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August 2021

Football corruption: the allegations keep on rolling along

By Tony Attwood

Sometimes it all goes quiet for a few weeks.   Then we hear of new enquiries.  The manager of Juve is banned for a year.  Some Turkish clubs are being investigated.  There’s suggestions that a world cup match was fixed.  The bias of referees in this country is shown in our own in-depth investigation.

Then the idea that big clubs pay little clubs to win games.   That seems odd, pointless, silly, until we remember the fines that the league imposes sometimes on clubs not fielding their strongest teams.  Then suddenly we get it – big clubs paying little clubs to put out their strongest team and perhaps get a result, where they might not have done so with a weakened team.

Plus the evidence that certain players are targeted by others to cause injuries.  And the stories that arise from Southampton about betting on key moments being a central part of the culture of the club.

And so you get to the stage where you think you’ve heard it all.  And then along comes Matías Almeyda, an Argentine international who played at Parma and here we are again with a lot more about match fixing and even player doping.

The book, Almeyda: Life and Soul, which is now being serialised in Gazzettaa dello Sport,  says, “At Parma we were given an IV drip before games.  They said it was a mixture of vitamins but before entering the field I was able to jump up as high as the ceiling.”  (If you know your Arsenal history you will know that in Leslie Knighton’s last season as Arsenal manager, the club experimented with similar sounding drugs in relation to a cup match against West Ham.)

Also revealed is the fact that the players of Roma asked the Parma team to  fix a match between Roma and Parma in 2001.   Roma won, and so beat Juve to the title.
Is it all true – was there drug taking at the time?  Once again of course we don’t know, but the sheer volume of data that we are gathering is, I believe the key point.
Football matches can be fixed for all sorts of reasons and in all sorts of ways.   Such as
Through the Italian style approach in which a ref gets a generalised reward (the villa for the summer is the example I normally quote) in return for helping a team to a win.
Through betting gangs fixing matches to win bets – we often hear of this with international games
Through players throwing matches.
Through big teams encouraging little teams not to put out a weakened side against big opposition in order to avoid injuries.
Targeting individual players so they are going to be out injured for quite a while.
And on and on.  Of course we can have the whole debate about proof all over again, and of course as always I say that we do not have the audio recording of the fixing being arranged.  But the fact that there are so many allegations, and the refusal of PGMOL to take even the simplest steps to prove that our allegations have no foundation, means that the issues build up and up and up.

9 comments to Football corruption: the allegations keep on rolling along

  • GodWoreTen

    I unfortunately can’t give you the crucial details of who takes what and what for, but it is so blindingly obvious that the league with the most money in it will be the one they target… your work here and in the ref site is so important for the game we love

  • americangooner

    in the US, the press is always abuzz about something terrible related to any sporting league. Be it NFL, NHL, NBA or the NCAA. Scandals such as doping, bounty, and racism threaten to undermine the integrity of the various championships. And events such as labor strikes, be it on the part of the refrees or the player adds uncertainty to US Leagues. But these problems/ challenges shows that the US Leagues, rich they may be in history, are not perfect. However, in the world of FA and its management, The English Premierleague is a near-perfect championship/league. The ‘only’ issue FA sees in English football is racism. the whole of last year was dominated by two incident: JT-Ferdinand; and Suarez-Evra. The FA intentionally puts too much weightage on racism so that the media and the commoners forget or dont talk about any other issues, like bribery.
    It does not investigate why arsenal players were target of reckless fouls. it does not speculate if coaches paid taylor, shawcross, to intentionally make a foul on arsenal’s important players. it does not give clarification on how mike riley, so much hated by non-Manure fans, ends up being head of PGMOL. it also does not investigate why arsenal didn’t get any penalties last season, although lots of legitimate fouls were executed in the D-Area against arsenal players. Both, the FA and the PGMOL, are a shame.

  • elkieno

    We are arsenal,
    Super arsenal,
    No one likes us,
    We don’t care,
    We hate tottenham,
    The referee bastards,
    We will beat them,

    Made it up while on the loo!

  • Johnny Deigh

    @americangooner – Arsenal were not awarded one penalty kick at home last season.

    I saw a statistic on twitter this past weekend. It said that Manchester United have been awarded 3 penalty kicks in their last 5 league matches. Arsenal have been awarded 3 penalty kicks in their last 42 league matches.

  • Mihir

    @Johnny – We just dont dive enough! We might need to undergo training with the English diving team to get some tips. One needs improvement in every aspect. Maybe a little focus here can help us bridge the gap 😉

  • Florian

    I think I know the answer. ManU are diving into the Toilet, while Chel$ki players are throwing themselves from the Bridge:)

  • Oguntuase Amos

    Searchlight should be beamed on the EPL as there were numerous questionable officiating last season which have continued this year. Questionable penalties had been awarded this year, many obvious penalties had been denied, unwarranted red cards had been given, many obvious red cards had been denied and above all the EPL board is always eager to punish certain managers. One thought that crucial matches and tittle determining ties involving contenders are supposed to start and end simultaneously but the way Man U final match ended earlier than Man City final match last year was very suspicious especially noting that Man City scored their wining goals within the prolonged and added time. Surely that incident ought to be investigated, it smells a rat.

  • Until there is some proof of corruption in the PL, it will always be speculation to suggest that there is – but that is fine.

    The people who would deny the mere mention of corruption are the types that need certainty before they believe anything – the types that are usually wrong or always ‘too late’ in life.

    Myself, I would speculate that corruption is pretty rife in the PL. It is the richest league in the world, being played in one of the most corrupt countries in the world – why in the world would football escape the corruption?

  • personal life of Sri Digvijay does not seem to be that ugly,, but as a spoke person of congress He has to be robust,, to remain within politics… So mr trivedy you should not attack any one so deeply…and personal attacks to be avoided…