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August 2021

Cesc, the hidden truth about the transfer saga in the media

Note from the editor: Regular readers will know Anne as she contributes on a regular basis to the comment section of our website. As she supports Barcelona but also likes Arsenal she has been following the Cesc saga in both media in England and in Catalunya-Spain.  In this article today and in the next that will follow shortly she will highlight how the media in both countries have been using quotes out of their context just to make a new headline and to add to the controversy between the clubs and the fans of the clubs. With the quotes starting to come above water once again these days this article and the follow up might warn you not to believe all that is written on websites from “serious media”. Because of the length of the article we had to cut it in two. The next part will come online later today.

By Anne

THE CESC TRANSFER SAGA REVISITED: a critical analysis by a Barcelona fan who also supports Arsenal

The summer is upon us again, bringing with it the usual influx of transfer talk; the gossip, the rumors, the innuendo…all intended to keep us sated and reading until there’s some real football news to report again. However, in the current transfer season, there’s a conspicuous absence…a gaping hole that’s usually filled by the media’s favorite transfer story of all…Yes, I’m talking about the infamous “Cesc Transfer Saga,” which we’re normally being inundated with at this point.

But things have been unusually quiet this summer.  And doesn’t it make you wonder why? Well, I think I know the answer to that question. And what’s more, I’m going to share it with you. However, you’ll have to bear with me a little. Because to answer the question of why there’s so little transfer saga this summer, we have to go all the way back to the beginning of last summer, and re-examine that saga as it unfolded from the beginning.

We’ll start in May, 2010. The Spanish national team is congregated in Spain and preparing to leave for South Africa to play the World Cup. The Spanish sports tabloids are just getting their own Cesc transfer saga into gear, and during the month of May, they are lucky enough to have access to all the Barcelona players together in one area. There are a number of interviews with Barcelona players that appear in the Spanish media at that time, and in some of those interviews, Barcelona players do in fact make some comments about Cesc (although it’s worth noting that  these comments always come in response to questions).

The following comments by Xavi are a good example of how the Cesc comments from this time period tend to sound in their original contexts. I’m actually going back to November, 2009, for this one, but it’s still representative of what came later. I’m doing that because I want to show you Xavi’s most infamous quote in its original context. Here it is (Xavi’s comments were part of a 28-question interview, and came in response to questions 21 and 22):

“Interviewer: Do you believe that Cesc will be your successor?

Xavi: Hopefully he will be my successor, and until then my companion. The more [good footballers] that can come here and associate with me the better. Good footballers have to understand each other on the pitch. If Cesc comes, that would be great. I would like it, because we would enjoy ourselves on the pitch.

Interviewer: He’s very good?

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Xavi: Yes, definitely very good, and also with the DNA of Barcelona, able to make that ultimate pass, he would fit in here perfectly.”–ibrahimovic-parece-criado-en-can-bar-a–

So, there you have it. Xavi’s infamous “Barcelona DNA” comments in their original context. Incidentally, this is the ONLY Spanish interview I’ve found where Xavi actually makes any mention of Cesc’s Barcelona DNA at all. It’s also the only one I’ve found where the media source actually published the entire interview, including both the questions asked and the answers given.

One more quick note about “Barcelona DNA” before I move on: although it sounds weird in English, saying that someone has “the DNA of Barcelona” is actually a very common phrase in Catalunya. They use it to refer to anyone local, and a good English translation would be saying that someone “is a local boy.”

Moving on to England in May, 2010. Around this time, the English tabloids are also trying to gear up their own Cesc transfer saga, and you see them begin to publish statements by Barcelona players linked to “Spanish media sources.” However, if you look at the statements in both English and Spanish, you’ll notice that the English media reports have a distinctly different tone from the Spanish reports. Whereas the comments in Spanish are generally just complimentary towards Cesc (like Xavi’s comments above), and along the lines of “yeah, sure, it would be great if he came here,” the reporting in the English media has a distinctly nasty tone to it. Specifically, it’s antagonistic towards Arsenal. A typical example would be the following:

Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez has added to the furore surrounding Cesc Fabregas’ potential move to Catalonia by publicly admitting: ‘Yes, I’d love for him to join us.’

Arsenal star Cesc caused a storm by reportedly telling friends he’d sign for Barcelona before there World Cup, and today Arsene Wenger responded by begging his skipper to stay for two more years .

The Arsenal boss will be dismayed by Xavi’s words today, though, which are sure to cause further controversy.

‘He’s a very close friend of mine,’ added the Spanish star, ‘and a footballer with Barcelona’s DNA.'”

-The Mirror, May 15, 2010

And things only get stranger from here on out…Moving on to June, 2010. In June, the Spanish national team, and the Barcelona players along with them, leave Spain for South Africa, where they will remain until the conclusion of the World Cup. At this point, as would be expected, interviews with Barcelona players cease appearing in the Spanish media, because the Spanish media no longer has access to the players. Interviews with the Spanish media won’t appear regularly again until August, 2010, after the World Cup has concluded and the players have returned from their vacations.

Considering that the players are in South Africa, are busy with the World Cup, and have ceased giving interviews to their local press, you would expect interviews to stop appearing in general at this point. And yet, here we see the beginnings of an odd phenomenon… Just as the interviews in the Spanish press dry up, we begin to see an influx of new interviews with Barcelona players that originate in the ENGLISH media. And not just the occasional interview, either. I’m talking about hundreds of interviews…Interviews that appear on a weekly, and sometimes even daily basis. And as the summer goes on, more and more interviews begin to appear. Although nearly all of these interviews are about Cesc Fabregas, you see Barcelona players chiming in on other transfer rumors as well.

And in addition to the increased frequency of these interviews, a couple of other trends start to emerge as the summer goes on: 1) the interviews become increasingly insulting and antagonistic towards Arsenal; and 2) the sourcing on the articles becomes increasingly shaky, and by the end of the summer, sourcing is virtually non-existent.  Both of these trends are apparent in the following two “interviews” with Carles Puyol that appeared in the Sun late in the summer:

“Barca defender Puyol — who along with Fabregas was part of Spain’s victorious World Cup squad — says the midfielder should be allowed to move back to the club where he started his career in order to win more silverware.

Arsenal have not won a trophy in five years and Puyol, 32, said: ‘I think Arsenal need to respect his class and show the same class by giving the guy who has given so much to them the move that he and his family want.

‘He isn’t just being deprived of moving to the best club in the world, more importantly, he is being deprived of coming home.

‘He has tried everything to win trophies at Arsenal and when he sees the success so many of his Spanish team-mates are having at Barcelona, it’s only natural that he should want to be a part of that.’”

-The Sun, July 18, 2010


“Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol declared: ‘He is having to stay at a club where he no longer wants to be for another year.

‘I wonder how intelligent it is keeping a player who doesn’t want to be there.

‘After seven years of great service, I thought Arsenal could have granted him his dream move.’

Puyol added: ‘Cesc has given everything to Arsenal to try to win a trophy but they haven’t matched his expectations.

‘I won’t say he is in a prison, as we know how privileged we are as football players.

‘But after how clear Cesc made it that he wanted to be in Barcelona, I thought they would have granted him that.’

‘He is far too classy a guy to say it but the truth is he doesn’t want to be at Arsenal this season. His heart is already in Barcelona, even though we must wait another year for his body to be here.

-The Sun, July, 30, 2010

So, the Sun managed to obtain two interviews with Carles Puyol within 2 weeks, did they? And this despite the fact that Puyol was on vacation at the time? What enviable access…I chose these two specific “interviews” with Puyol for a reason, which I’ll come back to in a bit.

But for now, back to Spain. As the World Cup gets going, the Spanish tabloids are keeping their Cesc transfer saga going as well, but with one key difference: having lost their own access to the Barcelona players, they are now publishing player interviews and citing them to ENGLISH media sources. It’s like earlier in the summer, but in reverse.

HOWEVER, the question that arises is, how on earth do British tabloids like the Daily Star and the Sun have such regular access to Barcelona players, when even their own local media doesn’t?

An interesting question indeed…And another interesting question is why the Spanish papers subsequently stopped publishing these interviews? Because as the summer went on, and as the number of interviews in England increased exponentially, the number of these interviews that were re-published in the Spanish papers decreased significantly. Why would that be? Did the Spanish tabloids simply lose interest in the story? Unlikely, because they continued pushing the transfer saga in other ways, just absent the player interviews.

So, why did the Spanish tabloids start backing away from these “interviews?” I suppose that technically you’d have to ask them. But it’s worth noting that the Spanish papers are much closer geographically to FC Barcelona than the English papers, and thus any chicanery that they engage in is highly unlikely to go unnoticed by the Club. The English media, on the other hand, is a different story. As we’re about to find out, the transfer saga in England had to reach absolutely ridiculous proportions before it finally drew action from the Club.

But that is for the next article.

91 comments to Cesc, the hidden truth about the transfer saga in the media

  • WalterBroeckx

    a great article and as I know the rest I can say that the best is yet to come. 😉
    It must have been an amazing job to go through all the media sources to find who said what. If someone said anything at all that is…

  • Waleed

    Important article and well written also. Looking forward to the next part.

  • nicky

    @ Anne
    A nice article, partly remembered for a complete lack of innuendo and obscenity. A pleasant change these days.

  • Waleed

    BUT I’m not sure I follow correctly. As the summer began (in May) there were a few interviews with the SPanish media. Then the English media picked up on them. And then as the World Cup began, the Spanish media, having nothing to report, started using the English reports as their sources for new interviews.
    And THEN they started backing away from these English interviews?

  • Anne


    Glad you liked the article. Not sure I’ll be so lucky in the comments threads,though…I’m sitting here with some whiskey and a bottle of aspirin, just in case 🙂

  • Mahesh

    Walter and Anne, Please publish the second part soon. Please!!! I can’t wait for the conclusion.

  • Dark Prince

    Anne- bravo!! A superb article!! Keep it up!! Clearly shows how the media plays an important part in transfers. Just reminds me of what Wenger said recently about the Nasri transfer rumours.

    “It sometimes happens that the rumour can make the transfer.”

  • Anne


    I understand what you’re saying. I was trying to condense a huge amount of material into a really short article, so I wasn’t able to develop everything as thoroughly as I would have liked to.

    Basically, what I’m describing is the general trends in the media coverage that occurred throughout the summer. The way I pinpointed those trends was by creating a chronological timeline of the combined English and Spanish coverage.

    What I found was that, during the month of May, the Spanish media were conducting a lot of interviews with the Barcelona players in the run-up to the World Cup. As far as I can tell, these interviews were genuine. They may have been sensationalized a bit, but they were actual interviews, published in a typical question and answer format.

    So, when things were getting started in the English media, they were picking up on these interviews in the Spanish press and translating them, which means that their coverage during this time period was more or less genuine as well. However, the one strange thing that you saw there was that the English media reports had a really nasty tone towards Arsenal that was injected through the translation, and was not present in the original interviews.

    Then, after the players left for the World Cup, the Spanish media interviews stopped appearing, and that’s when all these new interviews from the English media started coming out. And the thing that I find odd about that is that I don’t understand how the English papers were getting the access to conduct those interviews. It’s suspicious, in my opinion.

    I also find it suspicious that, whereas the Spanish tabloids were initially picking up these English interviews and publishing them, they seemed to back off of them later for no apparent reason. To me, the only reason they would have done that would have been because they had concerns about the credibility of the interviews.

    Because trust me, the Spanish tabloids have never met a Cesc transfer rumor that they didn’t like. For them to avoid publishing something as juicy and scandalous as these interviews, I’m thinking they must have had some serious worries about the consequences of publishing them. That’s what I was getting at in the article.

  • Aussie Jack

    There are two trains of thought on the Fabregas issue. One is that he is a professional footballer who has signed a binding contract and like in marriage it is `for better or for worse`.
    So far the marriage has not produced what was expected of it, marriages rarely do but you hang in there and give it your best shot.
    The second train of thought is, again like marriage, what`s the point in carrying on and achieving nothing just because of a promise that was made in good faith but became unworkable?

    Life is short as is a footballers career so we don`t have years to waste. Cesc is young and he must find happiness to reach his full potential. He made a mistake in signing a long term contract with Arsenal but we all make mistakes, some of us are forgiven many aren`t. It`s a balancing act. Hold him to his contract or let him go? From one who was held to a long term contract when very young I say let him go with our blessings.

  • Anne


    Glad you like the article, thanks 🙂 However, I have to clarify that the point I’m trying to make is not that the media “plays an important part in transfers.” More like the media plays an important part in creating needless hysteria over non-transfers 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mahesh, it will come online in a few hours. Be patient, be patient… 😉

  • Anne

    @Aussie Jack:

    Personally, I don’t think that Cesc has any interest in leaving Arsenal. No serious interest for the time being, anyway. What gives you the impression that he does?

    I also don’t think that Barcelona as any serious interest in signing him. As they say, money talks and bull**** walks. If you want to gauge Barca’s level of interest in Cesc, all you have to do is look at what they’re willing to pay for him. Is it less than he’s worth? Not interested.

  • willybilly

    Great article, dont know why the media in this country are so anti arsenal!! they dont celebrate any of the great things about this club, and there are many.. Maybe the media in england are slightly xenophobic? which would explain a lot. or maybe its true and the english will never understand how the beautiful game is meant to be played. Im english myself, and having watched england u21s against spain, we should be encouraging teams like arsenal, caus if we dont we are not gonna win another world cup for another 50 years

  • william

    Great post, well done Anne. I am always careful with what I read in the media , I try to get the original version of interviews,to avoid getting lost in the subtle cultural language differences. I have a question for you Anne, what would you feel if Cesc moved to Barca? My brother is a supporter of both teams, but it’s only this year that he realized that Arsenal was his “first love”. Good luck to Barca (as long as they don’t play against Arsenal,:-) Cheers

  • head

    Barcelona are still despicable though. Their diving, neck-grabbing and overall foul tactics at the Nou Camp were indefensible. This makes me tend to believe their alleged disrespectful attitude toward Arsenal F.C. and the role we played in Cesc’s development.

    An excerpt from totalBarça’s page on La Masia confirms this attitude IMO:
    “The walls are adorned with photographs showing the cheeky grins of boys who have graduated from here to become stars: Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique are among them.

    The one who got away: Cesc Fabregas was groomed for Barca, but Arsene Wenger took him off to Arsenal.”

    Arsène Wenger took him? His ‘home club’ didn’t want him!!

  • william

    How to measure how much Barca value Cesc is by the amount of money they are willing to pay for him, just like they did for other players, like David Villa or even our former Captain, Thierry Henry, the thing I like about Cesc (and van Persie) is that they are clever, they’ve been at Arsenal for a long time to see many of their friends leaving Arsenal and being unhappy after,they will not take any risk , Cesc doesn’t like being a sub (Spain national team), he might not necessairly be a sub at Barca, but he has no guarantee of playing every game like at Arsenal where he’s the Captain, his dream is to return to Barca one day,but I think he would love to lift a trophy with Arsenal (remember how badly he wanted to play the Carling Cup final!). But we can’t know what he has in mind , I hate this period of the year where the media drives us crazy with their transfers saga stories ,I can’t wait for the season to start. I hope both Nasri and Cesc stay with us and we buy top quality players

  • Kentetsu

    Great article, Anne. It’s really interesting to read how the story developed from some complimentary remarks from Xavi in an interview into a load of bullshit made up by the English press (so far, with part two of the article forthcoming).
    Coincidentally I read an article this morning on Football365 that Sagna had said Cesc wants to join Barcelona. It was for a French radio station though, so his original intent may have gone lost in translation and juiced up by some English reporters.

  • Anne


    My brother’s name is William 🙂

    What would I feel if Cesc moved to Barca? I would be disappointed, and there are a lot of reasons for that. First, I think he would be under-utilized at Barca, and I wouldn’t like to see that happen to Cesc. Also, Arsenal’s loss would be much greater than Barca’s gain, and I wouldn’t like to see that happen to Arsenal either.

    From a more selfish Barcelona perspective, I’m afraid that having Cesc at the club would hinder the development of Thiago Alcantara, who I expect to surpass Cesc one day. Thiago is being promoted full time to the first team next season, and he’s being groomed to take over for Xavi when Xavi retires. I’d rather see things keep going in that direction.

    That being said, if Arsenal wants to sell Cesc at a price that Barca’s willing to pay for him, and both clubs agree on the deal, I won’t be complaining. Don’t see that happening though.

  • frodo

    I just wish Arsene would let Fabregas leave! Cash in on him as he clearly doesn’t want to stay. He is showing a severe lack of loyalty and as the club’s captain this must surely have a detrimental effect on the rest of the team. Let him walk and focus on preparing for the next season.

  • Aussie Jack

    Anne..I can only base my opinions on what I read from professionals in the media, fellow team mates and comments made by people like yourself who have access to seemingly authentic information. Being as no sources can be trusted completely it ends up as educated guess and gut feeling that, right or wrong, I`ve developed over nearly eight decades.
    Incidentally, I didn`t say he should go or stay I merely mentioned what, in my humble, opinion should be the outcome.

  • critic

    a great article indeed…

  • Anne


    I was looking at that interview with Sagna earlier today. Basically, in my research, I’ve found 3 different categories of “interview” that appear in the English media, in terms of sourcing:

    1) Unsourced (substantial majority of interviews fall into this category);

    2) Sourced, but the source can’t actually be used to verify the accuracy of the quotes (nearly all of the interviews that ARE sourced fall into this category); and

    3) Sourced, and the source CAN be used to verify the accuracy of the quotes (the grand total of interviews in this category is somewhere around 5. I’m not even joking).

    The Sagna comments fall into the 2nd category, and are a pretty typical example of what you find there. A lot of these comments are sourced to interviews with foreign radio stations, and a lot of them are sourced to live interviews at public appearances as well.

    This is probably the trickiest category in terms of assessing accuracy and validity, because you can’t attack the article for inadequate sourcing, but at the same time, you don’t have any way of confirming that the comments are accurate. With these articles, I think it’s best to just use your common sense.

    And in this case, I don’t think Sagna actually made these statements. First, it’s worth noting that Arsene Wenger came out just the other day, and stated categorically that Cesc was NOT going to Barca this summer. I think it’s the 3rd time this summer that Wenger has said that, so it’s clearly Arsenal’s position to attempt to quash the transfer rumors rather than keep them going.

    Now, I’m not familiar with the PRECISE terms of Sagna’s contract w/ Arsenal, but I’m guessing that making statements in the press that contradict the club’s official position is generally frowned upon. In fact, given everything that’s happened in the past, I would be absolutely shocked if all of Arsenal’s players weren’t strictly forbidden from even mentioning the word “Barcelona” in the press.

    Also, it’s not as if all this transfer speculation is something that Cesc particularly enjoys. Sagna’s his teammate, and I don’t know why he would be fanning the flames and antagonizing Cesc like that. Certainly, I don’t see why Sagna would be interested in “tapping him up” for Barcelona 🙂 I could go on, but you get the idea…

    My verdict: Sagna didn’t say it. And if you believe that he did, I have some lovely ocean front property in Oklahoma that I’d like to sell you for a very reasonable price 🙂

  • Lanz

    I am enjoying this. Its been a long while I enjoyed a blog chat like this. Please let it go on for a little while longer before the concluding post. Anne, I really appreciate your concern for Cesc. Very balanced. I have always felt that the Barca guy are not so strongly interested in Cesc but the choose to give him an impression that they do. If they did, why did they move that quickly for Villa ahed of Cesc? Now, there are rumours they are about going for Rossi again ahead of Cesc! They certainly do not rate him as high as AW does. I hope Cesc sees all this and puts his mind in one place until they are really, really desperate to get him.

  • Anne

    @Aussie Jack:

    On May 13, 2010, Cesc said the following:

    “I have never considered leaving Arsenal. Never, at any moment. There have always been speculations, there have always been rumors, but if I haven’t left Arsenal it’s because I haven’t wanted to, because I’m very happy.”

    He said it at a public appearance at Port Aventura amusement park in Tarragona, and the only reason I know that he did was because I was lucky enough to stumble across an unedited video of the entire press conference (on Port Aventura’s website, not in the media, naturally).

    In their coverage of Cesc’s remarks at that appearance, both the English and Spanish medias chose to leave the above quote on the cutting room floor. Makes you ask why, doesn’t it? Especially considering how much it would have meant to Arsenal fans to hear that Cesc said that…I wonder how many other comments like that the media has left in the bin?

    Oh, and just while we’re on the subject, here’s another Cesc comment that the media really should have shared w/ Arsenal supporters:

    “I am an Arsenal player and I don’t think about anything else…I did not say that I was going to leave Arsenal to go to Barcelona, because equally Barcelona doesn’t want me.”
    -Cesc Fabregas, May 15, 2010

    When he made the above comment, Cesc was issuing a public denial of media reports claiming that he had expressed a desire to leave for Barca before the start of the World Cup. Incidentally, the English media still publishes the false “World Cup” comments, but has never once mentioned that Cesc denied making them.

  • Kentetsu

    @Anne: I do not believe one word of what the articles claim Sagna had said. I actually meant to indicate that the press brings up the same transfer rumour again this year. I guess Sagna may have mentioned Cesc in the interview, most likely in a response to a question like “what do you think of the speculation about Cesc?”, but in no way will he have said that Cesc will want to transfer to Barcelona this summer.

  • Kentetsu

    @Anne (again): Those titbits of things Cesc said explicitly stating his intention to stay – and thus the titbits we have never read in the media – are very nice to read. Likewise for the actual words from Xavi you quoted in the article about Barcelona DNA. Got more of that coming?

  • Anne


    Glad you’re enjoying the thread. Since it’s my thread, and since I’ve never had one before, I’m planning to stay here and respond to every comment until I pass out from exhaustion. So I guess it’s lucky, really, that you like hearing from me. So far, at least… 🙂

    Also, I have so much more research on this topic that I couldn’t include in the post that I want to share as much of it as I can while I have the opportunity.

    And as for whether Cesc has his mind in one place, I refer you to my above response to Aussie Jack.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Assuming there is no intrinsic media bias against Arsenal (Mihir Bose) then there must be another explanation.
    My money would be on the following:
    Arsenal supporters would appear to be among some of the wealthiest, most valuable customers in society. Hence our huge gate receipts. The media makes money by selling adverts and advertisers pay the most for getting their adverts in the face of the wealthiest customers.
    However Arsenal as a club is extraordinarily boring. Off the pitch that is. No-one in their right mind can see Peter Hill-Wood announcing that we’re going to spend £50 million on prising Kaka out of his Real Madrid purgatory.
    So the media, in order to sell adverts to advertisers who want their products in front of Arsenal fans, makes up plausible stories about Arsenal players leaving the club. It would seem moronic to anger Arsenal fans by printing rubbish about the club but we will read it none the less and that attracts advertisers.

  • Anne


    I have around 120 pages of research on this in total. (Which should give you some idea of how absolutely incensed I was with the way this thing went down in the media). I have so much information that I don’t even know what to do with it all 🙂

    So, help me narrow it down. Ask me about something you’re interested in, and I’ll tell you if I have anything on it. There’s a good chance I do 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    In my opinion the press is trying to do another Adebayor on Arsenal.
    It was clear to see that Adebayor with all his stupid talk after his one wonder season and talking about all those big clubs that wanted him to come to them was losing the love of the Arsenal supporters.

    I was in the Emirates when Adebayor came back after that summer full of rumours. And I heard the booing. Adebayor had made life difficult for himself with all those stupid things he said and now he felt he wasn’t loved like before by the supporters. And he had a bad season and then left.

    The media have noticed this and since then try to do the same with Cesc and now with Nasri also if I may add him. The only reason apart from selling more newspapers or getting more hits is… to weaken Arsenal.

    If not by forcing the player out during the transfer period they hope that the player is having a bad season because they feel unhappy about the support they get (or don’t get).

    I think that all the players should have their name sung from the first game in the Emirates from the first to the last minute of the game. To make sure they will feel at home.

  • Anne

    @Woolwich Peripatetic:

    I personally believe that there is some media bias against Arsenal, although there are also purely profit-based motives for making Arsenal fans as angry as possible. You have to remember, we’re in the age of internet journalism. And in internet journalism, your level of success is determined by how many “hits” your website generates.

    If you go and look at the “most read” lists on various websites, you’ll notice that any article that insults Arsenal shoots straight to the top. The more insulting the article, the longer the comments threads, and so on and so forth. In a slow news period, like the transfer season, there’s no better way to keep those hits coming than to infuriate as many Arsenal fans as possible.

    It’s become something of a cottage industry, really 🙂 So, Arsenal fans, take note. If you want them to lay off of you, the first step is to not let them provoke you in the first place. Because make no mistake, they ARE trying to provoke you 🙂 Not that that’s funny, really, but you get my drift…

  • Shard


    Back in the post on tactics where you were going to put up the results of your research, I accused you of being tardy. I take that back if this is what you were working on 🙂

    Good read. I think I’ll wait for the second part before giving my view on how much of a role Barcelona have in this ‘saga’. But on Cesc. Let’s say he DOES want to go to Barcelona. (I can understand the temptation) That does NOT mean that he wants to leave Arsenal. The end effect may be the same, but that isn’t the same thing. He loves Barcelona, but there is no denying he loves Arsenal as well. Also, Cesc has always been respectful towards Arsenal. Even where articles print the entire quotes (Which is rare), the headlines have a way of prejudicing the reader as to the tone of the comments. So a headline says “Cesc slams Arsenal” and even genuine introspection about the club will seem like abuse directed towards the club.

    Anne. Apart from those comments about Cesc not wanting to leave, Cesc also once mentioned how Puyol had told him that he hadn’t won anything till age 26. Implying that Barcelona are where they are, after going through tough times like Arsenal are now.

  • Anne


    Completely agree. And I think that Cesc has handled it amazingly well, all things considered. Part of the reason I wanted to write this article was to vindicate Barcelona (obviously), but I also hope that, by encouraging people to be more critical of the media, there will be less tendency to label Arsenal players as “traitors” when all these rumors start popping up. It’s not fair to them.

  • Lanz

    This is so nice. Walter, when last did UA get such a lively (sorry, lovely) thread? I hope the AAA supporters (Credits: Tony) are reading.

  • Lanz

    @Shard, Let’s hope Cesc wins the Premiership before he is 26!

  • WalterBroeckx

    I wonder how Tony will look at all this when he comes back from his holiday but I think that he will have something in his mind like: “this is so Untold”. This is how it feels to me and how I see Untold.

    Well I hope anyway. Or he will kick me out… then I can leave on a free transfer… 🙂 LOL.

  • Anne


    Yeah, I put the other stuff on hold to work on this. And as I’ve already said, I’m planning to stay on these comment threads until I pass out, so you might have to wait a couple days for my research data 🙂

    I’ll looking forward to hearing your criticism of my argument after the second half is posted. Personally, I can see so many holes in my argument at this point that I’m tempted to rip it to shreds just on general principle (although maybe I shouldn’t be saying that 🙂 )

    But that’s just because I had to leave out so much to make it short enough to post. I WANT people to argue with me, because it will give me the chance to show how much more I actually have. So I’m glad you’re around, Shard. I know you’re up to the task 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    In the Adebayor case
    I do think that every fan has to think before he acts. Booing a player may vent your own frustration but will it help your club as a club? as a team?

    I didn’t like him after that summer as I liked him before (I always disliked his lazy attitude in fact). But I didn’t boo him because I felt it could be a bad thing for Arsenal. It proved right because after the booing he felt unhappy and it showed.

    So those who booed him might have felt better after booing but it worked against the whole club during that season. And this is something that we have to think about as fans before we do something that might hurt our team in the whole.

    The same goes for Cesc and Nasri and I really hope the supporters will realize it and not boo them. It will not help us in anyway.

    and you know after he left I could boo Adebayor as much as I wanted and liked to. 😉

  • Anne


    I hope you don’t get in trouble for giving me the chance to defend Barca on all the tapping up stuff. I’ve noticed that Tony seems to prefer to fan the flames in the opposite direction 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think the quotes in the comment section from Cesc himself you kept hidden for us are amazing and I never knew about them before.

    But there are other things hidden by the press that will come out. Even today. 😉

  • Shard


    I will do my best 🙂 But please note, I will not be doing it to prove you wrong or anything of the sort. You have obviously put in the hard work and done your research on this topic and I cannot compare with that. I can only put forth certain perceptions I have. In terms of facts, I will gladly bow to your input. Unless I come across something you may have missed.

  • Shard

    Oh and might I add.. Anne, I know how difficult and heart wrenching it can be to leave out things, in order to make a certain write up shorter, and more relevant. Especially about a topic close to your heart. So far I can only say that you have done a fantastic job. At the same time the article does give the impression that there is more where it came from, so all in all, I’d just be looking to pick your brains on this topic.

  • Chowdhury

    Thank you Anne for an excellent piece and all your hard work. We truely appreciate.
    Can’t wait for the 2nd part.

  • bob

    While we wait (breathlessly!) for part two, UA readers might wish to revisit yesterday’s comments section for some fresh analysis of our total goals:total shots Efficiency; and our poacher goals (within the 6 yard line):total shots Clinicality.

  • bob

    @Anne: I hope you will NEXT turn your laser beam on THIS season’s current uptick of media stories on how Pique and Iniesta and Villa are ALLEGEDLY seducing (tappy-tapping) Cesc to finally return. Every day on there are a few of these stories, focused on these players – though not as YET the flood of sewage that you so well expose from last summer.

  • Ugandan Goon

    thank you very much Anne,
    i have promised myself so many times to look for the original post you put up sometime last year but as you can imagine tome to do it didn’t seem to materialise.
    i am very happy this is out here i am looking forward to see this among the usual rip off merchants on the net if not in our dailies claiming an exclusive.
    thank you again and hope to hear from you again soon

  • Anne


    I’m actually working right now on getting a full translation of the Port Aventura press conference where Cesc made those comments. I wasn’t able to translate the entire press conference myself because of the audio quality, and because parts of it are in Catalan. I’m very curious to see the full picture that will emerge once I can get the entire thing done. I’m hoping it will turn out to be something of a “smoking gun,” but we’ll see 🙂

  • GeeDubya67

    A well re-sourced, considered, balanced and written article? Mr(s) Ambassadeur with stuff like this you are really spoiling us!

    The only thing I feel is missing (thus far) is any speculation or evidence on where the conditions for this Perfect Storm were created. Whilst there is no doubt that the media like a bit of scandal, there are other even more Machiavellian forces which operate behind the scenes… agents.

    Who is to say that some of this gossip isn’t being manufactured and spread by someone working on behalf of Barcelona, Fabregas or Arsenal? Or even Chelsea or Man Utd or Spurs?

    We’ve seen the destabilising efforts of scummy fans with the paedophile story back when Wenger joined us. Now we have the tarts who’ll sleep around and sell their story. The other day someone alluded to a super-injunction against a player who was ‘guilty’ of bedding 3 buxom wenches. I’ve heard tales that the player in question isn’t much into the ladies – so one of those gossip-mongers has to be talking out of his arse!

    As you correctly say, only words from the mouth can be trusted as being truthful – and sometimes, not even then!

    Still, it keeps the presses turning doesn’t it?

  • Anne


    Thanks for giving me credit for my work on this, and I think it’s definitely a wise decision to not try to prove me wrong 🙂 Of course, I do want to prove you wrong, and to make you realize how much you really do like Barcelona after all. Don’t know what my chances are, but I’m not afraid of an uphill battle 🙂

  • bob

    To my lights, this indictment of media malfeasance is Exhibit A for UA/the UA community to contribute insights on a Media Watch during the upcoming season. At each dodgy/controversial/bent outcome, we could review how a set of newspapers, TV programs and top blogs cover or spin or ignore the event, treat Arsene, describe our team. This would document who in the media is in on the biased representation of our club; and it would give us a chance to better defend and be proactive in defense of our interests. More on this after Part Two of Anne’s great expose.

  • Anne


    I haven’t seen any of the Pique, Villa, Iniesta stuff that you’re referring to. But if you go get me a link to an article, I’ll be more than happy to turn my “laser beam” on it right now.

    The only way to truly address these issues is on an article-by-article basis, and to analyze the sourcing on each individual article. Obviously, there’s no way I could do that for the whole transfer saga in less than oh, say, 50,000 pages, so my real goal with these posts is to encourage you guys to do the critical thinking and analysis on your own, as each new article emerges.

    It’s not too hard once you know what to look for, so if you go and grab me an article, we can dissect it. I’m hoping to be able to do as much of that as possible while I’m lucky enough to have an on-topic thread 🙂

  • Anne

    @Ugandan Goon:

    Thanks for the kind words. But I wouldn’t hold my breath on seeing anything like this turn up in your local dailies. That would sort of be like asking a thief to present the evidence that’s going to send him to jail 🙂

  • Anne

    @Ugandan Goon:

    Here’s the link to my earlier comments that I think you were referring to. My comments are the last 2:

  • snehal

    Put it this way, have we gone too far. Has the faith in the manager and players got so bad, that its unrealistic to win a trophy let alone mount a title challenge.

    When you think about it, a huge majority of the fans need to be behind the team, to help the team through the times when in form and out of form, the contraversial moments and the lean periods.

    I just dont think we’ve got that kind of harmony amongst the fans now. If any player underperforms then they’ll be a sh1t storm and wenger will get it. You can’t win trophies in that kind of atmosphere.

    The management at arsenal failed to understand that a winning team needs its fans on its side, wenger and hill wood and co have alienated the fans so much last season, its going to be very difficult.

    I’m not blaming the fans , Wenger took the fans patience for granted and abused the good will he built up till 2006, I reckon he thought the fans would put up far longer, he was very wrong.

    In some ways we could be just waiting for an inevitable departure, but deep down I just want things to somehow fall into place, and everything end well. But I cannot see that happening, this isn’t a disney-pixar movie.

  • frodo

    Cesc does want to go, but you cannot say he doesn’t care about Arsenal. What barca are trying to do is get Cesc to force a transfer so they can get him for peanuts. They use the press to do this and hope the fans turn on him.

    The press and barca can f*ck off, he is an arsenal player until we as a club decide a very high valuation has been met.

    Our players seem to enjoy getting screwed by the press, when has it occured to them that the only reason they’re being interviewed is to help them make money, by using hyperbolic headlines which I can only describe as gooner-baiting . Its almost become a national sport. See talksport.

  • pierrejones

    Thank you so much for a brill article, which highlights that the greed in football is not just from players on over inflatted wages and that the papers obviously get a lot more money from trying to divide a fan base that has been so solid in past years . We are the ARSENAL, The Mighty GUNNERS, evan with a so called “mentally weakteam we beat Barcelona at home playing our philosophy. its when the journey gets hardest (e.g end of season)that u need to be unwavering thats why Gooners we must be at our strongest and not crumble in the face of adversity we are destined for greatness but nothing good or great comes easy, so show the strength you want to see in your team and dont eat up all the tabloids would happily feed you to exploit the loyalty between a club and its fans we are the best supporters because its in our hearts,nothing to be ashamed of supporting your team evan if we didnt win the carling cup or the league (unlike the millions of so called chelsea supporters that came out of the wood work once abrom splahed cash!!! were arsenal through and through, trophy or not thats what SUPPORT is! Bring on next season cause beleive me i feel some of our players would rather lay down there life than have a repeat of some errors last season.
    Big up Anne! pls keep shining the light of truth!

  • snehal

    SSN -Breaking News: Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has been speaking about his future. Full story to follow shortly.

  • snehal

    taken from sky sport:

    Cesc Fabregas has admitted he is frustrated at Arsenal’s lack of recent success but maintains he is happy at Emirates Stadium.

    The Spain international continues to be linked with a return to Barcelona, where he started his career before moving to North London as a teenager.

    The 24-year-old insists that no decision has been reached over his future and admitted that the Gunners and manager Arsene Wenger would have a major say over where he is playing his football next season.

    Fabregas, who missed the closing weeks of the season through injury, revealed he had not spoken to Wenger since early May when he was interviewed at a promotional event in Spain.

    The gifted midfielder remains confident that the Gunners can end their six-year silverware drought, but would not be drawn over the latest Camp Nou reports when the question was inevitably raised.

    “He (Wenger) is the boss, the one who makes the decisions. You should ask him. I was injured at the end of the season and I haven’t seen him for about six weeks.”

    Cesc Fabregas

    Quotes of the week

    Fabregas said: “A player who is not frustrated at not winning titles is either lying to himself or lacks ambition.

    “There is a good team and a good manager and one of the most faithful fan bases in Europe. With those I believe we can make progress and one day win an important trophy.

    “I am an Arsenal player. I have been very happy for eight years and I am very happy. I am not thinking about football right now, just about my holidays.

    “There have been no decisions. The truth is that it doesn’t always depend on the player and at the moment I don’t know anything.

    “He (Wenger) is the boss, the one who makes the decisions. You should ask him. I was injured at the end of the season and I haven’t seen him for about six weeks.

    “I am very happy where I am. Anything else would be speculation that is untrue. You can never say never in this life as so many things happen that you can never predict.”

  • Stevie E

    @anne – brilliant article, I’m delighted you decided to get it posted and with the all positive responses you’ve been getting. All very much deserved for all the hard work you’ve put in. Bob & I were talking about a media watch yesterday, don’t know if you’ll have time but would love to have your input. I have to get back to work now, so give Bob a nudge (if you’re still awake!) & he’ll fill you in. Congratulations again 😉

  • Gouresh

    this is something i put on facebook in July last yr:
    this big spanish shop running in a loss, collects all these gems and puts them on display, mistakenly sells this uncut diamond 2 a shop in london, not realizing its value. the london shop, cuts, polishes and turns it into the most sort after jewel. the spanish shop then wants it back, so the london shop says, ok yours at a 80 GBP. the spanish shop, says oh i want it for 10GBP, the london shop says ur having a laugh. so then then spanish shops says ok, how about 10.50 GBP? the london shop says wahhhh?. the spanish shop says, but this was 1st in r shop, so v should buy it at the price v want to pay, so they go to the mine where this uncut diamond was found. the miner tells, the london shop that this diamond wants to go back, 2 which the london shop says f**k off. even the diamond thinks that it will look good in the new shop, not realizing that it will be just another collection item and then sold on later….the fabregas transfer saga continues…….

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Mihir Bose was the most specific example I could think of a Sports editor with a blatant anti-Arsenal bias, in this case working for one of the rare media outlets not in the business of selling adverts. There are also a few papers who are pro-Arsenal, IMHO the Telegraph being one. I agree with you that Arsenal stories and comment threads make for great ad revenue.

  • Shard

    The media do love baiting Arsenal and the slew of Arsenal in crisis stories that do the rounds every summer is indicative of that. When it’s not about our poor performance then it’s about some alleged poor behaviour. There definitely is a bias present.

    But I would also like to say, that somehow as Arsenal fans, we are more accepting of criticism (and sometimes abuse) of our team than other teams’ fans seemingly are. If there was (and is?) a big club in crisis, it was Liverpool. Yet, they defend their club stoutly, and largely the poor press they have received has been a little more restrained. ManU accuse the media of bias when ANYTHING is written against them, no matter how true it is, and no matter what the media DON’T write about them. I feel in our attempts to be fair, sometimes Arsenal fans tend to forget that we are meant to stand up for the club. We seem quicker than most to criticise our own.

  • victor

    Interesting comments from Cesc. Bet its not in the papers tomorrow. Nice article Anne looking forward to part 2

  • ak47

    great read, thanx. wouldnt say it was too long though the suspense is now killing me.
    i think im gonna make a mental note not to read the bs because of boredom cos ive been wavering even though i was certain cesc wasnt going anywhere. loving the cesc quotes.

  • WalterBroeckx

    or if they use it it will be something in the style of: Cesc is unhappy and frustrated at Arsenal (and wants a move out). 😉

  • snehal

    Jenkinson/gervinho/samba/ox or whoever are gonna be under an awful lot more pressure as a result of the recent disaster no name signings (almunia,kos,squillachi etc) and great young prospects (theo, denilson,vela,diaby,song, bendtner) . Like it or not we want to see wenger signing proven quality players, not necessarily huge signings that stun the football world, but proven quality all the same.

    Is ashley young over-rated ? Possibly but he has still proven that he has the quality to play in this league where as gervinho has not. I accept that as of now young is not going to be joining us but I am making the point, using him as an example, that there is much less risk (and right now we need to minimise the risks we take) signing someone like young over gervinho.

    Some pc type’s may like to make this a racist/xenophobia issue but tbh I dont really care and I feel totally comfortable saying that I do not want wenger to sign any french or african players Most will know that I feel wenger should go but seeing as that aint happening then I want to see him changing his approach in its entirety as a sign of acceptance that his approach has failed and for me continuing to sign the same type of players that he has been doing does not suggest a new approach.

  • Anne


    “What barca are trying to do is get Cesc to force a transfer so they can get him for peanuts. They use the press to do this and hope the fans turn on him.”

    So, in order to convince Cesc to come to Barcelona, Barca’s strategy is to subject Cesc to a relentless media harassment campaign that will make his life miserable and cause his own fans to hate him? Bold…Unorthodox. But brilliant! Surely there’s no better way to convince Cesc to hand in a transfer request than to give weekly interviews to 3rd-rate British tabloids and talk about how they like him…

    And it’s not just tactical genius. Barca’s business accumen in dealing with Arsenal is truly remarkable as well. I can’t think of any better way to negotiate a lower price for a player transfer than to give weekly interviews to 3rd-rate British tabloids and say mean things about the club you’re trying to negotiate with. In fact, with this tactic at their disposal, I can’t imagine why Barca even bothered to conduct every other transfer in the club’s history by simply making an offer, and then negotiating a deal with the opposing club.

    But maybe this strategy was tailored specifically for Cesc and Arsenal? Since Arsenal is such a small, minor club in England, and in such a weak position financially, it makes perfect sense that Barca would expect Arsenal in particular to cave into cheap bullying and intimidation tactics where other clubs wouldn’t. The precisely zero results that the campaign of intimidation has acheived after 2 straight years would seem to bear out this conclusion.

    If Barca keeps going, they might even manage to sign Cesc by his 30th birthday!

    Sorry, was that overly sarcastic 🙂

  • snehal

    Think I read somewhere that the guy scored 15 goals last season ( ) which isnt a while lot different to chamakh’s 12 goals the season before he joined us. I am not anti chamakh as such but I see him as a squad player more than first 11 and if that stat on gervinho is correct it doesnt exactly suggest anything more than a squad player either when I feel that we should be signing players that are of the required standard to be in our first 11 now and then top up the squad after that

  • Kentetsu

    Anne, it might already touch upon the second article, but how was the shirt-wearing incident (after the World Cup) reported in Spain? And do you have any actual quotes from Cesc clearly stating he would like to play for Barcelona? And if so, does he mention when? Also interesting is if you have some quotes – no matter from who – that have been translated completely opposite of what the person originally meant to say.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I just put the second part online. what’s that clicking I hear… oooh it’s just Untold readers going to the next article. 😉

  • Anne

    Da**it! My internet went down, and now I’m way behind! I was keeping up so well 🙂 Ok, I’m going to try to go back and respond to everybody

  • Anne


    Ok, since Walter just posted the 2nd article I’m going to go over to that thread. If you left a comment here that I didn’t get to, check back later, maybe tomorrow. I have every intention of responding to all of them 🙂

  • bob

    @Shard: yes, so will you consider taking on monitorin one of the choices for the forthcoming season: any online UK newspaper (other than Guardian or Evening News); and/or an influential India-based media outlet; and/or Sky TV/other TV; and/or a major AAA or AA blog?

  • TommieGun

    Just a big round of applause … very nicely written, great points … thanks ! Looking forward to read part II (I’m not commenting on the issue – I think it’s best to wait for the whole piece).

    Thanks again.

  • Wonderful post. Goes to show that even direct quotes in the media cannot be trusted. We must strive to avoid judging players on the basis of a couple of lines reported in some paper and then rehashed by everyone else.

  • FunGunner

    @ Anne
    I am impressed by your industry and forensic rigour. How very Untold! Your conclusions are largely compelling – and it is always good to hear the truth, and have previous misconceptions corrected. The downside is that I might have to stop hating Barca as much. They are still a bunch of divers and cheaters when they want to be, so forgive me if I cling to that grudge at least!

  • goonergerry

    As well argued and researched as this piece is-it only tells part of the story-and it also feeds into those fans who want to deny the relationship which exists between agents and players and British freelance hacks pissing in the pockets of Barcelona FC and their players-feeding tabloid moguls.
    This whole furore about Cesc was not sparked by the media at all-but by Cesc’s agent submitting a written transfer request to the Arsenal Board on his behalf. I dont think he would have done that unless Cesc himself was at least ambivalent about his future at Arsenal. Whilst Arsenal tried to keep this fact quiet-no one at the club has denied it either. Guillaume Ballague was the first Spanish journalist to go public on this. Cesc in fairness to him has been stitched up by Barca and his agent not once but twice-twice he’s publically sworn undying love for Barca only for Barcelona to respond by demonstrating that they don’t think he’s worth big money.
    Surely top players employ agents to specifically avoid this kind of fiasco.

  • barca96

    Superb article. Anne, the author, should send this to The Sun, Daily Mail, News of the World, etc.

  • Anne

    Gracies, Barca96 🙂 As I said earlier on the comments thread on the 2nd part of this article, it’s good to see that my fellow cules are finally giving Untold credit for being willing to post something like this. On the other hand, as I responded to you on

    “I would love to send [this article] out to the rest of the britpress. Except that they wouldn’t be willing to publish it anymore than a thief would be willing to present the evidence in court that would send him to jail. 🙂 “

  • WalterBroeckx

    These articles, and once again thanks for this Anne, is one of the reasons why Untold Arsenal is totally different from all the other Arsenal/football blogs I know.

  • Xingxian

    Excellent article. I’ve always been suspicious of The Sun since denials from players about their articles started to emerge.

  • Uj31

    Mr Tony & Mr Walter, i dont care why you let a barca”loon”atic fan write an article over here but to be honest, its very disrespectful to fans. Atleast to me it is. I dont blame the writer cause all barca fans are “angels”. They dont know anything and they dont care either. WE dont wanna know their side of the story and WE dont give a damn about it either.
    But i wont be coming here anymore on this website because after this article came this from “The barce”loon”atic camp of shits”
    Now you can have your writer who also loves arsenal (SHE IS OBVIOUSLY SUFFERING FROM DEMENTIA) write another article but people are not stupid. The shirt incident, the constant contact, the interviews from the Barca”loon”atic president among all the other things dont help the cause of barca”loon”atics no matter what drum you beat or how you beat it. Oh and they are still a bunch of divers and cheaters.
    Have a nice summer EVERYONE. (Other than Barca”loon”atic & Man”urea” fans)

  • Anne


    Different and better 🙂 The high intelligence levels of your readers (as reflected in the comments) are a direct reflection on the quality of work you produce here.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Anne, you spoke too soon I think.

    But anyway could you have a look on what Rossel really said in Spanish and compare this with the translation from the Daily Mail?

  • Anne


    I’m actually glad that Uj31 was kind enough to link me to that “interview,” because it gives me the opportunity to strengthen my argument by conclusively proving another outright fabrication. 🙂 This is going to be long, but I’m going to go ahead and break it down because this article is such a good example of media manipulation.

    What we have here is actually a “tag team” effort by the English and Spanish tabloids. One of these comments was initially fabricated by Mundo Deportivo (Barcelona tabloid), and the Mail picked up the fabrication from them and re-published it. However, before doing so, the Mail embellished the story with some additional fabrications of their own. So what we end up with is a single article that was actually fabricated by two separate papers 🙂

    First, the source. The “quotes” in the Mirror article are loosely (and I do mean loosely) based on statements Rosell made during a televised interview on local Catalan channel TV3. The entire interview can be viewed online, but since it’s in Catalan, all I could do was come up with a VERY basic outline of what was discussed. However, as it turns out, I think that’s enough to figure out how the “quotes” originated. Also, FC Barcelona published a (very brief) official summary of Rosell’s comments on their website.

    So, on to the first fabricated quote:

    ‘Guardiola knows the values of players and Cesc’s is less than 40million (euros). Barcelona will offer less and if they (Arsenal) don’t accept, then he won’t come. Pep knows the club is not well-off in terms of money.’

    Although Rosell did not make this statement, most of it is at least strung together from bits and pieces of things that he actually did say. So, a fake quote that’s manufactured out of real quotes… I’ll be generous and give them credit for that one 🙂 However, one part of this “quote” is ENTIRELY fabricated, and as would be expected, it’s the most important part.

    Specifically, Rosell DID NOT, in any way shape or form, state that Barcelona “will offer” anything for Cesc this summer. In fact, his actual comments strongly implied the contrary, and the only definitive statement he made on the subject was to say that Barcelona WILL NOT be renewing their previous offer from last summer.

    The Mail took this particular fabrication from the following “quote” that was published in Mundo Deportivo:

    “I don’t know if we will sign Cesc or not. I don’t have any doubt that he is eager to come to Barca. We will offer less than 40 million euros, and if Arsenal won’t transfer him, then he won’t come…We have 45 million euros for signings plus net sales over the next five years. There is no more money.”

    Like the quote in the Mail, this MD quote is a fake quote that’s mostly strung together from bits and pieces of real statements by Rosell (albeit different bits and pieces than the Mail chose to use. MD’s is slightly more accurate 🙂 ). However, MD completely added in the part about Rosell saying that Barca “will offer” less than 40 million. He never said that any offer would be made.

    The second fabricated quote, which was apparently added by the Mail, is as follows:

    ‘He (Cesc) is doing everything he can to come (here),’ the Barca president told Catalan station TV3 on Monday night.

    Once again, this fabricated quote is one of the most importatnt in the article, and was actually the basis for the title: “Fabregas ‘pushing’ for exit from Arsenal.” However, Rosell never actually suggested that Cesc was taking any affirmative steps to leave Arsenal. He did make the general statement that “I don’t doubt that Cesc is eager to come to Barca,” but even that is taken out of context from a much longer answer by Rosell. Since I don’t understand Catalan, I’m not sure what the context for the comment was.

    However, saying that Cesc is “eager” to come to Barca is completely different from claiming that Cesc is actually attempting to facilitate a transfer. Rosell never made such a claim, and the Mail fabricated the quote in question.

    So anyway, here’s my loosely translated summary of the actual segment of interview where Cesc was discussed. Wherever you see “…” that means that Rosell was saying things that I wasn’t able to translate:

    Interviewer: [changes topic to transfers, asks a question about Cesc]:

    Rosell: I suppose so…I suppose…the truth is that I don’t know…I don’t know whether we will sign him or not sign him…they’ve told me that the Cesc theme is a theme that isn’t…I don’t have any doubt that he is eager to come to Barca, I don’t have any doubt that…etc.

    Note: I think part of what Rosell was saying here was that the actual decisions would be made by the sporting directors, so I think that he was actually attempting to deflect these questions about Cesc.

    Interviewer: Is Barca going to offer 40 million euros? Are you going to renew your offer?

    Rosell: No [emphatically]. No, because this year he is worth less. Players have a market value [goes into stuff about amortization to explain why Cesc’s market value has declined].

    Interviewer: [Asks what would happen if Arsenal were to say that, “if you offer us less than 40, then Cesc won’t come?”]

    Rosell: Then he won’t come.

    Note: I think that MD extrapolated the “we will make an offer” quote from the question and answer above.

    Interviewer: And if Pep Guardiola [I think “wants to sign him?”]

    Rosell: Yes, well Pep Guardiola also knows perfectly well [that players have values]…and he knows perfectly well that the value of Cesc is less…

    [interviewer keeps going on about the subject, Rosell doesn’t answer one question, then reporter asks something else about “40 million”]

    Rosell: If they say 40, we won’t pay it. [Rosell goes on on this question for awhile, is saying something about the “directors” again…”we can discuss it”…]

    Reporter mentions something about “Mascherano as an example,” they discuss Mascherano’s transfer from Liverpool, and then go on to discuss Sanchez transfer from Udinese. No more Cesc talk.

    So, that’s it. Even though I couldn’t translate most of what was said, I think what I could do is enough to give you the gist of what was going on during the interview. Also, you can get an idea of the separate statements where the bits and pieces of these various “quotes” were pulled from.

    In closing, here’s how FC Barcelona summarized Rosell’s statements on their official website:

    Rosell seeking economic sustainability

    The president of Barça has reiterated that the club’s transfer policy this summer will have economic sustainability in mind

    Sandro Rosell looked back at his first year as president on the ‘Ágora’ show on TV3, where he insisted that the club will be taking an austere approach to the transfer market this summer. On Arsenal star Fábregas he said “I don’t know if we will sign Cesc or not. What I am sure of is that he is very keen to come to Barça. But we are not going to repeat the offer of 40 million because with amortizations he is worth less”.

    Doesn’t give you a whole lot, but I think it confirms that Rosell DID NOT say that Barcelona was planning to make an offer for Cesc, or that Cesc was “doing everything in his power” to leave Arsenal. Personally, I think that Rosell’s comments all but foreclose the possibility of a Cesc transfer. It appears that he didn’t want to come right out and say that, probably for political reasons, but I don’t think he could have implied it any more strongly.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Anne, what a shame that uj31 has left us.

    I think the whole point of your articles was that people should not blindly believe what is printed or published in the press. Uj31 is maybe a perfect example of people who believe what they read.

    But as you show it takes a lot work and looking at things before one can come to such conclusions and I can perfectly understand that people don’t have the time to do this.

  • Uj31

    Oh please Walter, youre the one to talk. So i shouldnt believe what i read? What are you doing when you believe that Anne is translating the interview honestly or truthfully? (would this be the right place to use the idiom pot calling the kettle black? Maybe!!!) Why would you expect a barceloons fan to write the truth about their disgusting, arrogant & immoral club? Maybe you shouldnt believe in the articles that are translated and put in front of you. Also why is that idiot president always giving interviews about Cesc? Doesnt he has something better to do other than talking about Cesc? Its clear tapping up, by contantly talking about players of other teams. But nothing will happen cause they are the f******* barceloons. Stop talking about other players. And before some smart *** says that the reporter asked questions about Cesc, Im sure that the idiot can always say “No Comments”. How hard can that be?
    All these Barceloons stories in the press only remind me of another idiom, There’s no smoke without fire!!!

  • Anne


    The main point of my articles WAS to show people that they shouldn’t blindly believe what is printed or published in the press. But I’ve actually come across a lot of Arsenal fans like Uj31, who seem to take that as a personal insult to Arsenal.

    Personally, I think that the people who write these fake articles are well aware of the fact that anger clouds reason, and that’s part of the reason that they make them so inflammatory.

    For an example of how effective a tactic that is, all you have to do is look at Uj31. Didn’t he just tell us that those fabricated quotes in that Daily Mail made him so angry that he’s now boycotting Untold for questioning their credibility? 🙂

  • Anne


    Oh good, you decided not to boycott after all 🙂 So I guess you saw that the quotes in the Mail article that you linked to were fabricated? But rather than accept that, you’re accusing me of fabricating my translation…Well, congratulations. I actually applaud your newfound skepticism about the accuracy of published quotes.

    In my personal opinion, you should NEVER take any translation or direct quote at face value, unless you’re given a source that you can use to independently verify them. And unlike the Daily Mail, I’m willing and able to provide you with such a source to back up any of the claims that I make here. You think I’m lying? Go check for yourself. Here’s my source for Rosell’s comments:

    That’s Rosell’s entire interview, unedited. It’s an hour long, but the discussion of Cesc starts at around the 23rd minute, and ends around the 27th or 28th. It’s in Catalan, but if you put some effort into it, you might be able to find someone who could translate it for you.

    If you do actually do that, I’ll expect you back here immediately afterwards to apologize for your earlier false accusation that I fabricated my translation. Cheers 🙂

  • Uj31

    Let me clarify, the reason i said ill be boycotting Untold is that they let a barceloons fan write an article on Arsenal website. I do apologize for being unclear on that part.
    NO way in hell im gonna apologize to a barceloons fan, whether im right or wrong. SO GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!!!