for the ruling elites rather than journalists searching for the truth. They refuse to investigate who made trips on Geoffrey Epstein’s “Lolita Express”, the most corrupt family ever to be in the White House (can you imagine their reaction if it was Trump’s son rather than Biden’s coke sniffing, prostitute filming son), the coved 19 inquiary that stamped on any mention of early deaths of young people after vaccination. Even the catastrophic result of locking down the country rather than follow Sweden’s refusal to lockdown has not been investigated by legacy media. They are committing Hard Kari with people refusing to pay their TV tax & not buying their papers.
    Which is why I’m on here.!!

  8. @Nitram -Love the comment “Note: I support Arsenal and Arteta in everything they have done. It is not their fault football is bent.”

    As a neutral it is fairly obvious that there is something strange going on – I believe that this is not only incompetence but also systemic bias of referees, media and officials. How else can this whole thing be explained? On a practical point – how come Haaland wasn’t charged?

    I wonder if Arsenal said to the FA “go ahead find him guilty – but get ready for legal action”

    I know that if Arsenal had decided on this route the FA would most probably lose.

    The sad thing is that football is still in a mess with none of the media, officials or governing bodies wanting to correct things.

    They do not care about integrity in the sport.

  9. Les Williams

    Thank you.

    But you also said something very much akin to what I was thinking.

    “I wonder if Arsenal said to the FA “go ahead find him guilty – but get ready for legal action””

    I truly believe that if clubs get really pissed with these idiots in the FA, PL, PGMOL etc. they could slaughter them in the courts.

    Untold themselves, as well as contributors such as myself and many others, have done so much research that has revealed bias, precedents, failures of procedure, inconsistencies, hypocrisy within the workings of all these institutions it is beyond belief. It is not difficult.

    Whenever these ‘institutions’ get truly challenged by, for want of a better word, ‘The Real world’, they lose. And that’s even if they are in the right. They are that incompetent.

    As such, I think you have a point.

    I have absolutely no doubt that conversations in the ante rooms were along the lines of “This is what we’ve got, bring it on if you dare”. They didn’t dare.

    Unforetuneately, the ambiguous, subjective nature of so many decisions on the field of play will allow the referees and VAR to reek vengeance at will.

  10. When you hear, or read Artetas pre match press conference it really forces home what a bunch of hypocritical w******s these hacks are.

    It’s all kind of cordial, like, did you discus how VAR needs to improve blah blah blah. And worse, they ask, “if he would make the comments again that he made after the Newcastle game”?

    Would he ‘make the comments again’? COMMENTS!!!!!

    This morning it was still a rant, or an angry outburst, or a furious blast!!

    What a shame these cowards haven’t got the balls to say to his face what they printed this morning, or indeed what they will print tomorrow morning.

    Pathetic snivelling hypocritical cowards the lot of them.

  11. And so it came to pass. Arteta booked for excessive waving against Brighton by the latest referee not from the north of England to get Premier league status for a long time .
    Strangely we get him when we play against Brighton and he hails from ? Get your AA atlas out !
    You guessed it Sussex

  12. Seismic ; John Cross indeed an appropriate name .
    A purported Arsenal supporter is our John Double Cross.
    I would hope Arsenal would refuse him entry to Emirates at any time .This journalist (doesn’t deserve access to Arsenal) He’s a disgrace (English meaning)

  13. I have always maintained that the media in all forms are bent and blindly follow the money thrown at them. Mainly that from advertising , that sustains them.
    Take away the money and they will die a natural death. And the so called experts and commentators of various fields will have to fall on their swords . But am not wasting my tome waiting for it to happen.

    Unless and until the press reports news , and not chose to herd us into their pens of stupidity , I will avoid them like the plague . Or The COVID !
    And I sleep well in having taken they decision to avoid fools of every ilk !

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