Chopping down the forest: football’s ludicrous and awful situation

PART TWO:  Chopping down the Forest

Don McMahon

Following on my recent article about the horrible situation world Football finds itself in currently when faced with racism, corruption, match-fixing etc….I decided to try and answer the questions I  posed in the article here.

Keep in mind that I do not have any more access to the truth than the next guy but I do have a good idea about how Football is managed and directed by the powers that be, after years of experience at the professional level ( as a referee) and my psychological training.

1) Why aren’t FIFA and UEFA taking the lead in promoting and encouraging their own investigations and enquiries instead of being made to look like clue less fools to the world Football community?

* FIFA and EUFA, are by their very nature, reactive organizations….they don’t try and anticipate issues, they cause them.

* FIFA and EUFA are part of the problem, not the solution. There is firm and ample evidence that both organisations are corrupt and that their leadership is idiotic, ineffective and duplicitous.

* It isn’t in the nature of bureaucratic organisations like FIFA and EUFA to take the lead in anything, if there isn’t a profit to be made for the organization AND themselves,personally.

* Such organisations seek to hide from bad PR and deny threats that everyone else acknowledges as being serious and ever-present.  They aren’t actually clueless, but they are cowards and stuffed suits who prefer anonymity over leadership.

2) What are the FA and its minions, stuffed suits and vested interests trying to hide and why?

* Maybe they aren’t trying to hide anything, and in all fairness we have to assume innocence before guilt BUT the entire structure and philosophy of the FA is to keep their dirty linen in-house and free from prying eyes, like the Football supporters and investigative authorities.

* The FA is almost a law unto itself and the government, in its sacred mission to ignore issues until they become an embarrassment and a threat to its re-election, are complicity with the FA in this mismanagement and secrecy.

* The majority of these men and women have been out of football for so long that they have become token administrators and Lord Scudmore is a case in point. Nepotism is rampant and sycophants infest the FA, which is now a hollow straw man.

* The lamentations that British Football is ¨pure¨ and unsullied sound not only spurious but contrived. When Wenger says that British Football is corruption-free, I tend to believe him more than anyone else.

3) Why is the FA not interested in controlling the agents’ unbridled greed and unregulated behaviours?

*This one almost answers itself. Where there are vested self-interests involved, the powers that be will ensure that legality and respect for the law are distant goals as long as their is a profit to be made.

* The FA clearly fears tipping over the apple cart and upsetting the big money Clubs who prefer the status quo, which they have succeeded in implanting in Britain over the last decade. Their motto is:  if its broken don’t fix it, just oil the machine so nobody will notice the noise.

* Their myopic view of football won’t allow them, to take responsibility or leadership for the current agents’ excesses, and they’d rather leave it to the EU and their big brother FIFA/EUFA to handle this issue. they are not masters in their own house.

4) Is there a provable, concerted and orchestrated attempt by the media, Mr. Usmanov, the invisible AAA, and even the football hierarchy (including the PGMOL) to vilify, demean, discredit and dismiss Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal’s credibility, reputation and philosophy, thereby rendering a great Football force for good, ineffective?

* We do know that Mr Wenger’s vision for football has been consistently and almost perpetually mocked by the media and some of the EPL owners and managers as well. This, despite EUFA saying that the Arsenal are a model for financial sanity and stability. In other words, the damned foreigner can’t be seen to be right, this is OUR game after all!

* Wenger has been treated badly on occasions by the game officials and his players subjected to rotational fouling, career-threatening viciousness on the field. Neutral sources have repeatedly stated that had AFC received fair treatment by the officials since 2005, they could have won the league at least once.

* There is of course no evidence that Mr Usmanov is orchestrating a campaign to destroy Mr Wenger or AFC.  So it is particularly sad that his comments do seem to pop up by sheer coincidence when the AAA whining and vitriol have reached a crescendo.

* There is evidence to suggest that other Clubs have faced a diminished version of this media inspired denigration but that is for a future article to dissect.

5) Finally, what role do British Football authorities play in this situation and is this a sign that corruption has indeed penetrated pure Albion’s sacred shores?

* While there is, so far, no firm proof that corruption has penetrated our British game, the Rangers’ debacle and the number of clubs going into receivership indicate that a malaise IS hurting British Football.

* In a time when we seek leadership and proactive courage from our FA, we are provided with denial, duplicity and  dismissive indifference at best and at worst, arrogance, myopic and idiotic misdirection and empty rhetoric.

* There can be no doubt that the same forces that have succeeded in corrupting other Football Associations and leagues will at some time encroach on the British Football scene, if they already haven’t done so.

The proof will be in the pudding and if the FA and the government don’t cooperate and collaborate fully and enthusiastically with Europol and other investigative bodies, then there is something definitely rotten in Britain.

Don McMahon


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56 Replies to “Chopping down the forest: football’s ludicrous and awful situation”

  1. Going a bit softly, softly, aren’t you Don, I thought you would come out all guns blazing … mmmn?

    I said yesterday that Walter was treading a fine line, I you are okay here?

    Great Stuff. The trouble is, how do you get a ‘clean house’ if you get all the rubbish out, only to let a fresh lot build up?
    If it cannot do itself, then it may mean embarrassing the Government enough to build a lawful framework, so those who gain from fraud cannot just walk away?

  2. Much of this I’m not qualified to answer having not thoroughly studied the machinations of the FA.

    I don’t think Wenger gets that much of a hard time from the press at all. When he was winning things the media seemed quite in awe of him. Now he’s not and quite rightly questions are being asked of his team’s performances. He will get scrutinized because he was once extremely successful, now he and the team are treading water. The press will tear into anyone who comes out with bizarre statements like fourth is the same as winning a trophy or who seems to be in constant turmoil with himself about whether the team needs strengthening or not. Any manager who comes out with some of the nonsense Wenger has spouted in recent years will get lambasted in some quarters. Benitez got the same treatment in his last year at Liverpool.

    There seems to be some desire to link criticism of Wenger with xenophobia. I just don’t buy it. There are plenty of foreign managers in England and I wouldn’t say there’s a crusade against any of them just because they’re not English.

    And what neutral sources have stated Arsenal could have won the league if refs hadn’t have been so partisan? I’ve never heard this from any reliable source, only fans moaning about the ref’s bias, something every fan of every team does when things don’t go well.

    The main reason Arsenal have not won the league for years is because they’ve crumbled under the pressure. It also doesn’t help when the squad has been too threadbare. We often have a decent first eleven but beyond that there’s too much chaff.

  3. @ Mr Cook.

    What pressure are you talking about?

    Officials not protecting you enough, can this be counted as pressure.
    Touchline ban on your manager for questioning the officials, can this be counted as pressure.
    A referee, know to be biased, officiates your games (crucial ones), can this be counted as pressure.

    We have been robbed of Silverware atleast once, over the past 7 years. When players have a doubt about their longevity, their performance is bound to take a hit.

  4. Don this is a really fine well thought out article and covers very succinctly the inadequacies and disinterest of those who should be the guardians of the sport.

    Unfortunately you seem to have rubbed up the Rupert (depressive AAA sewer rat – who might be a Russian mole) the wrong way. His twisted attempt to devalue your article shows where his true allegiance lies – certainly not a fan of the Arsenal.

  5. BJT,

    Thought Rupert’s resume was succinct and would be agreed with by most balanced Arsenal supporters.

  6. Arsene got off to a bad start with the UK media from his very first day, against the advice of the more media savvy David Dein, he quite rightly and in his usual eloquent style, implied a threat to sue anyone who printed vile and untrue rumours some would have loved to have spread. There are some who have done everything they could to remove him, even Arsenal supporting and by and large, Wenger loyalist John Cross is forced to take a very different editorial line on our manager and club…than say his twitter feed or his radio interviews away from the Daily Mirror. In addition, Wenger never courts the media, contrast the press he gets compared with the likes of Redknapp of all people, home grown Liverpool managers, and even the most limited manager in this league, Martin O Neill. Press relations are important, you could argue Wenger could try harder on this, but I wont, as I share his barely concealed contempt for the UK media. But thats not to say it is not damaging these days.

  7. It seems to me that Wenger has always given time to the media. Whenever I’ve seen press conferences he’s always been accommodating and the majority of the press have always enjoyed his frankness. It’s only in the last season or two that things have soured, it appears, in some quarters.

  8. @Arsenal 13. Pressure or failing to reinforce the squad. Probably a bit of both. And since we won the league we’ve only come close to winning it once so I hardly think a few dodgy games make up the huge points difference between us and the champions.

  9. Forget Arsenal’s situation. The fact that MU benefit every season to the tune of an average 15 points from dubious referee decisions (based on thorough academic research and seemingly plausible based on examples of such decisions which we can all remember) plays a big part in the size of the “huge points difference”

  10. I wholly agree with the theme & the general content of the article. FiFa, UEFA are a corrupt organisation, whose views border towards Neanderthals. By association FA also behaves the same way. Septic bladder said of problems in FIFA when he became president, since then he has been corrupt. The whole of FIFA is corrupt when the leadership is corrupt.

    The media does whatever it helps to Increase sales. If by printing reports from illegitimate sources and lazy journalist it can spur sales, it will do so. But the astounding thing about the media is a concerted effort to denigrate and/or dismiss whatever wenger says. This week when wenger talked about doping, very few news outlets ran the story. They did mention the story but an in-depth investigation was nowhere to be seen. The british media thinks very much in the same wavelength as the FA, UEFA, FIFA. Wenger by speaking about doping had tried to instigate a meaningful conversation but, the media, trying to portray British football as inherently pure, have impeded this conversation from ever catching steam.
    The FIFA, UEFA, FA now have to confront a whole lot of major issues: Corruption, doping and racism. All these issues have occured during the last two-three weeks. The three organization, however, seem indifferent and apathetic.

  11. @Don, I stated on another article on here that UEFA, FIFA and all FA’s have self interests at heart as they all have their own tournaments to consider.
    Which is in itself a conflict of interests as all will set their rules to benefit themselves.
    Do you think a world Governing body above FIFA with no competitive interests should be instigated to run world football from one set of rules? And in the process relegate both FIFA and UEFA to tournament organisers only?

    Nice read by the way.

  12. Lol @ BJT’s description of the Rupert the Russian mole

    Rupert Cook = Andrew Ryan = paid online agents

  13. Thanks to everyone who has posted here, and here are a few points for Rupert to consider:

    1)¨I don’t think Wenger gets that much of a hard time from the press at all¨…..I guess you don’t read the online media, the papers or listen to any other TV or radio pundits, including former AFC players when they repeatedly rant on about; 7 trophyless years, he needs to retire as he’s past it, etc? you hear what you want to hear and that is constant criticism of his every decision and statement…that suits your view of him and the Arsenal world….just like LeGrove!

    2)Xenophobia is more subtle than simply saying the Frog needs to go back to the continent or something similar. It is reflected in the media’s criticism of an ¨all-French¨ Arsenal (untrue even then), of Wenger’s preference for continental players (untrue then and now, of his ignoring the ¨need¨ for a British spine (we certainly have that now) and other implied criticisms of his nontraditional approach to EPL Football. Just because you don’t see it dosen’t mean a thing….many others do and it is NOT sheer paranoia.

    3)There were a number of EPL points analyses made by sites other than UA, which also did excellent reviews of points lost to bad officiating and so on. I will try and look them up again so you can be enlightened, if you are willing to consider this unpleasant truth.

    4)IF, as you say, we have always had a decent first 11, then I guess being in the CL for 16 straight years, staying in the top 4 since 1999 and regularly giving the eventual winners a real run for their money is pure mediocrity? If we had a decent 11, why didn’t we win something in the last 7 years. We came close to winning a Cup 2 times (CL Final, Carling Cup) and the EPL once….with a ¨decent¨squad. But here’s a few factors that pulled the rug from under our feet:
    topping the in jury charts for 4 seasons in a row, never getting a penalty awarded to us at home last season, officials regularly permitting adversaries to chop and hack our best players at will, without any consequences (we aren’t the only team to suffer these indignities but that doesn’t justify it)oil-rich and sugar-daddy Clubs openly tapping up our best players each season, with this season perhaps being the first in 6 years where we may not lose a key player, but that is still not guaranteed.

    Everything is so simple for you Rupert…you hate Wenger and his philosophy, the Board and Kroenke, the Arsenal ¨deadwood¨ and consequently anyone who supports the above. Your opinions are certainly very one-sided but you have a right to express them….just don’t believe that anyone of importance is really listening.

  14. @Dom, you assume a lot, reflected in your last paragraph. For a start I don’t hate anyone. I really can’t be bothered with such a negative emotion. I certainly don’t trust Kronke. Why should anyone? Wenger’s philosophy is what? To play beautiful football. That’s a fine goal. Sometimes the team does just that but rarely these days but I’m sure that’s not down to want of trying on Wenger’s part.

    Players going to oil rich clubs. Well we needn’t have sold Ashley Cole if we’d bothered to give him a slight raise but that was thought unwise. We lost, Adebayor, Toure, Clichy and Nasri to City of which it’s arguable whether the former two were such a huge loss. That’s it, five players in ten years since Chelsea became rich and about four since City became rich. Fabs went to Barca and RVP went to Manu where as far as I know oil has yet to be discovered. Of those that went to English clubs how many have actually shone? Cole markedly, the rest intermittently.

    For all the money these oil rich clubs boast it’s rather surprising how poorly they’re doing this season. Indeed if we’d had a little more ambition and bought slightly better players we could be fighting for second. But don’t let that get in the way of blaming rich clubs for Arsenal’s stagnation.

    If you actually read my post carefully you’ll notice that I mentioned AW is now being given a tougher time by the media due to his lack of success on the field. But a really hard time. Oh please spare me. A few ex players criticizing him for seven trophyless years and the rather unsavoury tabloids remarking on this every week is hardly cause for him to have a breakdown. I’m afraid if you manage a club the size of Arsenal you expect questions to be asked, the more so because Wenger used to win trophies.

    Bad officiating seems to go across the board. Manu had what seemed like a definite penalty denied them recently. I’m certainly unimpressed by refs in general but to imply that Arsenal are miles short of winning the league is down to refs alone is utterly disingenuous. Anyway let’s see proof otherwise.

    And yes we’ve had injuries but Wenger had a chance on at least two occasions to mitigate that circumstance by buying in the January window but chose not to. That particular window is not a good time to improve your squad yet it seems you can when needs must as Wenger proved when we got thumped 8-2.

    Xenophobia, maybe there is some aimed at Wenger but I’m not sure how good a judge you are of that after I read your rather hysterical reaction to commentators and their so-called anti Arsenal bias of which I could locate none. You seem more ready to serve bias than objectivity and that is a fault if you want for a true judgement.

    As for your final riposte I’m pleased that you hold yourself in such high esteem that you think you are listened to. Whether I am heard or not it’s make no odds to me.

  15. Sav from Australia
    If you were observant you would have seen us discussing politics on a comment thread afew weeks ago. We may have similar views about Arsenal but totally different political ones.

    I thought your original article was a long whine, and your response to Rupert is of the same calibre.

    There really is no point in trying to get people who have a skewed view that places the manager before the club to see any kind of sense.

  16. @Sav from Australia, paid to write on this site, if only. The time I’ve wasted posting on here I should be due around £1,000.

    Normally I don’t respond to such ludicrous nonsense but yours was so laughable I thought I’d give you the pleasure.

    Ooooh and notice Andrew and I posted near the same time, we must be working for the same AAA sponsored terrorist group. Living upside down in Oz has caused the blood to rush to your head mate.

  17. Rupert

    Yes, we are both paid AAA agents working under the control of the order of the worshipful black scarf, your code word is Red Wedge and mine is Joy Division.

  18. Joy Division was one of my favourite bands of yesteryear.

    Now with that admittance we’ll probably be accused of being the same person.

  19. Joy Division was one of my favourite bands of yesteryear.

    Now with that admittance we’ll probably be accused of being the same person.

  20. Rupert,

    you already know my views on Red Wedge.

    Also the fact you typed it in twice means you did not follow our secret encryption code given us by Lord of the Tuesday Club his highness Keith Dover.

  21. Rupert Cook,
    Your denial of media bias against AFC/AW is horseshit. Most here, save you, have seen it documented, yes documented hereabouts for two years. And it goes beyond the “expectable fan bias” that you oh, so reasonably dangle forth, provocatively, as if that were an actual explanation for someone thinking there’s bias.

    Two summers ago that actual media bias, lens crafting and bowel swill was spread (as in Manure) at its thickest and greatest depth. Collectively, we documented it here, while it was going on; and in great and specific detail. Naming names of those in the press (Sun, Guardian, Mail, TalkShite, etc.) who published article after article that continually included character assassinations of AW; regular questionings of his psychological balance; photos selected or tweaked to make him look insane; twinned with headlines that demanded his ouster; a sneering prominent pundit’s column that labeled his reaction a “rictus grin” (do you know what that means, Rupert – a death mask’s!); tabloid headlines screaming for his head, in article after blog after posting after radio-talk after MOTD after commentary after article after posting…and now you don’t remember any of this.

    In response, many here then wrote articles and extensive comments. We’ve done that here, chapter and verse. It continues less formally, but regularly. And it has paralleled the exposure of the severe refshite – where nothing, Rupert, evened out at the end – nothing. All that bias has been effectively documented here by Walter and Dogface. And there were two end-of-season reports showing the same. And the project continues.

    However, by your hollow opining, you Appear to know nothing of this background; which today, you characterise as bleatings of children run amok. Ignorant.

    Being clever is not being right, Sir Rupert. Falling back on your “chill out, its only football” attitude is knowingly evasive. (Sat I’d pluck out your eyes to deny what you had seen and researched; and then tell you oh, don’t be upset mate, it’s only football.)

    Today, you have crossed a line with me. Your pontification runs rough-shod over massive, unpaid hours of earnest effort: of fact-gathering and analysis that built-up a context for our assertions that an anti-AFC project is actually out there in powerful places. You see, before sticking it in, you might have read what we’ve collectively compiled in these convergent topics. Seemingly, we’re not worth your effort, as you fall back on adult condescension and seeming oh so reasonable.

    Rupert, you may feel that you’re pulling the wings off butterflies, but you’re not the most informed nor cleverest person in this room. My considered feeling, sorry, riposte (to speak your language) is, (to be polite) #$%$ off and do your homework.

  22. Bob,

    “an anti-AFC project is actually out there in powerful places”. I don’t know who to feel more sorry for. You for actually believing that, or Rupert for his liking of Red Wedge in the 80s.

  23. Andrew Ryan,
    Spare your one feeling of sorrow for someone else who needs it, next time you decide to take the finger out and type. Your eyes wide shut denial is beyond ignorant. And only sneering my statement away in your snarky way is all you’ve got. We’ve provided evidence, as I said above, and shuffle off now and do your homework. Or, better yet, unshut your third eye to what’s around you.

  24. Andrew Ryan,
    For homework, you might start here with the Untold Media links and you’ll start to find evidence from recent history; not the hollow repetition of a mantra that you perform. You see, coincidence repeated ad infinitum,is not evidence, Andrew. It just has the by now customary power to be repeated because it’s been “normalized” by your beloved media and pre-digested for you to then regurgitate at me. Fact: The burden of proof is shifted on to so-called conspiracy theorizing. But, if I could get this through to you, what a conspiracy is is two or more people planning something in private and at times carrying it out. That’s rather ordinary. Not the exotic creature, as you seem to wish to make it appear. I say to you, demonstrate that coincidence rules when The Dean officiates at AFC matches. Give us your evidence. And demonstrate that the mainstream media were not out on a witch hunt two summers ago to remove AW from AFC, or to cripple AFC’s chances at the top 4. What’s your evidence there. I challenge you to show that these were coincidences, Andrew. I and others have and continue to use examples to buttress our assertions. What do you have? Name-calling with “conspiracy theorists!” And then tarting it up by tossing in, oh so impressively, the dead Latin, “ad infinitum.” Well, Andrew, I’ll have to say that your touching belief in coincidence, that all things even out in the end, and its other corollaries, repeated ad nauseum, have me reaching for the air bag. We’ve done our homework, and continue to do so. Now you do yours.

  25. Bob,
    All this “we” – are you suggesting you work closely with Walter and Dogface? or are you trying to take credit for their hard work?

    I don’t seem to have seen a “bob” writing on this site.

  26. Bob,
    All this “we” – are you suggesting you work closely with Walter and Dogface? or are you trying to take credit for their hard work?

    I don’t seem to have seen a “bob” writing on this site.

  27. Oh no I must be Rupert as I too have performed the double comment trick. I’ll have to get new codes from the high grand master of the Black Scarf Brigade.

  28. (My apologies to other readers, this is not worth your time… it’s just intended for this person who thinks cliche and accusation are the same as actual analysis and debate:)
    Andrew Ryan,
    Ah, you throw down the guantlet! Now comes the litmus and loyalty test. Well, mate, look under Untold Media link from the UA homepage and you might still be able to find my two articles two summers ago. I’ve posted a very large number of actual analyses in the comments, many on media coverage from the Guardian, etc., and well beyond the gutter sniping that you’ve summoned forth today. And I consider myself in lock-step with Walter and Tony on the ongoing media critique that has gone on here. I also am a founder here with Anne Thompson of the former more formal effort that went on for a while here known as Untold Media. I wouldn’t expect you to know of or recall that. But that’s what happens when you do your homework, Andrew, rather than sling forth with hints and allegations of my not belonging on the media watch hereabouts. So, you may not “seem to have seen” (gotta love your use of the mother tongue) anything like a “bob” writing here; but that’s my very point, Andrew – you don’t see very much with your eyes wide shut. There are many people here who are regulars, as analyst-commenters, and who contribute to the fullness of this website, whether they formally post an article or not. There are, continue to be and have been great posters here, with penetrating and lengthy analyses. So what you, Andrew, “seem” to have seen, or not, is not the best test of veracity, it would seem. Have some humility lad. I wouldn’t take credit for anyone’s hard work, but my own. And replying to your snide one-liners is becoming hard work.

  29. Andrew Ryan,
    (to continue)
    oh, and as for the content of one of your accusations:
    In my posting, I commend Walter and Dogface for analyzing the refshite and demonstrating that something stinks in the state of denmark; and ally it with the work of UA, Anne Thompson, and include myself in the demonstration that something stinks in the bowels of UK media. I’d call that alliance (which includes many others who haven’t written an article, but who write frequently and at great length here)a royal “we”.

    Yet somehow, to win your debating trophy and shield your feeling (singular), you accuse me of trying to take credit for the hard work of Walter and Dogface. Now Andrew, please do put down the remote control, back off from Sky, and have a sip of tea, Andrew…Andrew?

  30. Andrew Ryan,
    I feel good that you actually can spell “Bob” and learned to capitalize what has not been capitalized. But you can spell rant, which makes me feel better, in that my tax money will have gone to that much at least. Now, if you could string together a paragraph that actually analyzed anything I’d feel better about the education system. You might want to try to provide your evidence that coincidence, not conspiracy exerts the greater influence on Arsenal’s results under one Mike “The Dean” Dean. Did you forget that piece of the argument? Or does it take you back to the debate over evidence that you manage to avoid by screaming “conspiracy”! C’mon Andrew, try that out. Then I’ll feel even better.

  31. Andrew Ryan,
    Oh, it’s Twitter to blame for your confusing brevity with content? And you still can’t/won’t/don’t reach 141 characters in content…
    Alright, a man’s got to know his limitations, said Clint Eastwood. Let’s be Valentines (?)

  32. bob

    I’m actually feeling better about the whole ref and media stuff. Not that it’s not happening anymore. Rather, the more I look around the internet and Arsenal blogs, at least the decent ones, the more its become apparent that referees’ treatment of Arsenal, and the media coverage of Arsenal and Wenger, is being noticed and is accepted by more and more people.

    Much as Andrew might like to bring back the ‘conspiracy theory’ jibe, it’s a little late for that. People who believe that the club isn’t doing enough, even some people who want Wenger gone, people who believe we should sell to Usmanov..a lot of these people too see it and acknowledge it. So let Andre and Rupert have their noses up in the air and call conspiracy while throwing in their pithy, concise crap. They aren’t here for a debate.

  33. Rupert and Andrew Ryan……my article wasn’t a rant but a series of questions and possible answers, whether proven or not (most have been)that I offered here for serious consideration. But you two choose to ridicule honest debate and promote rancour and disharmony in order to appear savvy and cool on a pro-Arsenal website.
    If you are so sure of your opinions, please offer alternate explanations for the FA-FFA and EUFA concerns I wrote about…which are universal to Football, a sport you claim to love, and not just affecting the Arsenal.
    You two have successfully kidnapped the conversation with pointless rhetoric… why don’t you respond to the questions with your own impressions about what is going on worldwide…never mind media bias against Wenger….that is far less serious than the corruption and criminality Football faces worldwise.

  34. No Bob I don’t remember any of it because I don’t waste my time listening to TalkShite as you so humorously call it. Or read the Sun or any newspaper so that’ll be the reason for my ignorance on the matter. I’m sure you’ve done a sterling job exposing the vile outpourings aimed at Wenger and I commend you for it. The only paper I read is the Observer and I listen to FiveLive every now and then.

    I’m impressed by your righteous zeal in the battle to save Wenger from the hobgoblins of the gutter press but I wonder if that titanic purity of soul that shines so bright from your holy person might be better employed in saving the rain forests or feeding those in the grip of famine. You may think me flippant but I’m not. The world needs good people like you to police it. In other words Bob I bow to your good works and crave your forgiveness.

    And Shard I’m always up for debate.

  35. Oh and Bob did I suggest things evened out? Don’t assume things. I would never declare myself a follower of such a false science.

    But a conspiracy against Arsenal? How weird and wonderful and downright bizarre. Next you’ll be telling me that man never walked on the moon.

  36. No rupert. You’re not. You said it yourself. You see this as a pissing contest. Those weren’t your exact words but that was the gist of it. And if bob’s titanic spirit can actually just manage to shut you up, it would be a task no less worthy than those that you recommend for him.

  37. @bob

    I remember all the articles and analysis you are talking about. Thanks for all the reminders.

    I don’t remember Andrew and Rupert being about on this site at the time.

    Maybe it’s time they looked up some of that back material.

  38. @Shard et al, why are you people so terrified of people who have different opinions?

    I’ve no idea why some of you are so defensive.

    And I’ve no idea what this pissing contest is. I point out a few things I disagree with and the vigorous hounds of hell are unleashed.

    @Dom, did I disagree with your whole article? No. I only took issue with point four. The rest I have not ventured to investigate having better things to do than wade through the mire that is the FA and other such governing bodies.

  39. you lot are all a bit bonkers, but underlying your hatstand conspiracy theories is probably a kernel of truth!

    If you think about it logically, most media personnel will have their own tribalistic bias towards their favourite club, and will take unbridled glee on warping and twisting a story on a club they perceive to be their historic rivals, or current rivals in a football sense.

    Therefore, if reporter A is a Spurs fan, he will naturally pen articles which denigrate the Arsenal. He will also probably be equally poisonous towards perceived current rivals in the league, such as City, United and Chelsea.

    The net effect of one reporter straying from the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, is he has managed to wind up perhaps millions of football supporters in his career. Multiply this one reporter by the whole industry, bloggers, football sites who repeat stories in total or part, and you have a situation where the unbiased writer sticks out like a sore thumb!

    Add to supporter bias the need for hits and sensation by websites and papers, you have an entire industry built on anything but objective reporting – I’m sure editors actively demand their writer deliberately concoct articles to outrage in order to boost circulation and website hits to attract sponsorships.

    You Arsenal fans think you’re being attacked on all fronts, and in truth, you probably are, but so are everyone else, just go on any big clubs fan forums, and you will read the same complaints.

    Because we all have our allegiances, it would be astonishing if referees were an exception too – they are supposed to put these to one side, but I would suggest that is impossible to achieve 100 percent of the time.

    What can you do?

    Challenge obvious bias wherever you find it, praise objectivity, and hope for the best, because it’s human nature.

    When you find yourself in the situation where the media think you’re quaint, and stop slagging you off, then you’re in trouble, as you’re no longer a threat, and so not competing.

  40. Rupert…………please do all of us a favour and take the time, which you seem to have amply available to come on this website and post, to delve into the other questions and suggested responses I proposed and research what is going on. If your ¨better things to do¨ include coming here and spending your time in endless debate, it would be properly spent on looking at ¨the mire that is the FA, the EUFA, and FIFA. the more thoughtful investigations people do, the more light is shed on their corruption and vile machinations and subsequently the more service is done to help Football.

  41. Everton manager David Moyes says Arsène Wenger is right to suggest Arsenal’s consistent top four finishes are as valuable as winning trophies.

    In a recent interview Moyes stated “The year we(Everton) finished in the top four I didn’t get a trophy to run round Goodison, but it nearly felt like that.”

    Slightly off topic but last nights “Footballers Football Show” is worth a listen. Guests include former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein.

  42. Conspiracy theories are just questions waiting for facts to form into answers. This site has regularly been ahead of the curve in questioning some dark dealings in football in Europe. I don’t doubt that all the theories are well researched and there can be little doubt now that there are on-going investigations into match-fixing. It would be important not to focus too much on the so-called Asian origins of this corruption as if it is always ‘ver there’. There are many links in this chain and there is so much money sloshing about that there are willing parties in this sports fraud. Managers, team owners, players, referees and I dare say, journalists too. It is important for Untold to keep up its ‘questioning’ to shed light on some of these shadowy corners of the football world.

  43. @Dom, I certainly would not dismiss any of your research into the dark world of football’s governing bodies. I have a natural suspicion of all forms of authority, something I gained in early life and as I’ve aged my doubts have become reinforced.

    I devote my time to other passions than Arsenal, a poor admission I know but as I rush through middle age I feel time is a precious article and I reward it, I feel, by dividing it between my other loves: reading, collecting records, listening to music and watching films. Arsenal has been displaced in my hierarchy and struggles to fascinate me as it did in my school years.

    Also with corruption endemic in sport I feel my interest dwindling in all competitive pursuits. Greed appears to be the main spur in modern society, though it was ever thus I suppose, except these days it seems to be more voracious and all encompassing. The more we delve into the machinations and intrigues of our society the more cynicism presides over our wrinkled souls.

    Bob and Dom, keep on fighting the good fighting and if I question your conclusions it’s not out of disrespect, it’s simply that I nag at the truth and want it polished and sacrosanct from the taint of dust.

  44. “keep on fighting the good fight” that should read. It pricks my vanity when I write a piece and it is fouled by a basic error.

  45. “keep on fighting the good fight” that should read. It pricks my vanity when I write a piece and it is fouled by a basic error.

  46. Rupert Cooked,
    I don’t gotten to your snarky sanctification of my “holy persona”. Up thine. As for your hole-ly persona: likewise, don’t assume anything – in this case, about the narrowness or breadth of my energies. In your either-or construction of things, some of us here understand what’s unfair both here and there. Get it?

  47. p.s. sorry, Rupie, but i meant I don’t “cotton” (not gotten) to your snarky sanctification….

  48. Nice work Dom – a BIG LIKE from me .
    About to exit Untold for the weekend, so I will leave you guys with sayings from all over the globe .May be relevent to some , Gibberish to others ,but was funny as hell for me !

    Jewish/ Hebrew saying –
    Don’t approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side.

    From Austria –
    A light is still a light – even though the blind man cannot see it.

    From Ethopia –
    Advise and counsel him; if he does not listen, let adversity teach him.

    From England –
    A fool may ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in seven years.

    From Vietnam –
    If you want to gather a lot of knowledge, act as if you are ignorant.

    From Slovenia –
    Speak the truth, but leave immediately after.

    Point taken ! Bye !

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