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August 2021

The Barton fall out

By Walter Broeckx

The Barton fall out I call it. And the FA and the PGMOL should consider what they are doing. Because they are making life very difficult for the refs. And by the refs I don’t mean the refs in the EPL. They get paid a nice sum of money to make up for a difficult life. And if they think it is too difficult they can always stop with being an active ref. Hey, who knows they could even join our ref reviewers team. Imagine me having Dowd in our team. Would he pass the fit person test at Untold?

But back to Barton. We all have seen how Barton attacked Gervinho, grabbed him by his cloths and shook him.  Now I have checked my rule book and in the rules it is clearly said that a player who attacks another player in an aggressive way should be given a red card. It says :

A player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:

  • Serious foul play
  • Violent conduct

Now it could be that in some parts of the world they have a different notion of things. But I think that if I should attack a person outside the Auld Triangle and grab him and shake him like Barton did with Gervinho before the game it could happen that I will not see one minute of the game. Oh, don’t worry I will not try it. But if an officer would see me doing this he surely would talk me with him and let me give a good explanation for this behaviour. I don’t think you can give a good explanation for such behaviour in fact.

Now I can accept that the 4 temporary blind man didn’t see what Barton did. It could be that they all had something in their eye at the same time. And so they missed the violent conduct from Barton and also missed the fact that the only possible restart of the game should have been a penalty. Well let us just accept this and neglect it.

But Barton got a yellow card so they should have seen him do something wrong. And then it is obvious that the ref made a mistake and doesn’t know the rules or did it deliberate to protect the player from further action from the FA. But as has been proven before (look at our Rooney against Wigan article last season) the FA has the right to punish players even when the ref has dealt with the situation on the field. This can happen if the ref admits that he didn’t see the event completely.

So we now could say that by not doing anything against Barton the FA actually has given a license not yet to kill but a license to grab, start a fight without getting punishment.  And what did we see this week? At the end of the game between Chelsea and WBA?

The Chelsea defender John Terry attacking Peter Odimwingie and grabbing him by the shirt. Odimwingie was a bit smarter than Gervinho and didn’t react and didn’t gave a slap on Terry. But what did our ref do? He gave Terry a yellow card. And this is again not correct. Because the rule book stipulates:

He is also guilty of violent conduct if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball. (Exactly what Barton and Terry did)

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And the instructions go further  that the player must be sent off. And they also warn the ref that violent conduct usually leads to mass confrontation.

And yet we have two cases of violent conduct in two games with both times mass confrontations and the ref only gives a yellow card.  Now there is a certain license to grab players by their shirt, off the ball and act violent. You will not be sent off. Well, unless you are an Arsenal player maybe. It will be interesting to see if an Arsenal player does this he only will just get a yellow card.

But what is the worst part of this all is that most refs know about the “giving the good example”. And by this I mean that what you see in the EPL today and it happening without punishment, then you will see this in a few weeks in the lower ranks of football.

So I really feel sorry for the refs in the next weeks. They will be confronted with players starting a fight by grabbing an opponent and shacking him around a bit. And as a result they will have mass confrontations on their playing field. And as they mostly are on their own they will have a hard time sorting those things out.

And if this brave ref produces a red card for this he will be confronted with people who point at Barton and Terry to say that the ref is useless. And players will contest any suspension claiming that Barton and Terry got no punishment.

So because the refs in the EPL don’t know their rules the refs in the lower divisions will suffer.

And because the FA and the PGMOL seemingly not doing anything about it, the refs in the lower divisions will have a difficult time ahead. It is an unwritten rule for most refs that what they see in the EPL will come to their field a bit later. And this is the same in most countries. Following the bad given example is somewhat attractive for some players. So they can feel Barton or Terry for a minute or so.

And it is already not easy to be a ref. So how many refs will call it a day after being faced with yet another mass confrontation from yet another wannabe Barton or Terry? And then the FA and the PGMOL will start a new campaign to recruit refs. Wouldn’t it be better to take care of the rules and punish players who are guilty of violent conduct and punish them. Even if they have been given a yellow which isn’t the right punishment anyway.

But they clearly don’t want to act and as a result they will lose more refs. It is a bit like mopping the water but with the tap still open…

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48 comments to The Barton fall out

  • jayj

    Welcome to Mike Rileys school of back handers and Refereeing.

  • Ian

    Jon Terry would have to shoot someone with an ak47 to get sent off and even then he would win the appeal.

    Any idea if Chelsea have been charged with failing to control their players like we have been?

  • Arsene Wonka

    In fact the only time John Terry has received any punishment was for shagging someone else’s bird. Which the last time i checked isn’t actually against the rules. Sure morally it is not right but if we pulled everyone up just for morals the courts would be a very busy place and the prisons would be more overrun than they already are.

  • bob

    please complete the other 5 bullet points above – we’re breathlessly waiting for the rest! 🙂

  • walter

    I will do this tomorrow. off to bed now. 😉

  • Walter, don’t even talk about John Terry, he’s a very terrible guy. Always goes into aerial tackles with his forearm in the back of the neck of his opponents, and he always gets away with it. It is despicable that someone like that is England captain.

    Fans delude themselves saying he’s a great player, well, that’s absolute bollocks. No wonder England doesn’t count in football.

    You would not be suprised with the referees and refereeing either. It’s the same system that produces players of the ilk of Terry and Barton. Two weeks into a new season and we have enough talking points already to last us the whole 38 weeks. That really sucks!

  • bob

    I think that the three blind mice also have to be named, because there ought to be group accountability when NONE of them see the blatant infractions. That is collusion. There should be post-game published reports on every card in which assistants are involved with calls; and there should be – like rugby’s gimmick, which is a good idea – a way to produce public accountability. Of course video replay by a ref-in-the-booth to help out the ref when he forgets the rules that he didn’t learn in the first place. The time wasted in the mass confrontations (that sections of the fans do love dearly) would be far greater than the time lost to a half-minute’s video review, etc. As for accountability, we know that one of Walton’s blind mice was the same who screwed us last season in the Sunderland draw by wrongly flagging Arshavin for being offside and denying our goal. The same guy. They should know that they are not anonymous, even though they like feeling hidden in plain sight, and perhaps some of them will think twice about going along to get along. When Sagna was stomped thrice last year and it went unreported or ignored by that unspeakable referee, we should have learned his name as well. I think to help promote greater accountability, we also need greater transparency and that means, perhaps, that Dogface and you, and the reviewing referees should help by informing the UA community on the Assistant’s NAMES with each report. It’s extra work, but this has been a shadow world for far too long. I hope you guys consider it as a step toward more fair play.

  • westlondongoon

    There was a similar, but worse, dust-up during the Sunderland/Newcastle game at the weekend but no charges were brought….

  • Osueke christopher

    Well dnt blame them that is a sign of corruption and failure of english league. I gues that is becouse that wenger don’t normally make use off english players, so they ll gather among themselves to use the opportunity to fined him.

  • bjtgooner

    @ Bob

    I fully sgree with the need for greater accountability as we try to achieve competence/honesty from our officials.

    In an earlier discussion a UA contributor advised that officials were not required to undergo an eye test as part of their medical. So the three blind mice could indeed have defective vision – no one would know. The argument against this is that they appear to have selective vision.

    The failure to use video evidence to ensure important decisions are correct can only be adequately explained by the desire – of someone in a position of authority – to permit cheating.

    Re technology – when AW was being interviewed after the Newcastle match he was asked by ESPN to comment on the communication devices used by the four officials – these had failed – and they could not communicate. So the four blind mice were deaf as well. What incompetent bunglers!

  • And_Arsene_Said...

    Off topic but good idea that must be spread. However, dont know if posted before plse read.

  • menace

    Welcome to the world of the black man!!

    The nice man grabs the bad boys throat and that is ok. When the bad man slaps the nice man in self defence the mediator sees red.

    Can you blame the young black men for being aggressive after seeing what happens in English professional sport.

    Sir Alex Ferguson referred to Welbecks issues as that negro thing after the Spurs match. It’s time someone like Sir Alex Ferguson understood why? It is time the FA understood why? I want to know why don’t you?

  • bob

    please do give a link to Fergie’s quote on D. Welbeck. That’s really eye-opening, (even for the one-eyed Sauron who never sleeps and whose night vision is lit by his rednose glow).

  • bob

    Would you please give us a link to where they say the communications were not operating (was it conveniently at the time of Barton’s attack?!).

  • lanre

    Walter, funnily, it wasn’t Terry that saw yellow after that challenge with Odemwinge, it was Odemwinge himself booked. I keep saying, unless we arsenal fans stand up for our right, we’ll continue to experience this injustice n incompetence refereeing in our games. My believe is that FIFA made the rule book, EPL FA took it and modified it into two; one set of ruls for the arsenal while the other set for the other clubs. Just not fair

  • Michael ikoro

    It is shocking to see Joey Barton get only a yellow card for what was clearly a violent conduct. If Song is serving a three match ban for stamping on Barton, the same punishment should be Barton’s fate for his assault on Gervinho. That would be justice in my opinion.

  • jbh

    Ref for Udinese Arsenal is Portuguese – Olegario Benquerenca

    Any knowledge of him?

  • Walter, its all the english bias that ridicules the football in England. Most of the referee’s in EPL are corrupt or working under a corrupt chief and what are they suppose to do. If they act honestly they would have to suffer lose of job 🙁 . I am 100% sure that the PGMOL advises any offense committed by a English player born and brought up in england should not be given any card or at the maximum a yellow card. Until the corruption in PGMOL is eliminated there will be no improvement in these kind of incidents. C**ts like barton who is not even fit to be a ball-boy will be used to intimidate the opponents at will 🙁

  • Ryobert Pires

    Then again, there is that popular line football dimwits always pull out on telle… “You can’t raise your arms like that and get away with it”. So what constitutes a raised arm? If karate chop someone in the gonads, is that a raised arm or is it too low? In my understanding, a raised arm would be anywhere from normal resting position. But then again, English is not my first language so what would I know.

  • Ryobert Pires

    Oh, and John Terry’s face should always warrant a raised foot… Thanks Diaby.

  • Michael ikoro

    The FA needs to review incidents like that of Barton/Gervinho and Terry/Odemwingie so as to discourage players from bring game to disrepute.

  • Michael ikoro

    The FA needs to review incidents like that of Barton/Gervinho and Terry/Odemwingie so as to discourage players from bring the game into disrepute.

  • walter

    I will have a look at him and see if I can find anything about him.

    for what it is worth.

    Is Udinese far from Milan? 😉

  • para

    quote:The failure to use video evidence to ensure important decisions are correct can only be adequately explained by the desire – of someone in a position of authority – to permit cheating.

    Well the “destruction of AFC” is now in it’s final stage. The money people want AFC out because of it’s economical model, they do not want that to become the norm, for they will not be able to buy and sell games, they will lose out in betting, yes betting is also a big part where they make money on “sure” results.

    It’s so obvious the anti-AFC campaign that it appears to be hidden in plain sight. I myself have noticed this some years back.

    AFC will bounce back though and have the last laugh.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The 7 offences which should be red carded:

    A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:
    • serious foul play
    • violent conduct
    • spitting at an opponent or any other person
    • denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
    • denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
    • using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
    • receiving a second caution in the same match

  • Kentetsu

    Reading about Benquerenca on worldreferee doesn’t bode well:

    “Benquerenca features in both our lists of best and worst refereed matches.”

    “Az-players had to reason with Benquerenca’s assistant (probably a much better referee) and explain that the one blond short haired guy who got booked was not the same as the other one who got shown a yellow earlier in the match.”

    “And all bookings were completely out of order. Jenner’s and Fritz’s for protesting, Steinsson’s for heading a ball while lying on the ground. Is that a foul in Portugal? And forward Koevermans wasn’t allowed to even stand in Werder’s penalty box.”

    I guess we can safely assume UEFA has instructed him to get another entry into the list of worst refereed matches.

  • Arvind

    @Walter: This one is a joke as its rarely if ever followed- ”
    • using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures”

    That way Mr.Rooney and Mr.Terry should finish only half their games.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    If you were giving out retrospective justice to Barton it would go as follows:

    1. Yellow card for hauling Gervinho to his feet.
    2. Yellow card for play acting by falling to the ground as if hit by a Lennox Lewis piledriver.

    But there’s no way Barton picking up Gervinho was ‘violent conduct’ or ‘seriously foul play’.

    Sorry Mr Broeckx, you’re on your hobby horse as usual.

  • Cape Gooner

    Walter, what is the explanation of this?

    On the Newcastle ref review I asked why Lucas wasn’t carded for the studs into instep assult he made on Theo – no attempt to win the ball. Reviewer responded as follows

    • Reviewer
    August 23rd, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    @ Cape Gooner
    I have watched both incidents again, the Frimpong one is very easy, foot is high, ball is moving away from him, he makes an uncontrolled challenge that seriously could have caused long term harm. Arsenal supporters have long complained about this sort of challenge.
    The Lucas foul is simply a player breaking up play in the opposition half, contact is more with the body, almost no contact with the foot. Walcott moans not at the impact, but the fact that he had knocked the ball past Lucas and would have been away. The ref could have issued a yellow, but choose not to. it is his prerogative, he is in contact with the players. He could also have issued Walcott a yellow for his reaction, the 2nd bad reaction of the game, but again he choose not to, but he did have a word.
    One foul was dangerous and reckless; the other was professional and calculated. The difference here is maturity and discipline in the team.
    “The Lucas foul is simply a player breaking up play in the opposition half”

    Rule 12 says (page 115 FIFA Laws of the Game 2010 2011)

    Cautions for unsporting behaviour

    commits a foul for the tactical purpose of interfering with or breaking up a
    promising attack
    • holds an opponent for the tactical purpose of pulling the opponent away
    from the ball or preventing the opponent from getting to the ball

    The implication is that “promising attack” wasn’t satisfied and although holding gets a yellow card, kicking doesn’t. I’m sure Reviewer is reflecting how the game is normally officiated, but does it follow the rules?

  • WalterBroeckx

    I bet they explained to you what violent conduct is on the ref course you followed?

    Do you think it is like some pundits said : Barton was just helping Gervinho back on his feet? Just like he is helping old ladies to cross the street every day of his live…..

  • andy bishop

    Maturity and discipline..nail on the head! Barton is calculated aggro and three of our players have fallen for it over the last two Newcastle away games..having said that Barton left the field of play without the refs permission and dragging a player up in a violent and threatening manner constitutes violent conduct. Plenty for a red card. Barton clearly raised both hands in a threatening manner and appeared to call him and effing cheat. Red all day. Due to Bartons antics and our player reaction we have lost players for nine games over the last two away games at Newcastle. Is there a pattern emerging.?. What instructions if any are given to our players re Barton? and players like that. If the FA can ban Song on a replay why not Barton?

  • Adam

    @ Walter, I actually contacted the FA about this and got a swift reply Do you want me to forward the e-mails to you? or copy and paste them in the comments section.

  • Adam

    Also concerning Barton, I do beleive there is a bit of a media campaign to paint him in a better light.

  • critic

    “It is a bit like mopping the water but with the tap still open…”

    Gr8 read and an important valid point.

  • Stroller

    It also seems to be the case that refs come down more harshly on new boys as opposed to the old lags who the have got to know over time. So the new overseas Arsenal man, playing his first game, got the full treatment over Barton who merely got a slap on the wrist. Them next game we have Frinpong on debut carded after a few minutes for something that usually gets a warning. I also seem to recall a couple of other Arsenal players getting red carded on the debuts in the past.

  • bob

    But, to get to perhaps le bottom line, you do agree that two yellows equals one red and a Barton sending off, n’est-ce pas? (btw, your hobby horse analogy (“as usual”?) to Walter’s body work is so very impressive of you.)

  • goonergerry

    I think this is a very good article and Walter is making several good points.Not only was this contrary to the rules governing conduct on the field of play- but it was contrary to key principle of natural justice-
    and may be challengeable in both Britain and Europes legal system.
    So according to Rhys grabbing a man lying on the ground, by the neck of his jersey, pulling him towards you, thrusting your face into his does not constitute violent conduct? It may not always- but in this case the level force used- the intent of Barton was clearly aggressive and intimidatory and it clearly did constitute violent conduct.
    However after being subject to such an assault,breaking free from his hold and giving a man a baby slap with an outstretched arm does not constitute violent conduct. It could constitute a justifiable reaction and the force of the slap was not sufficient to knock a small child off his feet let alone an adult male.
    Given that Gervinho was playing in his first EPL game- and may well have not experienced aggressive conduct of this nature on the football field before- I think his reaction may have been understandable.
    The decision should have been Red for Barton and yellow for Gervinho. A 3 game ban for the victim and nothing for the instigator was not proportionate and fair-and as such may have been unlawful.

  • addi

    The idea that Barton’s actions were anything other than violent conduct baffles me.

    If I ever saw someone put their hands on a member of my family the way Barton did Gervinho I would completely lose it.

    That the black (not calling anybody racist simply pointing out that he is a black man) Arsenal player was somehow expected to stand meekly while manhandled like that by multiple Newcastle players for the relative age it took ANY official to get close to intervening is simply disgusting to me.

  • bob

    andy bishop,
    the pattern is that barton and taylor – either cynically and/or as racists (conscious or unconscious) know from actual experience that barton can “wind up” African players when he wants, and he has a track record of attacking Africans including a late two-footed tackle on Bolton Wanderers player Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye and nearly destroying the career of African player Ousmane Debo who was sent to hospital after repeated blows to his head, and Debo was his own teammate. How is this man still on the pitch, our Joey, and still given the benefit of any doubt – yellow this and yellow that which protects him from further red cards. THAT’s the pattern.

  • bob

    after reading my 12:07 posting, do you still think it’s just that gervinho was a new boy given the treatment and Pal Joey was just our “old lag”? To me, you’ve candy-coated a toxic waste dump.

  • bob

    and it took FOUR so-called officials to reach the yellow card conclusion. if anyone wants to read about Barton on wikipedia, go ahead. The FA has suspended and fined him and slapped him on the wrist; and he’s being painted as the “reformed” lad who needs half a chance. Well, he may be managing his anger better and flashing the charm a bit more, hugs with our lads after the match and all that, but I have one thing more to say on this — that if Herr Barton got yet another RED card for his one or two or three different “infractions” that his enablers and defenders, on and off the pitch, would not have a third leg to stand on. It would be Adios Joey. It’s not just a one off, that next red. It could well have been a career breaker – and karmic justice, one might say.

  • bob

    Alas, I don’t know one old lady who would want Boy Joey to help her to cross the street, especially with Walton as the on-site traffic cop. Not my mom, thank you very much. (You see men like joey are in arrested development, and in both senses of the word.)

  • addi


    I know all about ‘our Joey.’ I was actually living in Manchester when his brother and mates took an axe to the head of a black 18yr old A-Level student for daring to walk down their road…

    It’s not just the lack of repercussions for Barton’s actions that is so galling though. I still find it unbelievable how Taylor came out of that incident looking whiter than white.

    Anyone who has friends that like a bit of agro knows how to stop a fight. You put both your hands on your friend/team-mate, and interpose your body with your back to the other guy so that you can wrestle your buddy away. You definitely don’t slide your arms in between them and try to pry them apart with your bloody elbows.

    In that situation Taylor had no more right to put his hands/arms/elbows on Gervinho than Barton did whether he was ostensibly trying to ‘break it up’ or not.

    What’s even worse is that AFC are facing further disciplinary action for ‘failing to control their players’ because the lads (unlike the ref) were unwilling to simply sit and watch it happen without trying to do something about it.

    Complete farce.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think I can be sure of one thing and that is that Gervinho would never have faced such an aggression on a football pitch in Belgium or France without the aggressor getting a red card.

  • jayj

    In truth the FA are racist, no two ways about it. Notice on both occasions Barton (the same fucking guy) falling out with men whom are black. Blacks get red carded Barton walks laughing no wonder his got a hitler cut!

    FA chases up black man (song) for unpunished foot stomp yet Barton (another incident the ref did not see) walks free.

    No more dilly dallying lets speak the truth, H.Webb will fuck us over big time this weekend, he likes it up his arse from the scotts man.

  • andy bishop

    @ bob..absolutely.. Barton aint whispering sweet nothings to these players…so where is Wenger clueing our guys in to whats going on

  • bjtgooner

    @ Bob

    Sorry, I don’t have an internet link to the ESPN interview. What happened was that ESPN covered the match. During the post match interview ESPN asked AW for his comments on the communications failure. AW was very circumspect in his response. Point being, it was ESPN who raised the issue.

  • Jas777


    What you say about Gervinho in Belgium or France is so true. But in saying that the game has always been refereed in England different to the continent and always will be. The referee is going to let away more rigourous play and will favour English players in 50/50 calls.

    And wether we like it or not it isn’t going to change anytime soon.

    What I do find interesting is how the referee’s performances are fading badly in the second half of all reviews so far. They do look a bit unfit and of course when you get tired it is not just your body that gets tired but your mind also.