The English Premier League is corrupt

In 1999 David Yallop wrote an inside account of how world football is run called “How They Stole the Game”.  It revealed total corruption from top to bottom, and was largely ignored by the football reporting media in the UK.

In 2006 William Gaillard, Uefa’s director of communications, said in an interview with the BBC the culture of backhanders and bungs is prevalent across Europe in football.

Then Andrew Jennings published “Foul!”,  another book on the corruption within Fifa which revealed that Fifa’s marketing partner ISL paid bribes to senior Fifa officials to secure lucrative television and sponsorship rights contracts over two decades.

A link between TV contracts and bribes.  Note that.  It is important in what follows.

How many more examples shall I quote?   Italian football perhaps in 2006 involving Juve, Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio…  with corruption based on a network of relations between team managers and referee organisations.

Or should we speak of the way FIFA changed the rules so that the play offs were seeded at the last moment.   Or the big betting and bribery scandal that is apparently about to be revealed, and which spreads across hundreds of matches in the Champions League.

FIFA, UEFA, Germany, East Europe, Italy… it is everywhere, except of course not in Britain.

Actually I reported recently on a most strange programme on Radio 5 which did reveal theats and actual violence relating to a non-league game, but nothing seemed to come of that.

And so the old pals act continues with the eternal feeling that really we don’t do that kind of thing in England.   Yes, I know, we have a manager of the England team who has himself been shown to be utterly corrupt financially, and who has been fined for his activities by the Italian police, but that’s because he is not English.

There are odd things – yes the Conference was found of being flagrantly guilty of breaking its own rules by allowing Chester to play on when clearly under the control of a man who has been found guilty of serious VAT fraud.

Then there’s the odd things about Leeds and Notts C and Birmingham all being allowed to play when no one knows who actually owns them (not Mr Bates, not any of the companies in the Nottingham Circle, not Mr Yeung… in all cases it is not the people we thought).   But still the FA and Leagues allow them to play on.  But that’s not really corruption…

And we know that the Italian job was all subtle and nothing as crude as passing brown envelopes to refs, and there was never any match fixing as such, just a sort of flavour of the way the game went.

And yes, people keep getting arrested by the police in the UK – that Arry Redknapp for example – but nothing ever is proven…

And besides if there ever were any real corruption in English football, surely the media would be up and at it.  I mean, they are the people who unearth corruption don’ t they?

Well… not quite.

Unearthing corruption within FIFA all seems a bit distant and intellectual, and that Italian thing was all about funny foreigners.   Football journalists in the UK don’t generally do the detail stuff – because they are making too much money out of being pundits.   The TV companies, we know, have invested a fortune in securing the games on TV so they are hardly going to start saying, “well ladies and gents, welcome to another fixed game in the English Bent Football League”.  Wouldn’t help their advertising levels.

And remember that bit I mentioned earlier, about TV organisations paying bribes in order to get TV contracts…

And anyway – to get to write the day to day stories about the clubs they need the clubs to be on good terms with their papers – and you don’t really get that if the paper is saying that a match was fixed.

We can say that these funny people all over the world are fixing games.  We can blame UEFA for arranging the play off games in a way that favoured France, and not Ireland, and we can forget that extremely odd bit of refereeing in Georgia which helped get Ireland into the play offs.   But we can’t really raise a question about the way an English game went.

Maybe we can say that if a ref gives a funny penalty to one team, he’ll give one to the other to “even it up” which sounds like a lovely British compromise.

In fact we are so certain that corruption does not exist in English football we even forget about proven cases in our own history.   When I was writing MAKING THE ARSENAL which is about 1910, I was stunned by how there were match fixing scandals virtually every week.  And they were reported – because the football reporters were not told by their editors to bow down to the great god of football.  Here’s one story…

In 1905 Man City needed to beat Villa on the last day of the season to win the league.  But Villa won and after the game the Villa captain claimed he had been offered £10 by Man City to throw the game.   The Man City captain was found guilty and thrown out of football for a year.    Meredith, the man in question, expected his club to help him out, but when they didn’t he sold his story to the press, revealing how Man City were breaking fundamental contract rules every day.

This happened all the time in that era because journalists were not brow-beaten by the club – but of course Man City were not thrown out of the league – nor was anyone else.  The corruption existed on an industrial level, but the clubs carried on – because the clubs and the FA and the league were a cosy group.  If anyone ever got punished it was a poor player.

I mention all this today, having watched the defeat against Chelsea, because to me, sitting in the stand, the activities of the ref were nonsense.  From my position I clearly saw five occasions in the first half when Mikel committed serious fouls for which nothing was done other than a free kick being given.  By the third or fourth he should have had his second yellow card and been sent off.   In the second half I saw an Arsenal goal ruled out because of the keeper being impeded – which I couldn’t see.

Throughout the game I got the feeling something was seriously wrong – that all the little decisions – which should in my view have led for example to Mikel being sent off – were going Chelsea’s way.

Now if I take the perspective that all football is corrupt – that the arrests of five people in 2007 on suspicion of corruption in football were the tip of the iceberg, that the arrests in Germany on November 19 this year on suspicion of corruption in football, and that the recent arrest of Peter Storrie and so on and on and on, all mean that football is corrupt from top to bottom – then I just shrug at Arsenal 0 Chelsea 3 and say, “that was a fixed match”.

If I am very English and believe we don’t do that kind of thing here, I think, no it is just that I am sad that Arsenal lost today.

And that’s where I have got to, and I come down in favour of the former, because everywhere, every day, there is evidence of corruption in football, and I think on Sunday 29th November I saw a match that was corrupt.  A match in which with subtle twists and turns the ref and officials arranged to ensure that a Chelsea player who should have been cautioned early on, and then sent off, was not, and that an Arsenal goal which could have changed the flavour of the game was disallowed.

It all depends on your starting point.  If you ignore the fact that there is news of corruption in football everywhere, from FIFA through to the Conference, from Chinese betting rings to the arrest of high profile people in England  involved in the game, then you are likely to say, “oh he’s just looking for an excuse”.

But if you start from the facts, and realise that five minutes research reveals the corruption in football is Europe wide, you  see the game in a different light.

I am sure very many people will disagree with me.  Perhaps I am the only one who thinks like this.   But I think English Premier League football is bent.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

52 Replies to “The English Premier League is corrupt”

  1. May I submit in evidence the following, m’lud?
    1 – Traore was shoved off the ball without a hint of action but when he won the ball back Chelsea got not just a free kick but a yellow for Traore.
    2 – When Dogsbra took down Vermaelen some referees might have given a straight red. No-one could have let Dogsbra off completely (or could they?) so he got a yellow then everything else the cheat did was ignored while he went to score twice.
    3 – Was that a penalty or just a free at the end? Inside or outside the box? Sorry, apparently not even a foul. Yeah, right.
    4 – The way the press have trotted out how feeble Arsenal were and even (for f*cks sake) how brilliant A Cole was. You wouldn’t know it from the press but the majority of the play was in the Chelsea half and Cole had two half-decent kicks in the whole game.

    Corruption and press collusion go hand-in-hand!

  2. hmmm.

    Well, at least we have a club worth watching.

    I’m beginning to understand what AW means by ‘financial doping’.

  3. Thanks for the truth mate i watched the game in australia and must say was shocked at the Referees calls and the use of cards was only to help chelsea .when one person sheds light on facts not crap good on you i agree corruption is a disgrace on man kind

  4. Hmmmm a late night yeah we were found out!

    Vitali Vitaliev should have words about that abject surrender!

  5. This team reminds me of the “Brazillian team of the 1980’s” no genuine striker
    great midfield options such as zico socrates falcao naive at back we have all the attributes of that side and no signs that we will win something this year .We have lost to Manchester United Manchester City and Chelsea playing similiarly . We may again drop points against Liverpool.
    We need a Rooney A Torres A Drogba
    at front efficient strikers who bully defenders i doubt if we have anyone like including Rvp
    we were at our best when we had ADEBAYOR(i hate him though) EDUARDO and flamster in the middle yesterday there was no one in the middle to conect to our crosses.
    SIGN CARLTON COLE or make it 6 7 8 9 years without a trophy

  6. I thought that the referee did a fantastic job.

    The only Arsenal player that would make it into the current Chelsea starting 11 would be Cesc Fabregas (possibly not on his recent form).

    We were completely out-scored, out-muscled, out-thought, and most importantly, out-classed.

    Chelsea are a better side, what can we do?

    I could only dream of beating them 0-3 at Stamford Bridge but I just know it won’t happen.

    The most frustrating thing is that its a case of ”same old story”.
    Just when we all thought we were taking leaps & bounds forward, we take a huge step back.
    And now here we are again, fighting for fourth-place.

    And Tottenham are above us!

    What a terrible day to be a Gooner

  7. Tony, I love you!! As we were watching the game, my wife and I agreed the match was fixed. Even the commentator made a point about Mikel.

    Cech was fouled when our “goal” was disallowed – but he was fouled by Ivanovich. Vela was definitely cut across and should have got a penalty. He was running into a space for a goal scoring opportunity and was cynically taken out. The defender had no choice as Vela was so much faster than whichever defender it might have been.

    I am fairly sure that the Cesc foul for the free kick that produced the third goal was not a foul. It was from the side and from behind, but Cesc inserted himself between the player and the ball, and it was in no way dangerous. Walter, was it a foul?

    Chelsea had a good shout for a penalty when Sagna pulled down Anelka. It was probably not given as we had just been denied something similar. They had a second one denied when Vermaelen got his arms right around Terry, but it was probably not seen.

    I see failure to introduce video assistance to the referees as a clear indication that match fixing is alive and well, and is supported by the powers that be.

  8. Your very right i have recognised this corruption issue in almost every game and Arsenal is always on the disadvantage side,FA should invite foreign investigators on this issue,the weekend had many ref corrupt influenced games among the big 4, i looked at the 3 penalties in a portsmouth game and wondered, i saw fouls against gooners and became sick


  9. Good article and analysis.

    In fact I Had the same feeling. You know I wase made to believe that Coruuption is in Africa only.. but when I have heard about what happened in Italy, I came to believe that it is every where.

    The decision made by Ref and his assistants were awful some times.. and the body language of ref could tell you a lot. Some very seriuos is happening.

    I know is very difficult to admit but..time will tell.. the so called mega riches spoil the beauty of the game.

  10. Its definitely dissapointing to imagine how much the officiating bias is becoming such a big factor in our crucial matches. I don’t believe its co-ordinated fixing though, just plain old referee bias… if only our squad had a few more English players…. sigh.

    I suppose this means we’ll be seein the same shite over the remaining games vs the dippers, chavs and mancs. The FA ought to be embarassed.

  11. Tony my God will bless you. I love you. The your write up are so articulate. Me too saw all those calamity.

  12. It’s not just this match. I’ve thought it for a long time and I agree Cape Gooner, they will not introduce technology for this very reason.

  13. The beauty about conspiracy is that for the victims its just viewed as pure paranoia if you try and claim “foul play is afoot”. We would be most foolish to believe that it doesn’t go on in the English leagues. The media in this country ignore everything that would stain the precious “Premier League”, I think it was Andy Gray who commented recently that massive debt was now “part of the game and ok if you can manage your debt”. Xenophobia is alive and well in this country’s media in all aspects, dirty foreigners are responsible for all the ills of the game just look at the Eduardo and Henry incidents of late. The fallout borders on insane and completely over the top.

  14. I never can understand why most people pretend to not see that there is corruption in major sports. Everyone knows about boxing, yet they refuse to acknowledge that football is the same. Money talks, and the culture of the world (sadly) is “to not get caught.
    If you can get away with it, then good luck to you”.
    It is only when something comes out, one hears the morality card being played. Society is two faced, projecting one value for the children, and doing something completely different, and now in this generation the children are no longer fooled, for children will do what grown ups do, always. And so it goes on and on.

  15. Classic, Arsenal lose a game so it has to be conspiracy. Wenger has turned you aoll into a bunch pf whining little freaks who would rather make neat triangles for 90 mins instead of chase 3 points.

    No matter how much Arsenal refuse to spend on players they are also in hundreds of millions of debt, until that has been cleared I think some would do well to remember this. IF Arsenal manage to clear that debt and stay in contention then you will have a right to say something, still not quite sure what though. The fact of it is (rightly or wrong) that more clubs are finding huge funding and Arsenal WILL slip down the pecking order eventually without similar spending patterns. Wenger is not God, his team is no Holy Grail, finding 2 or 3 gems out of a banana boat load of disadvantaged kids is no way to build a club. For every Van Persie, who seems to be a stand up bloke, you have 4-5 Eduardo/Denilson types, mid-tabl;e players at best.

    Liverpool could be in danger of dropping from the top table, carry on like this for a few more years (not enough top players, paper thin squad) and you will be next!

  16. Results yesterday: Chelsea 3, Referees 0. Wenger was unequivocal in his post match press conference; the referee could give no plausible reason for chalking off the goal scored by Arshavin. He noted that Vela was never going to get the penalty call and observed that an even clearer penalty was denied in the Sunderland match. With a wry smile He noted that neither Vela or Eduardo will get any penalty calls in England yet on Saturday at least two cases of diving were rewarded by penalties (Manchester United of course). All Arsenal wanted, he said, was to get penalties fairly, not for diving. As part of these comments he observed how politically incorrect it was to point out these discrepancies.

    Tony, they might say you are simply bawling sour grapes after a defeat but I am at one with you. The refereeing culture in England is as corrupt as anywhere else. Only the blinkered fan, brain-washed by the press and the cozy football establishment can believe otherwise. As I said before Arsenal has to be twice as good as its opponents to triumph in this environment. But we need good people like you to rip this deceitful facade from the English game before it destroys the beautiful game.

  17. @ shotta-gunna.

    What is your view on the Anelka pen when Sagna threw both arms round and dragged him to the floor?

    Yet another AKB, Wenger is not always right, a foot high enough to hit a jumping (6 foot 5)Petr Cech in the chest is dangerous play, the goal was rightly disallowed. Vela was the closest but as a shoulder to shoulder challenge you were never going to get it, not after Anelka’s wasn’t given anyway.

    Arsenal fans talk as though they expected the win with their patched up team? You have a terrible record against us in the last 5 years, we are playing the best we have since Jose’s powerhouse. Seriously, how on earth did you expect to beat us with no strikers (Eduardo is gash) and a team of midget gems.

    Totally brainwashed, the lot of you!

  18. i might agree with you my friend but still, I strongly beleive that AW and the boys would have done better yesterday.Comon guys , lets face it!!! We were totaly outplayed and out muscled by Chelsea, we couldnt even break their defense, if we had few goal attempts then i would agree, but only 2 good shots on target during the whole game.Dont tell me that we ve been corrupt as well!!!!!Our strikers just didnt move fast enough in the box to create chances and that really shows how much we miss RVP combined with Cesc.RVP’s movement in the box is very important for any strikers and i just didnt see Dudu or Vela capable of doin it. It’s simple as that guys!!! Our defense have been always fragile, i dont know why!!Thats why our team depended a lot on our attacking ability.When our attack fails then our whole game would fail.

  19. I totaly agree with my Gooners mate from the Blog,i quote what he said: ” even if we play chelsea 10 times with the same team we wouldnt win once”

  20. Tony you hit the nail on the spot as they say over here.
    I always write a match report “live” during the game and give my impression on the game.
    After some half an hour I had written that : ” the ref had double standards in his refereeing”. Remember it was still 0-0 and we controlled the game at that time but I had spotted it already. (You could read it on the Arsenal benelux site if you would understand Dutch).
    As being a ref I know how you can influence a game with the most chance of succes. And Mr. Mariner yesterday did a great job in how to do it. You don’t do the major decision because they catch the eye. No, you do the little things that unsettle a team.
    Let me give you some examples: Every time an Arsenal player used force to get the ball the ref blows a foul. But if a Chelsea player does the same he did not give a foul. With the experience such professional players have they know within 2 minutes that they are allowed everything or nothing. I saw early in the game Cesc asking questions at the ref and I really had the impression that Cesc was asking him what he was doing and to treat both teams the same way.
    Chelsea players knew at that time that they could do allmost everyting and wouldn’t be punished.
    As a Arsenal player you know its difficult to play against 11 man and then to know the ref uses double standards, its almost impossible.

    People say that we couldn’t match the physical approach from Chelsea. Well can you explain that we made 19 fouls and Chelsea only 11 ? This just proves that the ref allowed them just far more than he allowed us. It was just a case of not punishing the physical play from Chelsea by the ref.

    Like I said, I wrote it down when Chelsea didn’t have a shot on goal at that time and never looked to threaten us.

  21. This is comedy gold. Arsenal had 19 fouls because Wenger had told his circus act to try and match us physically, he said as much in his Friday interview. Chelsea had 11 because pulling alongside a much smaller player and winning the ball is not a foul!

    The fact W

  22. This is comedy gold. Arsenal had 19 fouls because Wenger had told his circus act to try and match us physically, he said as much in his Friday interview. Chelsea had 11 because pulling alongside a much smaller player and winning the ball is not a foul!

    The fact Wenger the whinger failed to mention this bad reffereeing would point to it not happening, as we all know Wenger is second only to Fergie in the ‘bad loser’ stakes.

    Carlotti is here to push Wenger to the side, just like Guus, Jose and even Avram bloody Grant before him! May as well chuck in Ranieri for luck as we all remember that John Terry goal don’t we 🙂

  23. In fact I wrote almost the same thing in my match report upon the Sunderland game when we still had controll of the game. The ref then used the same approach.

    That we nog get clear penaltys this year is a major disgrace and came after the Eduardo incident.

    Now 2 games after the international break we have 2 games and 2 times the ref uses the same approach in the game. Allow Arsenal no physical approach and allow the other team to use all they can do.
    Was there a meeting from the refs during the international break ? It would be intresting to know and to know if there was given some indication to do it like that ?

    I know enough of the inside world of refereeing to know it could be possible.

  24. Interesting read Tony but I hope you are wrong. Most football supporters have a certain paranoia, sometimes justified but usually not.

    The reluctance to use even limited video evidence may be an indication of corruption.

    The difference between the teams at the end of the day were the strikers. Theirs were powerful & intelligent but also did not have to face 2 almost totally defensive destroyers in midfield. My ‘beef’ about the refereeing was that Mikel was booked about an hour too late.

    We needed big games from Eduardo & Arshavin, which neither provided.

    I would not concede our PL chances on this game because our style of play ended up as food & drink to a very impressive Chelsea side.
    Physically we didn’t trouble their rearguard & they could counter attack, to suit themselves, they can & will drop points to teams, who won’t go at them but will knock them about at set pieces. We talk about Almunia but Cech was shaky & very luck to get away with the disallowed goal because he was all over the place, never having the ball under control.

    I don’t think it is a matter of getting a defensive coach in but more AW being prepared to settle for the stalemate, if necessary, in this type of match.

    Chelsea are clearly short odds favourites but I always feel that if you are within 9 points of the leaders going into the 2nd half of the season you still have every chance. They are in top top form right now but it is hard to keep that up throughout a season.

    Chelsea are at a collective peak, like our 2004 Invincibles. Arsenal are at the stage where Chelsea were at the same season. We have a huge potential to cross that divide.

    The team has to retain its believe & the supporters, more than ever have to really get behind them.

  25. 60% possession of the ball during game shows that Chelsea are not the all powerfull team people are making them out to be, ok they won but lets not kid ourselves here we were not beaten by the better side, let’s not buy into the media frenzy like all those blog sites i’ve had a look at today, some would have you think that we’d just been sent down to the championship the way how they are carrying on it’s just sick, where did we get these so called supporters from? where are the good old fans from Highbury?

  26. ouch. still in shock. it’ll be interesting to see what wenger does to address the team’s problems.

    the rabid press that has already anointed chelsea as champions. #$%@ them. Chelsea has been on-form with a relatively injury-free campaign. they are bound to drop points at some point.

  27. Joe, you seem to lack a certain sense of history. Chelsea is a product of money stolen from the Russian people by a bunch of mad economists from the Chicago School. Russia pays no pensions while there are a thousand odd oligarchs with all of the state’s wealth. One of those oligarchs is owed 700 million pounds sterling by Chelsea Football Club. Consequently they have a team of outstanding players. Why anyone would support such a team is beyond me. That players can take money soaked with the blood of dead Russians also demonstrates a lack of a sense of history.

    But coming back to you Joe, surely you saw the semi finals of last year’s Champions League? Wasn’t Barcelona’s win the worst example of refereeing you have ever seen? Chelsea were denied six clear cut penalties. If you think that happened by accident, then never mind “comedy gold”, you need a rest in the funny farm.

    AW has done a wonderful job of constructing a superb team with next to no money. This team can definitely compete with Chelsea on a level playing field. Maybe not man for man, but the team dynamic makes the team better than the individual parts. Anyone who has equal or better eyesight than a partially sighted person could see that this match not played on a level playing field. It was obvious to me, a rank amateur, and to Walter, a professional, well before the first goal was scored.

  28. i hate chelsea and everything it stands for. the bad guys won. again.

    i wouldn’t call it a conspiracy. it’s just an accurate reflection of life. it’ll just make it that much sweeter once arsene pulls his magic again.

  29. Well, yes and no, Tony.

    Yes. I believe that the FA, UEFA, Fifa and The Premier League are corropt bodies that are actually destroying the game that they are nominally there to protect and promote. Power corrupts. Who was that journalist who made those documentaries about Blatter when he was at UEFA?

    Yes. I think that referees have agendas that have little to do with applying the laws of the game evenly and consistently. No Arsenal penalties thi season comes to mind along with the ‘honest english pro’

    However, are they corrupt because someone is paying them? No, I doubt that very much. They just like being on the ‘winning’ side as defined by the media and their bosses.

    Matches might be fixed at times, not here I don’t think. It might come though. A lot of vested interests and incompetent ruling bodies that have forgotten why they exist.Yes, it could. The world of WWF is beckoning.

    Yesterday though, we were just stuffed.

    It was a poor performance by Marriner who clearly saw himself as the most important person on the pitch But, he could have given Anelka a penalty, the Arshavin goal would hve been disallowed 9 times out of 10 beacause ‘keepers are protected to a ridiculous extent and It was not a penalty when Vela went down. It was a foul.

  30. What a difficult game to watch as an Arsenal fan, but I’m sure they will be back to normal in the next match.One great thing about yesterday was that it was Charity day and the Arsenal players and directors all donated their day’s wage to Great Ormond Street Hospital. The team is trying to raise £500,000 for the hospital.
    Donating is easy!
    Just visit, , and pledge your amount.

  31. I have gotta agree with this thread. You know what? i am fed up with each time we complain we are called whingers and goonie-girlies and cant take a loss etc. I am a supporter first and foremost and an honest one. As for me i give credit where credit is due even if it was for our rivals….if i felt for one second that match was fair yesterday i would hold my hands up and say “well done Chavski you did good hats off to you” but as it stands i feel we were robbed.

    This is why it annoys me when we get made out to be whingers and a soft touch because i seriously and honestly feel that as a club we try to do things the right way and run our club with respect, but instead of being praised for it we get mocked and have the refs and the pundits etc laughing at us saying we are a bunch of moaning pansies.

    I get sick of the way the media and others portray Arsenal to sell their crappy papers, we should be held in high esteem but instead we get spat at. I am hoping one day we will get the last laugh as all these other shoddily run clubs will evaporate into nothingness. Yesterday was a shambles and i feel someone should be made to answer for it. But as per usual we will be called a bunch of sore losers.

  32. If I ever would write a book on how a referee should act to benefit a team without pulling to much attention to it I would take the yesterday game as an example on how to do it.
    The way the ref didn’t send off Mikkel or Essien (just slipped my mind) when he gave an elbow against an Arsenal defender, then hold the ball in his hands to stop Arsenal from tacking a free kick quick and then by holding on to the ball letting it slip some 20 yards out was a disgrace. The elbow should be red, the keeping the ball in his hands should be yellow (second yellow in this case). And what did the ref do to end all this… awarded a free kick because his assistant told him so and then had the free kick retaken and so lost even more time. O yes he asked to the Chelsea player to not be a naughty boy anymore…..

  33. OK Comrade Joe. It’s a shame you have to spend all your time on a Arsenal site. Very little on here today has been anti-Chelsea – just anti-Marriner. I guess you’re just sad, vindictive or both.

    When you were still supporting Man U in the 90s they didn’t really have sites like this did they? Now run along and start compiling a video of John Terry’s greatest unpunished fouls. That’ll keep you busy for a couple of years. Or will the permanent inferiority complex of the Chelsea fan keep you coming back?

  34. pushed the submit bottom so quick.

    It is in these things that one can see the double standards from the ref.
    Also Traore was fouled, not given, Traore pulled the shirts foul given and a yellow. If we forget the first foul on Traore the ref did the right thing: shirt pulling and keeping it for a period of time= yellow.
    A few minutes later Joe Cole is pulling Traore shirts and holding it for seconds, Traore stills trying to run forward with the bal and Cole then kicks him from behind when the ball was clearly out of play. For me this was the turning point of the game or the moment I knew the ref had double standards. The 2 fouls from Joe Cole was each a yellow card. Now you don’t have to give him a red then but a least one yellow card for this incident. The ref didn’t give him a card, much to the disbelief of Cesc who talked to ref immidiatly and was asking him why Traore got the yellow and Cole not.
    At that time I wrote in my report that the ref had double standards and I realised that the task we faced was immense.Beating 11 players that knew they could do as they pleased and against a ref that didn’t going to protect skillfull players.

    And one of the Fifa guidelines for refs over the last years is : protect skillfull players.

  35. This write-up is very true. DROGBA kicked VERMAELEN and deserved a red. MIKEL should’ve been booked atleast twice too. Very excellent write-up

  36. Consols – No disagreement with you. In fact I have no complaints about Chelsea’s there 3 goals but in general I have found the bias vs Arsenal by referees to be scandalous. You know how strongly I felt about the penalty denied vs Sunderland. No way was the foul on Vela going to be called a penalty; they would have had to chop off his leg. As Tony and Walter observed the tone was set from the start; rough stuff by Chelsea go unpunished, and Arsenal is hammered. Take Joe Cole going scot free for taking down of one of our players vs the card to Traore for a similar offence. Any football person worth his salt knows the best way to stop Arsenal is to stop them playing football; letting the rough stuff go unpunished is only going to help one team win and it is not the Gunners.
    As any migrant born in one country but living and working will tell you; you have to be twice as good as the local guy to get the breaks.

  37. Walter, thanks for adding your clear headed analysis from a referee’s perspective. We are still being punished for the perception that Eduardo ‘got away with’ something. It doesn’t help that our lily-livered supporters are too busy parroting the warmed over crap dished up by the media to actually vocally back the team. Maybe if our crowd were more vocal at home we might actually get some calls in our favour. The way things went yesterday you would think Chelsea were the home team.

  38. Bollocks, by your logic Arsenal was corrupt and thus didn;t deserve their trophies a few years ago and I don’t accept that.

    It’s not an organized conspiracy it’s simply xenophobia. Arsenal are widely seen as a non-English team, rightly so, because they have 1 Englishman who occasionally gets a start. Chelsea are seen as THE English team, despite the foreign owner, foreign coach, and team that is replete with Africans and other foreign nationals, because they have the backbone of the English national team in their starting XI.

    As a result the whole team gets away with more. The same for Sunderland, they have England’s starting #11. The same for Villa who have three up and coming English players. The simple facts are that England is one of the most racist and xenophobic countries in the world. You need look no further than the remarks by Gerrard, Rooney, and Terry when it comes to foreigners being a disgrace to the “English game.”

    Gibbs would have gotten away with the tackle that got Traore a yellow, I’m sure of it. All you need to do is see the stuff that Rooney, Lampard, Carrick (I know, he’s British, not English) The Coles, Gerrard, and all the other English nationals get away with to see what the real problem is: racism and xenophobia.

  39. Great article Tony.
    I do feel that our chances of the title finished at 10.00am on saturday when i heard the RVP would be out for 4 months.It is totally true what others have been saying about thes pundits and the press.There are 3 well known journalists who support Chelsea and write for Sun(2)and News of World.We run our club well,and get totally slated for it.It sums up football today when ” Liverpool are in need of Arab money”.What would Shankley and Paisley be saying.
    Well done to Vermeelen for a great wrestling hold on that bloke the England Captain.
    If you get a chance read G.Polls book.You only need to read the first 3 chapters.Terry and Cole a f…..g disgrace.!

  40. Tim has a point.

    What concerns me, more than anything else, is that playing field is so tipped against Arsenal, especially in the hands of the referees yet there is no outrage expressed by the mass of Arsenal supporters. Many of them are too busy walking out on their own team when the chips are down, picking the bones looking for scapegoats, that they fail to take action to expose the lack of elemental fairness by referees, appointed the FA, to officiate Arsenal matches. Ole Gunner, a fellow poster at ACLF, identified 9 clear incidents this season when justifiable shouts of penalty were turned down. How many times have Man Utd, when chasing a game have been awarded penalties in the dying minutes of games, often to salvage a draw or to win a crucial game? Is it because, as Tim says, our team doesn’t have an English spine that our supporters are quicker to say how great is Chelsea, rather the the referees are inept?

    Wenger says he can’t say too much about the referees; for obvious reasons. So what about the supporters? Caught up in their political correctness, they are afraid to say the truth?

  41. Where would you start Shotta? Who can come out and call a referee a cheat? Fans say that all the time, I could hear the perrenial,’You’re not fit to referee’, at TNHOF yesterday, loud and clear. That won’t work. Arsene can’t say it any clearer than he is. He is accused enough already as being a whinger.

    It has to be pitched right. Calling the game corrupt in the way that wil be construed would be counter productive. Who can take the points that Tim made earlier, with which few of us would disagree I believe, and make that a media story? Can we get that to be an ‘agenda’ for the lazy sods in the press?

    I don’t know where to start on this one. I certianly don’t want to give any other sods the chance to call us bad losers.

  42. “I certianly don’t want to give any other sods the chance to call us bad losers.”
    I agree with that sentiment from Consolbob, but;

    When interviewed towards the 07/08 season AW was asked if he thought there was something more to the referee decisions that went against the club, In EPL and CL in the last few months of that season. He gave this reply.

    “We are not stupid.”

    This from a professional who has the experienced corruption at the highest levels of his sport.
    In fact he was so angry, he disappeared of the face of the football map until Arsenal coaxed him back out of his self-imposed exile.
    (Couldn’t be bothered to dredge up a source/link).

    For me, the most depressing moment was the injuring of Walcott by a Birmingham player on the clear instructions of his manger. The referee didn’t even give a foul!!!
    If our England starlets are going to be treated in this way, what hope for the likes of Vela getting a penalty?

  43. I never thought i would ever see on any blog the truth about the EPl and it’s bias against Arsenal.
    The only problem i can see is our own supporters who are among the worst in the league for not supporting the club, players and manager, they walk out before the end of the games, why bother coming if your so worried about the time your going to get home, do they have a curfew or something?
    Why do we have so few supporters who are willing to go up against the league and media and fight for the club, Arsene and the players are too nice, the board is too nice, we need people who are going to come out fighting for us where it counts at the FA and EPL, it’s realy strange that all this crap seems to have gotten worse since the departure of David Dein, somebody please tell me what’s going on?

  44. Consols – Some ideas which may range from Pathetic to Far-fetched from someone hundreds of miles away from the action. As such I can only resort to the electronic forms of protest. My plea to the Arsenal blogs, is to do more to support the manager, who is unable to rubbish the refs because he would be accused of bringing the game into disrepute. Give some space on your blogs to make these “feckers” subject to public scorn and accountability.
    1. An electronic clock on all blogs; Countdown of minutes since Arsenal’s last penalty.
    2. A weekly feature on the blogs publicly grading all the refs who do Arsenal games. Walter would have access to the FIFA grading system. Refs or ex-refs could do the grading with comments by the public; friend or foe.
    3. Clever chants at home games aimed at refs; “WILEY is slow, give him video.” Obviously the names are interchangeable.

    Challenged, in ten minutes I came up with three ideas. There are thousands of fans worldwide who can do better. But are any bloggers or support groups up to the task?

  45. Forget the ref.Wenger’s been saying the same things for 5 years.Whatever he has been trying to do has not worked. Look at the squad and there are too many players who are NOT GOOD ENOUGH at the highest level. It is that simple and we cant believe any more promises or excuses.We need class players and a manager who isn’t deluded and realises many players are not up to it.

  46. I could not see the match as I was travelling. But my room mate who is a Man U supporter said that Arsenal were denied a goal and a penalty. But he also said that Arsenal defended very badly.

    But all of us know what happens if something starts going wrong. I dont say we entirely lost due to this but I can definitely see few things.

    1) 1 dive from Eduardo in a match when we were up by 2-0 is remembered more than all the other dives in the country. Ngog can come distant second.

    2) When Arsenal players were injured we did not get any sympathy from websites. Instead everyone says its Men vs boys. When Liverpool gets injuries half of the news is for injuries. No one looks at the fact that we are playing our third choice left back and yet we are playing well.

    If Rooney was injured in an International friendly match and misdiagnosed resulting in injury for 6 months think what a ManU fan would do. Why not the same from Arsenal supporters?

  47. I don’t think the referee decided the game. I think Marriner did rather well. The only mistake was to not book Mikel earlier.

    The Arshavin goal was correctly disallowed. Vela’s was not a penalty, nor was Sagna’s arm around Anelka.

    We lost because of shambolic defending and a poor attack.

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