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Reading FC: a suitable case for financial investigation.

By Billy the Dog McGraw.  Our man in the Depths of Despair

Way way back in the dim and distant past – well in 19969 to be exact – Swindon Town beat Arsenal in the league cup final on a ploughed field.  The Arsenal team contained famous names like Wilson, Storey, McLintock, Radford, Graham, Gould and Armstrong.

Some years later – in this case 1990 – Swindon came fourth in the second division, and were promoted to the first division through the play offs.  However they were immediately relegated for financial irregularities and their place in the top league went to Sunderland instead.

I can’t imagine many Arsenal supporters would have shed a tear.

Now we see that Reading has been promoted to the Premier League, and whoops, it looks like questions are being raised about their financial position, because three months ago Sir John Madejski, a man of impeccable credentials and loyalty to the club sold the club to Thames Sports Investment.

Problem is TSI is not a company as such.  You see, you, I, or those funny little people from the AAA could set up a TSI, or an ABC or an Arbuthnot Merryweather Sporting Ventures or anything, without paying a penny, filling in a form or doing anything else.  You just say, “We are Hows-Your-Father Arrangements” and you are.  That’s how it goes under British law.

So, the Premier League, that well known group of turnips that cavorts with the eccentrics of the Football Association (who themselves deal with the crooks and corruptors of fifa), and who more directly deal with shadowy organisations like PGMOL, has said, for once, “what’s it all about sunshine?”

By its own rules the English Premier League (EPL) must be given the identities of all the investors involved in the purchase.  Without them, no registration – and hence no Reading FC.

The man at the top of TSI is Chris Samuelson, is, we are told, a director of Mutual Trust SA, which is based in Vaud (Switzerland).  Now their web site is here and today it says “Our web site is undergoing maintenance.”  That’s about it.

Which is odd, because this firm runs billions of pounds of money hither and yon, and you would think they could put up a web site and keep it up.  I mean, Untold Arsenal, run totally by a bunch of volunteers, can do it.  So can Arsenal History Society.  Mind you, PGMOL can’t either.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv

But perhaps their problem is what the web site used to say.  Until about 2 weeks ago it said,

“Our challenge is to provide our clients with their fundamental rights to privacy of their information and to protect their assets from attack and confiscation. We will not use financial institutions to hold assets on behalf of our clients unless we are certain that the financial institution will uphold its fundamental obligations on confidentiality and its fiduciary duties.

“Equally we will not use jurisdictions that do not respect and uphold the fundamental right of clients of confidentiality. Your information is safe in our hands, for always. This statement is the cornerstone of our trust and integrity.”

All a bit mysterious, and not the sort of thing that the FA and EPL like to see (or so we are told.)  Quite possibly it is the sort of place that people with dogs can open accounts in their dog’s name – should they ever wish to.

But there are suggestions (and I certainly can’t confirm these, and make no allegations whatsoever) that TSI – that non-company – is linked to Anton and Boris Zingarevich.

Sir Madejski recently said, “I hope the Zingarevich family will take Reading on to a different level and into Europe and beyond. We’ve found very pleasant people in the Zingarevichs, who will continue to do things the Reading way. It bodes well for Reading and I hope they will take the club much further.”

Problem is I can’t find out the origins of the Zingarevich wealth.  Nothing wrong with that – people don’t have to explain anything to me, and 99.99999% of the human race wouldn’t tell me even if I asked – and in this case I have not.  But it does seem, according to one article that Boris of that family was involved in Ilim Pulp, a timber-and-paper conglomerate, and the largest shareholder in Ener1, a New York-based power-source company.  All big time stuff.  So what’s the problem?

We do know that Boris and son tried a bid for Everton eight years back, but pulled out at the last second – but that was before the fit and proper person test. I can’t find out why – if anyone knows, do tell.

Anton Zingarevich has spoken about developing Reading, taking them up to the next level, developing the academy, and so on – the sort of language that is very similar to that of Venky’s who took over Blackburn.  He has talked about strengthening the squad, but the current owner (or last owner, depending on the state of the deal) has said pretty much the opposite, as with, “What I don’t want is people thinking Reading are an open chequebook. We will be as careful as we have been in the past.”

There is nothing to suggest that there is anything wrong with Anton Z or his father Boris – not at all – but no matter what their wealth and no matter what other firms they run, the source of their money must be revealed these days.  You can’t just go in and say, “Look, everyone can see I am wealthy.”  And that’s why all that earlier stuff on the old TSI site about “we will not use jurisdictions that do not respect and uphold the fundamental right of clients of confidentiality,” suggests that there can’t be a deal.

Organisations that take down their web sites are not dodgy, per se, but one must wonder why they do it.  And I guess Reading fans and Reading’s owner must be hoping that TSI does open up soon, otherwise if the FA and EPL really do obey their own rules, we will see another Everton, with the deal stopping at the last moment and Reading being left in the lurch.

There is however just one thing that might be upsetting the owners – and that is Chelsea and Man C’s  current positions in the league here and PSG in France.  Suddenly we find that putting in all the oil world into a club, but it doesn’t guarantee success. Bit of a bugger, that.

Untold Arsenal

 

63 comments to Reading FC: a suitable case for financial investigation.

  • Arun

    Off topic, but footballisfixed is saying that our game against chelsea was fixed
    http://footballisfixed.blogspot.in/2012/04/what-incredible-fluke-xlv.html

  • malaysian gunner

    On this subject,there should be an independent investigation into why Mu are winning the epl every year.Two penalties and one denied to the opposing team is cause for concern.There could be other cases as well where the refs favour the rd.
    Btw I read the gunners have not had a single penalty on home ground.Which makes me wonder.

  • Zac

    As a reading fan I welcome the sentiment behind these blogs, all purchases should be thoroughly investigate BUT Reading are still owned by John madejski the purchase has not yet been ratified as it is pending football league approval. Whatever the outcome of the welcomed league investigations if they do not like what they find all it will mean is that the take over is off and madejski remains 100% shareholder and reading will be playing premier league football next year regardless.

  • Passenal

    I can’t agree with that article you linked to Arun. How does 1 point suit us? We are now in a position where we have to win our last 3 games of the season and hope that others drop points. Why on earth would we put ourselves in such a position when we were at home and had a chance to win? I would imagine that playing to hit the post would be even harder than trying to score! Anyone who follows the game would know the odds of a draw were high as chelsea came and parked the bus hoping to catch us on the break, while we played a bit tentative because we were more concerned about not losing after the Wigan game. A draw was not ideal, but not surprising under the circumstances. The only thing that made the point a good one in the end is that spurs lost to QPR and there is no way we could have known that was going to happen.

    Apologies for going off topic Tony

  • dan

    a Fix? Doesn’t explain the ball coming off the bar 2 times.

  • Shard

    It’s a fix because Mike Dean didn’t screw us over. I guess trust in referees (especially Dean) is at such a low that when they do their job reasonably well, it means they have ulterior motives. Heh.

  • aray

    how can they point the finger at reading, when the likes of mufc,liverpool, real madrid, barcelona are run at great levels of debt and clubs such as reading and many others have had to sell they’re top players to balance the books year in year out.
    surely those clubs should be made to start with a points deficit to match their bank sheet, then maybe we would all start on a level playing field.
    on anton z, maybe there are certain areas where they need to open up, but if you look at chelsea i believe their was a court case not long ago where it was alleged abramovich ‘tortured’and bullied an associate into selling shares of a company worth $1bn. for $100 million. and he’s loved by all at the prem.

  • ak47

    good read thanx.

  • Mandy Dodd

    The football is fixed guy has some interesting opinions on the Reading owners, scroll down and see article XL1.

    http://footballisfixed.blogspot.co.uk/

    Having said that,as Arun has mentioned, he also said our game against Chelsea was fixed, implying RVP was involved, cannot see that one somehow!

  • robl

    if we’re talking about fit and proper owners how about the one and only Mr Bunga Bunga????

  • Anne

    @Billy:

    “Mutual Trust SA, which is based in Vaud (Switzerland)…Quite possibly it is the sort of place that people with dogs can open accounts in their dog’s name – should they ever wish to.”

    In my opinion, I’d say you hit the nail on the head there.

    Good article.

  • Anne

    Sorry to go off topic Billy.

    But since Football is Fixed has now been linked to twice on this thread (and seems to be cropping up more and more often around here), I’ve got a few things that I’d like to say about them, and particularly about the Arsenal article that Arun linked to.

    First of all, I want to say that I try to read Football is Fixed when I can, and that I find their content interesting, relevant, and in many ways “untold.”

    However, there are a couple of general concerns I have about them as well, which I think are worth noting:

    1) They often rely on “inside information” in their posts, but there is very little basis for knowing how they became privy to this inside information.

    All that’s reported on the website is that the blog is written by “ojo del toro” (eye of the bull) in Buccharest, Romania. It also links to some other blogs that are supposedly written by the same author, but I haven’t had time to check them out to see whether more is revealed there.

    But either way, with regard to much of their inside information, there is no means of independently verifying that it is being reported truthfully and/or accurately. Additionally, where they don’t rely on inside information, they very rarely provide links.

    This is not to say that I have ever caught the website in any inaccuracy. I haven’t, actually. But at the same time, I’m not in a position to verify much of their information;

    2) Their blog doesn’t appear to have any comments sections, which means that they don’t open up their reports to any public debate. Or, more importantly, provide a means for any 3rd party to publicly challenge their accuracy.

    Now, there are plenty of logical explanations for both of the things that I noted above, and it doesn’t in any way mean that their reports are inaccurate. Really, how they manage their blog is their own prerogative. But it’s still worth keeping in mind when assessing the value of their information.

    About the Arsenal article in particular:

    1) The report is, once again, based on inside information that they claim to have received from their “primary Asian brokers,” whatever that might mean:

    “The Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea yesterday was fixed…it was an agreed draw, an outcome that suited both sides.

    We were informed by our primary Asian brokers of the fix yesterday morning and the professional insider money took on the mug money throughout the day.”

    I take no position as to the truth or falsity of the information supposedly provided by their Asian brokers, because I have no means of verifying it. At all.

    It might be possible to verify whether the betting patterns throughout the day were consistent with what they’re describing, but I don’t know how (If someone could enlighten me on this subject, I would actually appreciate it for more reasons than this);

    2) In the remainder of the article, the “supporting evidence” they provide to support their insider information is, in my opinion, extremely weak (and I’m not just saying that as an Arsenal fan):

    -“Mr Wenger found it ‘a strange game'”

    The following is Arsene’s “strange” comment in context:

    “I cannot remember them having one chance. Having said that it was a little bit of a strange game because before the game I thought it would be an open one – we had to win, they had to win. They decided to lock up the game and catch us on the break only, with two wide players who are quick, and Torres.”

    While much can often be read into Arsene’s statements, you would have to read quite far into this one to interpret it as a reference to Arsenal fixing the result in advance. And there are many other plausible explanations for what Arsene might have meant.

    -Second, “Robin van Persie opened his mouth too wide in the matchday programme with ‘We have to win, it’s as simple as that, and I can promise you that we will go for it. We have everything that it takes to put in another very good performance.'”

    I’m sorry, but this makes absolutely no sense at all to me as evidence of match fixing. Robin or some other Arsenal player makes a statement like this before every match, it seems, and I really don’t know what he’s even talking about with this one;

    3) Despite the fact that the site are reporting that the game was supposedly “an agreed draw” between Arsenal and Chelsea, the remainder of the article only targets Arsenal as the party culpable for the fix.

    Specifically, he goes out of his way to implicate both Arsenal’s manager and Arsenal’s captain (on very weak evidence), but Chelsea is not mentioned at all. Rather, the primary intent behind the article seems to be to implicate Arsenal. Why? I can think of innocent explanations for that. But still. Why?

    4) The only other evidence provided is that:

    “Numerous individuals, match officials, club officials and agents were investing in the match outcome. The betting patterns are very revealing.”

    Once again, we are asked to just “take his word for it.” If there is any way to independently analyze the betting patterns to verify his accuracy, I would like to know what it is so that I can do it.

    But even there, all he says is that the betting patterns are “revealing.” He doesn’t explain why, or how, or offer us anything more than a vague insinuation of wrongdoing (which is not uncommon for the site);

    5) (and finally) The information reported here is consistent with the outcome of the match, along with some aspects of how the match was played. It is particularly consistent with the uncharacteristic performance of Mike Dean towards Arsenal as referee in the match.

    But on the other hand, if you’re writing the article after the match, how hard would it be to make it consistent with the match outcome and circumstances?

    Anyway, just to sum up. I’m not saying any of this to pick on football is fixed, or to actually accuse them of any wrongdoing.

    I like the blog, and I would have preferred to say all of this in their own comments section and allow them to respond. It’s just that they don’t have one.

    However, just in general, it’s important to be skeptical about any information from any source. Even if their stated motives are honorable. And the above is my analysis of Football is Fixed in that context.

  • Anne

    Damn… That was more of an article than a comment, wasn’t it? Sorry…

  • Gord

    @Anne

    I can’t help you with Football Is Fixed. But being unable to find sources or ask questions doesn’t sound good. I don’t know what browser you are using, but you might be able to tell something more about the file if you look at the raw HTML source. The most likely place for some kind of timestamp is in the section, but there could be inadvertent timestamps elsewhere. No guarantee any of the timestamps are accurate.

    I’m up to my armpits in allegators with other stuff, and have never visited that site or DebatableDecisions.

  • H Raymond Tahhan

    Well, in the case of Paris Saint-Germain, it is not oil, but Qatari gas. As the saying goes: Natural gas begets natural gas.

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    I actually see a lot of value in footballisfixed. But still… critical analysis is extremely important.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Anne, I often take a look at the site, but there are the issues you so eloquently point out. Also, with some…but not all the stuff written after the event…..well hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    They often refer to a ref bias index,or something similar showing Arsenal doing especially badly, but I have never seen this index published.
    I cannot believe anyone from Arsenal or Chelsea would have fixed that result, it hasnt done…certainly Chelsea any good at all really… Not easy to fix hitting the woodwork either!but then again in this game you never know!
    The site can be a interesting read, but as you say, a bit of critical caution needs to be applied.

  • Arun

    @ Anne, I agree with your analysis here but the most interesting point is that he says that the MATCH OFFICIALS had invested in the outcome of the match. I think that he meant Mike Dean and the other guys (RVP penalty appeal comes to mind and remember that it was very close to full time, 82 minutes if I remember correctly). The rest of his points are weak but saying that match officials were involved is a very bold statement itself.
    Having no comments section can be justified just simply because you can expect a lot of abuses and trolling taking place. He doesn’t give details about himself as he wants to stay anonymous, yet again because he wants to live a normal life. After all, even we(at least I) don’t know who is dogface in normal life. So, his arguments may be weak but I can’t rule out his ideas just because he doesn’t have a comment section on his side especially given his strong history.
    In another article (the second point) he says that RVP had nothing to do with the draw:
    http://footballisfixed.blogspot.in/2012/04/what-incredible-fluke-xlvii.html

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @Arun

    At the bottom of the article he did imply forcefully that RvP won the PFA player of the year because he was involved in match fixing…though it also seems to imply that his peers had an interest in having the game fixed. bizarre

  • DB2707

    As a Reading supporter I have been following the takeover saga with interest. However I prefer to take the view of the British legal system i.e. innocent until proven guilty. On that basis any comparison to the Swindon Town situation of the early nineties and any implication of financial wrongdoing is tenuous.

    TSI had promised to invest a ‘small sum’ of money (which as was made clear at the time, was not a loan if the takeover did not complete) into the club in the January transfer window and true to their word this led to the astute signing of Jason Roberts and a couple of loan signings, signings which indicated a level of prudence if the takeover does not complete rather than breaking the bank.

    The statements coming out from TSI are in no way comparable to those of Venky’s. Roberts, as good a pro as he is, is in no way comparable to the Ronaldinho’s that Venky’s were promising to sign at Blackburn and TSI have never claimed to be looking at such marquee signings. In fact they have talked about investing in the scouting network and academy at Reading and if you look at recent history this makes a hell of a lot of sense.

    In recent years the signings of Kevin Doyle (£75k, sold for £6m), Shane Long (£25k, sold for £5m), Nicky Shorey (£30k for a player who was called up for England) and Dave Kitson (£250k, sold for £5.5m) all indicate an already shrewd scouting team. In addition these signings have been supplemented by the academy producing the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson (sold for £6.5m), Alex Pearce, Jem Karacan, Simon Church, Hal Robson-Kanu and Alex McCarthy (all of whom have impacted on the Reading first team in the Championship over the last two seasons) so there is potentially some profit and sense in investing in Reading’s infrastructure.

    Sir John Madejski has run the club prudently over the last 20 years and is no mug when it comes to commenting on the club’s finances. If claims the new owners have limitless funds – which I don’t believe to be true – then you may as well stick another £2-3 million on the starting price of any signing in what will be a key summer for the club as it tries readjusts to life back in the Premiership.

    So overall the defining mood is one of cautious optimism. With some grim cases in the recent past any investigation into the new owners is welcomed. However if TSI can take Reading to the next level of establishing them in the Premiership whilst maintaining the current ethos of spending wisely and bringing through good youngsters then it will be great to have them on board.

  • Anne

    @Mandy Dodd:

    Do you know how long they’ve been around? Their archives only go back to 2011, but there’s a reference to an article from 2010. Did they delete their archives? Just trying to figure out more about them, because they’re asking me to take a lot on trust…

  • Shard

    @Anne and others

    Anne..You may have stopped short of it..but I’m going to call shenanigans on the football is fixed blog. You want conspiracy theories? How about this.. The media organisations for years tell us that nothing is wrong with refs..and we believe them until it gets too noticeable.. a section of fans are turned against Arsenal for their ‘lack of ambition’ (read spending)Another section however question the referees. Their site is attacked.. The comments section is flooded with trolls making inflammatory statements.. New blogs pop up with the Wenger out line.. but still a few people make it quite clear they don’t believe the league is fair. How do you turn these people away from their belief? Agree with them. Tell them what they already know.. gain their trust..and then mislead them.. smoke and mirrors..

    Now I’m not reacting this way because its ARsenal they are accusing. Arsenal..just like any other club..CAN be involved in money laundering, match fixing etc.. just as likely.. But..for ManU..they have statistics..for Juventus they have an ongoing investigation into a fixed match involving their current manager..not to mention past history.. for Real..well..I don’t watch la liga anymore so I dont know how refs have behaved over the season.. for Arsenal..what? A drawn match where the ref had a good performance is supposed to be proof of Arsenal fixing the game.. and then RVP getting the PFA award is his ‘reward for illicit manipulation’.. Did anyone expect RVP to not win the award before the Chelsea game? It’s not even something which really matters. Name me the last 5 winners without looking it up.. I bet you can’t..

    I warn people to not believe everythingthey read..even from a trusted source.. even Untold.. Judge it on how much sense it makes.. In this case.. it makes no sense.. Maybe Arsenal will go on to get a lot of referee decisions over the next couple of seasons and it will make sense. Right now..with no evidence..it makes no sense. Football is fixed..could itself be fixed..as anything else..

  • Anne

    @Arun:

    What I’m asking is: Why should we trust him? I trust DogFace because DogFace doesn’t ask me to trust him. He provides his numbers up front, and if anyone has a question, the comments section is available to ask it.

    DogFace also doesn’t frequently cite inside information from anonymous sources with equally anonymous motives. Not so with “ojo del toro.”

    Also, I believe you’ve misunderstood his comment about RVP in that latest article. When he said RVP had “nothing to do with it” he was being sarcastic.

  • Gord

    @Anne

    There is evidence at Google they they go back to November 2006 (at FootballIsFixed.blogspot.com). There is however no data in any of these old pages. I believe blogspot is part of Google, perhaps if you knew someone at Google they might be able to tell you if backups exist of those files? But I can’t seem to find any data in the Google cache.

    There are 108 pages of search results with

    site:footballisfixed.blogspot.com

  • Shard

    There is a fiction writer called Frederick Forsyth.. In the foreword of one of his books, he explains how to write a good story based in the past and using historical events.. I believe the example he gave was ‘Just at the moment Hitler shot himself, the telephone rang in the office of (somebody) in London’.. and he explained it thus.. that we know (or at least it’s widely accepted) that Hitler shot himself.. so we take that as fact.. and aligned with that fact is a work of pure fiction (about the phone ringing).. But because the 2 are written together, the reader subconsciously accepts both as the truth..

    If some blog tells us statistics on how ManU have fixed the league (something widely believed to be true-at least by us here) doesn’t mean we should believe the parts that are fiction (arsenal draw, RVP award)..Or rather..we should be aware that some parts of their write up COULD be pure fiction..Thus..judge it on merit.. Not on their say so.

  • Anne

    @GoingGoingGooner:

    The thing that’s bothering me about this is that the evidence he’s used to go after Arsenal in these last two articles is entirely disproportionate to the amount of evidence that he has, in the past, used to go after others.

    You can see it particularly in this most recent article that Arun linked to. Look at the amount of evidence he’s using to back up his other four claims, as opposed to the one about RVP. There’s also a real imbalance in the level of logic in the RVP claim as opposed to the others (which is what I believe you might have been highlighting).

    This bothers me. And I think it should.

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    I’m not willing to go as far as your “shenanigans” just yet 🙂 I’m going to keep an eye on this and see if it continues as a trend before I judge.

    However, I agree wholeheartedly with this portion of your post:

    “we should be aware that some parts of their write up COULD be pure fiction..Thus..judge it on merit.. Not on their say so.”

  • Shard

    Anne,

    Yeah.. Keeping eyes open is all the message I wanted to get across. I’m fully prepared to be proven wrong on the ‘shenanigans’ bit.. At this point..It makes more sense to me that they are either deliberately misleading people (shenanigans), or at least trying to find every sensation they can to gain more popularity, regardless of facts (shenanigans again..but a milder version) I don’t inherently trust anybody I don’t know.. Not even Arsenal.. I base my opinions on what I see.. So shenanigans.. call me out on it later if I’m proved wrong.

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    Thanks for providing that information. I wonder what happened to their archives? Particularly with regard to nothing appearing in the google cache. Would this suggest to you that they deleted the archives? Or perhaps that blogspot deleted the archives? I don’t know anyone at google. Very strange…

  • Gord

    @Anne

    Everyone should keep backups of their websites by themselves. It is conceivable that blogspot may also make backups. But, with big sites there is definitely a method to backups. And at some point, if a backup hasn’t been needed, policy may call for the “tape” to be recycled. At which point, the backup (by the big site) is gone.

    With no mechanism to contact the blog author, there is no way to know what happened to the older archives. The blogger should have written something about the situation.

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    I haven’t read their entire (available) archive yet, but so far, I haven’t found anything about what happened to the old ones. This is very strange to me. But what does it all mean?! 🙂 Thanks for getting back.

  • Gord

    @Anne

    The backups could be lost, they could have been destroyed. I’ve been lucky to lose little in 35 years of using computers. I did lose much of the data on one drive, and I have a copy of that drive I work at from time to time.

    About the 4th comment in this thread, I put in a comment. I don’t have the time to look up URLs again. But, Boris is on a suspected Russian Mafia list. The year before he became Deputy Governor of this pulp organization, he was a mechanic. (Mechanic used to be a term for hitman, at least in fiction books.) That Ener1 company they bought, was taken over in a suspicious way (Chicago Tribune did a write up). That company has DOD contracts for power supplies. There was some concern about a company with DOD contracts being taken over by nominally a Russian organization.

  • Mahdain

    @all sorry to go offtopic but did you guys see the shit that the AA…oh sorry the AST came up with? How is it people take that group seriously when Tim Payton is the leader and Le Groove as a reputed member? They are the main reason for causing unrest among fans with their utter BS and spreading misinformation…
    How do they know what Wenger thought of Gazids? how do they know what clauses are in players contracts? and why do the media use them as Arsenal fans mouthpiece? They certainly dont speak for me..

  • Anne

    @Mahdain:

    Link?

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    Quite intriguing. Thanks.

  • Mahdain

    @Anne search through this timeline as its already finished
    http://www.twitter.com/1walid1

  • Gord

    @off topic

    Lansbury played the last 6.5 minutes of West Ham’s win. He replaced Collison, who scored the winning goal.

    Rangers owner Craig Whyte is banned for life by the Scottish Football Association, which also hands the club a 12-month transfer embargo.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17821054

    Recently Arsenal reserves played the Oman Olympic team. Oman played Senegal for the last Olympic place. Senegal won.

  • meditation

    @Anne about the footballisfixed site. A few years back something didnt add up with arsenal losing out on the league in 2008. I always felt that arsenal were held back in previous years but in 2008 it felt more extreme. So i started digging. One of the things i came across was footballisfixed. I posted the link on this website at the time and i may have been the first to do so. You should be able to look back at my old comments. I can vouch that a lot of the things said all those years ago on that site 90 percent has come true. He used to reveal more in his blogs. You also could subscribe to it for £10 at the time . I assume it was for betting tips whilst giving the true reality of football. At the time he said arsenal wouldnt win the league. That they were systematically being held back. Players would leave . Basically the chain of events i have witnessed. Im sure at the time he said arsenal were considering suing for loss of earnings as a way of countering. After a while you couldnt subscribe anymore but the odd blog would be written with other information given to subscribers. Then he said he was stopping the blog. Maybe it got to hot. The blog then reappeared as it is. Thats all i know. Hope that helps.

  • meditation

    footballisfixed is on twitter also

  • Gord

    I’m sorry, this is the wrong place to put this. I look at the headlines about Arsenal sites, and it is often hard to figure out why I am seeing this. These headlines. These headlines are all supposed to be from fans of AFC.

    For a counter-example, people have been ragging about Robin van Persie and his contract talks most of the season. I ran across a news article about a young man who dies in a road crash (news article is 2012 April 12). Robin van Persie wrote a letter of condolence which was read at the young man’s funeral. Robin and his wife, Bouchra, are doing everything that caring people who are happy with where they are, do.

    Rumours

    There are too many rumours about just about anything in football.

    Here are my Rumours for 2012 April 24

    Arsenal-News.com has agreed a joint venture with McCain Foods. Allison McCain thought they were just exceptional at promoting spuds. McCain Foods is one of the largest potatoe processors in the world, and probably the largest in Canada.

    The Transfer Tavern has been bought by Target Corporation (of Minneapolis). George Dayton said he needs people who can hit the target in what they hype, and Transfer Tavern is among the best in EPL
    blogs.

    TalkSPORT has been sold to Walmart. Walmart is hoping their ability
    to hype anything will lead to better music sales.

    Le Grove, after extensive advice from Thames Sports Investment; has entered into a partnership with Laidlaw, Inc. to develop a process to use duckweed to digest the crap produced by TransferTavern, TalkSPORT and LeGrove. Geoff and Pedro say that as duckweed can digest articles written by them, it can digest anything.

    None of these rumours have any shred of truth to them. I just picked the top 4 bad headlines for myself, and produced something which could not be true. I am hoping it is marginally funny.

  • Gord

    Seeing as I have put my foot in my mouth by posting what is almost an article as a comment, I think it would be nice if UntoldArsenal had never ending threads about News. Which if I want to post about Arsene Wenger having 2 articles about women’s soccer today, I can (the Canadian men’s program is hopeless, the women have been doing well). Lansbury has been getting entirely too many splinters in his ass on the substitutes bench, but when he gets on the field, this should be Arsenal news. Ryo has apparently been wonderful at Bolton, but the little I “see” in the BBC commentary by the Press Association seldom has things of interest. But, Arsenal people want to know. Frimpong is back in rehab, which is a bummer. He’ll be back. I haven’t been looking for Joel Campbell, but he seems to be doing well. We had depth problems in defence this year. A few young guys got drafted in to play. The least we can do is follow them.

    It is entirely possible there is an endless thread called news, and I never knew about it. If that is true, I apologize for using too many bytes.

  • Arvind

    @Gord,Anne: You might want to look at http://www.archive.org where you can search for older versions of pages.

  • Arun

    @ Anne and GoingGoingGooner, thanks for pointing out my error. Yeah, it was a sarcastic comment and I completely misinterpreted it. I have to agree with shard on that it may be PURE FICTION .
    The reason he doesn’t give us his numbers may be hidden in what’s been pointed out by meditation above as he used to make money from this information by giving other people betting tips while Dogface is an unselfish person and doesn’t believe in making money from such information. So he makes his numbers public.
    @ Arvind, there are no archives of football is fixed on archive.org.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Gord, I thought your rumours were actually funny. 🙂 🙂

  • Gord

    Thanks Walter.

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    That headline about Walmart acquiring Talksport would have some quite interesting implications for Arsenal, wouldn’t it? 🙂

  • Gord

    @Anne

    I don’t follow?

  • Gord

    Well, the game is afoot. Barcelona scores in the 35 minute. Cahill out due to injury at 12 minutes or so.

    On the north side of the Channel, Ryo has his name all over the commentary so far. He has been fouled twice, has 2 corners and one shot on net. So far no goals there.

  • Gord

    Good night Irene. Or should I say Chelsea. John Terry then gets red carded.

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    Stan Kroenke’s wife is an heiress to the Walmart fortune 🙂

  • Anne

    @Meditation:

    I responded on the other thread where you left your comment. Not sure what I make of his twitter. I would consider a lot of his political links to be very subtle disinformation, but that’s not necessarily his fault. Thanks again for getting back on this.

  • Anne

    @Gord:

    I don’t know… Barca seems to be taking a good shot at fucking it up 🙂

  • Matt Clarke

    It’s going to be Chelsea’s night – despite the efforts of MiB.

  • Tasos

    Never thought I’d say these words but….

    Well played Chelsea

  • Anne

    Is it me, or was Leo Messi Chelsea’s MOTM? 🙂

  • Tasos

    I’ve lost count of the times Messi has been MOTM for Barca.

    Law of averages suggest he can’t do it every game and tonight he was below par.

  • Arun

    Yet again Barca plays fair and loses again.
    It means that the third place is going to be very very important for us.

  • Mandy dodd

    Strange game, barca poor but Chelsea continue the remarkable woodwork run. Is their name on it, or does eufa have another chosen team?

  • Anne

    @Mandy dodd:

    I would keep an eye out for the Mourinho factor. I’m interested to see what happens tomorrow.

  • Gord

    @Anne

    Oh, okay. Another member of the Walmart family has the largest cattle ranch in Canada (Douglas Lake). They also ended up buying the New Holland Industrial line dealerships for British Columbia. My family had a large farm equipment dealership which also had NH Industrial, and Douglas bought that too. So, in a way, my life has been touched by that family.

  • Gord

    I went out for a walk around the golf course at half time, came back to read the commentary (no sense sticking around when they subbed Ryo at half time in the Bolton game). It was remarkable to see what Chelsea did. But how many men got carded and won’t play for Chelsea? And Cahill might be injured. Congratulations to Bolton on winning. One point behind Wigan and QPR, with a game in hand. They may pull themselves out of relegation yet.

  • Mandy dodd

    Agree Anne, will watch out for that one. Chelsea deserve credit, but they have also been incredibly lucky in recent games, almost unfeasibly lucky. That will run out. With injuries and suspensions, that will not be enough against a top team who have yet to become fatigued and weary with the pressure of winning, as happened tonight. I was surprised with them going through, but will not underestimate Jose, or for that matter the bayern, the home team. Mr rumminigge has been making noises against platini and co, does he need a sweetener to shut them up, is there a Jose factor? Does Romans money talk enough for an inferior team to win? Or will the best team just win. Fascinating.
    Still, despite my firm belief Chelsea will not win, you just never know. Our best bet, banish any alleged complacency, finish third and stay out of it all, just in case. This must be a wake up call for arsenal.

  • Just for clarification, TSI have no purchased 51% of Reading Football Club yet. A verbal agreement was struck in January, but this is pending approval from the Premier League which we believe is set to be announced this week (30th-6th May 2012).

    So no, this is not similar in any way to Swindon.

    Thanks,
    Reading FC