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Ref corruption: it is time to start questioning Manchester United

By Walter Broeckx

Tinfoil hats they said. We were idiots. We were mad. Crazy, deluded. The usual bunch of nice words you get when you dare to challenge the ‘authorities’ in football.

Now it seems that Mark Halsey has opened the box (dare I say Pandora’s box?) and it will be interesting to see how this will be dealt with by the media and the PGMOL.

Apparently Mark Halsey has openly admitted that he had phone and text contact with the former head of the PGMOL.  No sorry, the formed head of  Manchester United. It’s so easy to get mixed up at times.

I quote this from the article in the Mirror as someone send me the link. You can read it here.

Now Halsey is telling that it all was done in the aftermath of the incidents surrounding Clattenburg after last seasons fixture Chelsea – Manchester United. I will quote from the article : ‘I took matters in my own hands and rang Sir Alex asking him to speak out. “He agreed and used his Friday press conference to say he could not conceive of Mark saying such things. It helped the situation a great deal.”

Now the first question that arises if of course….how did Halsey contact Sir Alex? Did he have his number already? Now if that were the case this alone is already enough to raise the eyebrows. A ref is not expected to have the phone number of a PL manager. In fact it is against all rules to have direct contact with a manager.

But looking at the whole article it seems that this wasn’t the first and only time that Halsey had contact with Sir Alex. There were other contacts which nobody knew about until now. Just carry on reading and I quote again from the article:

Halsey added: “It took time to gain Sir Alex Ferguson’s respect but in the end we had a very good relationship.”    He went on to insist: “One thing should be made clear about my relationship with Sir Alex. “I may have spoken to him a lot and shared texts but he knew when I crossed that white line there were no favours. Players and managers would not respect you if you gave decisions based on friendship.”

So if I understand this correct Halsey is saying that it took a while to gain his respect. Now pardon me but why on earth would a PL referee want to gain the respect of a manager? And what exactly has he done in the end to gain this respect?

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What has Halsey done to get a very good relationship with Sir Alex? Give him a few decisions?  Or broken the fundamental rule of refereeing that referees do not have informal direct contact with managers?

It is clear that having a relationship with one of the managers in the PL is totally out of order. And doubly so when this relationship is secret. As it was.

Because (and forgive me for repeating this but it is a fundamental point in our efforts to suggest that all is not well in the world of Premier League refereeing) it is forbidden by the rules to have direct contact with managers of the teams that you referee games of.

And yet this is what happened, as was confirmed and again I quote by “A spokesman” who said: “At the beginning of the season all our referees were reminded of the importance of adhering to the PGMOL protocols. This covers a number of issues, including making direct contact with managers and players, which for integrity reasons is prohibited.

“Any new publicity will only heighten awareness of adhering to these important PGMOL guidelines.  Referees contravening the guideline would be subject to disciplinary action if any case against them were proved.”

So what Halsey did was against the rules. And the fact that he talks about doing it for Clattenburg is one thing but from the rest of these quotes we can have the impression that he had more contacts with him. And contacts before the Clattenburg incident.

So this leaves us with a few questions that need urgent answers:

  1. How did Halsey have Sir Alex’ phone number?
  2. How did Sir Alex have Halsey’s phone number?
  3. Since when did they have each other’s phone number?
  4. What did Halsey do to get a very good relationship with Sir Alex?
  5. Are there any other refs who also have the phone number of Sir Alex?
  6. Does Sir Alex have phone numbers of other refs?
  7. Has there ever been any contact (phone or text) between Sir Alex and any other refs?

If the answer to the questions 4, 5 or 6 is a yes then the PL, the FA and the PGMOL should take immediate action. Because this is unacceptable. As the PGMOL spokesman has said himself.

The only actions that should be taken in such case are : remove the refs from their function as refs, and ban Sir Alex from any function in football for the rest of his life.

Those are two steps that are necessary to do immediately to gain some credibility. And then depending on how many phone numbers of how many refs are involved declare the games of these refs involving Manchester United as lost.

They took away 6 Tour de France victories from Lance Armstrong because he had cheated with doping. I wonder how many league titles should be taken away because Sir Alex had “very good relationships” with some refs and the refs had “earned his respect”. Because the fact alone that refs might have contact with the most important manager of them all is enough to bring the whole league in to disrepute.

In the years gone by I have on numerous occasions said that the only way forward would be to investigate phone calls as they did in Italy to find out the calciopoli wrong doings. If the police had done this also in the PL then the contacts between Halsey and Sir Alex would have been found out. And action could have been taken earlier.

Oh how they shrugged their shoulders when I wrote that I saw all the signs of  Calciopoli in the PL. Well Calciopoli in Italy was also based on making phone calls nobody knew about. What more phone calls have been made between Sir Alex and other refs?

The fact that it came out now because of a ref retiring shows is amazing. But it shouldn’t be. Because the PGMOL pays money to refs who end their career. The only thing they have to do to get that big cheque is to sign a declaration that they will not say a word about their career once retired.

Another thing that needs to be answered urgently is the question:  Has the PGMOL started an investigation to check if other refs had contact with Sir Alex? When did they investigate this and how?

I wonder…why on earth do the PGMOL have to pay “silence money”? Is there so much more to hide then?

(If you are new to our continuous review of referee issues in the Premier League you might find it interesting to look at the article list at the foot of our latest ref review…)


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133 comments to Ref corruption: it is time to start questioning Manchester United

  • Va Cong

    If there is an investigation and Manchester united do have titles taken back do the 2nd team get it then?

  • gouresh

    staggering! is the word that comes to mind. but I have a feeling that nothing will come to light unless red nose passes away. something like that comedian on the BBC.

  • Adam

    Walter, Halsey is from Welwyn garden city, near me. He relocated to Manchester some time ago. Why is anyone’s guess. I was hoping Halsey would be the whistle blower and help change the PGMO, but I guess I was wrong in that assumption.

    I’m sure I brought Halsey’s relocation up some time ago.

  • UtdFan

    What a ridiculous article. The ref scored all the goals did he? The ref took training, fitness work and coaching, did he? The ref set the team up and worked on tactics, did he? Halsey officiated all of United’s games, did he? Whoever wrote this article is a moron.

  • Manchester United should be investigated for any incident of match fixing with referees!

  • UtdFan

    Presume that my first response will get moderated out!

  • gouresh

    Hi Walter, i have used this article elewhere to make a point to my manure following friends. i hope u don’t mind.

  • AL

    Someone posted the results from all the games involving man utd under halsey from the 2005/2006 season to the end of last season when he retired, and guess what, utd won them all. All 14 of them. And these include some tough matches away at Liverpool and spurs. Who can put pressure on the police to investigate? This needs to be properly looked into…. but I fear nothing will be done about this.

  • fairfax Kalwande

    Manchester is ref favored club,No doubt but days or years cant be turned back

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thank you for calling me a moron. If that is the way you have been brought up you should report your parents as they clearly failed in their job to bring you up properly.

    In fact it is against the house rules to insult the writers on this site and it should get you banned. But I thought that you visiting for the first time probably did not know this.

    Now you know. And if you do it again we will kick you out.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Another note for “Truthmonger” who pretended to be an Arsenal fan (AAA type) and who now showed his true colours (Utd fan) with another name but our system detected him: go somewhere else. Thank you.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Back to our guest Utdfan.

    The ref scored all the goals did he? No but giving a penalty for one team, not given a penalty for the other team is what he could do and done.

    The ref took training, fitness work and coaching, did he? No because if he would have trained with UTd he would be allowed to do games from utd. They are not that dumb.

    The ref set the team up and worked on tactics, did he? No, he maybe set up his own tactics?

    Halsey officiated all of United’s games, did he? No, therefore our question that needs urgent answering : was there any other ref who phoned or texted with SAF?

    The thing is that we now know that Halsey did exchange messages with SAF, asking for a favour. Has there been other exchanges? And remember as the PGMOL said these exchanges are illegal and should not happen. And more importantly: who else?

    Maybe first answer those questions before you start questions that are ridiculous.

  • WalterBroeckx

    No problem Gouresh. 😉

  • sitesired

    It saddens me to see how something so simple can be turned into a conspiracy . You should of been a policeman , no wonder
    detection rates are so low .

  • Din

    People like to be heard… Anybody can get Sir Alex ferguson’s numbers… All managers in the premier league call each other so wats so strange about a referee calling SAF to clear situations that are complex…. Don’t fool ur self my dear friend NO AMOUNT of ur idiotic Rant will discredit or dis countenance SAF credibility and pedigree… Get another story may be u mite be lucky to get popular

  • Shard

    Halsey asking for a professional favour for another referee from a Manchester Utd manager. Which was duly obliged by Ferguson in his presser. And some see nothing wrong with that? And this is only one incident which has come to light. Somewhat inadvertently, and because Halsey did not take the 50k pound non disclosure payoff by the PGMOL.

    I have been Halsey’s supporter, and you know, maybe he still is one of the good guys in terms of refereeing. But if even the good guys are so compromised, what about the rest?

    Still, this will also be glossed over, never to be mentioned in the mainstream media again. Just like the 50th game and Riley’s promotion. The correlation of that with Dean’s record for Arsenal. ManU getting virtual veto on ref appointments. The implications for Bryan Robson, Alex Ferguson and ManU in the Channel 4 documentary etc etc.. No..Clearly Walter, we are the ones wearing the tin foil hats.

  • Nick

    Everyone who reads this and thinks this is a good article is an idiot.

    The whole Refs favouring United thing is rubbish and getting very old. Just as many decisions go for AND AGAINST united as the other big teams.

    United have one title after title due to better structure from Academy to first team than any other “top 4” team except maybe Arsenal, ability to buy great players within the clubs means and not from a sugar daddy owner, and a better Manager controlling this and everything else and instilling a better mentality amongst the players.

    It also helps to have a strong established structure in place that remains consistent (unlike the likes of Chelsea), as this doesn’t unsettle the players every season.

    Looking for excuses and making them up to explain why they win is just pathetic. Instead of doing this the teams should be spending more time looking at what they are doing wrong.

    Arsenal now have an advantage due to an establish manager a hierarchy, strong Academy and now money to spend. They need to make the most of this and push on to the top. If they start winning does that make them cheats too?

    Winning doesn’t automatically make a team cheats any more than losing makes teams cheated.

    Have Arsenal failed to win for all these years because everyone else cheats or because the board and Arsene Wenger made some poor decisions?

    Grow up all of you!!

  • Nik, to take one statement from your commentary you say

    The whole Refs favouring United thing is rubbish and getting very old. Just as many decisions go for AND AGAINST united as the other big teams.

    Now you present no evidence of this, just a set of statements ending with “Grow up all of you!!” which is more of an insult than a presentation of evidence.

    As you will know, this site has a mass of statistics on it, as does the Referee Decisions site, and these are debated at length by readers. You could of course come along and say why you think all these stats, or at least some of them, are wrong. But “Grow up all of you!!” doesn’t actually say much for your argument.

    Indeed, if I may venture to say so, it makes you look rather silly.

  • Din please forward me Sir Alex’ number

  • UtdFan

    Apologies for the offence to the author, shouldn’t have done that & thank you for allowing my initial post.

    Overall though, i don’t think that articles with this type of content are relevant or merited.
    United are where they are over the last few years because of wonderful players, an un-relenting manager and winning DNA engrained into the majority of the first 11 players.

    They won all of the games that Halsey officiated because they won the majority of the games that they have played. That’s why they have 20 Titles.

    Stats can be presented/manipulated to represent any opinion but the contents of the article is a stretch to say the least!!

    United have had more than their fair share of bad decisions over the years.

    To the author, why not write an article about the promise that Arsenal have shown so far this season in the league & last night in the CL?

  • WalterBroeckx


    let me take you on your word: give me SAF his phone number. You can send it a post and will delete it as soon as possible and then I will phone him and ask him how many other phone numbers of refs he has.

    And what is strange about a ref calling a manager, what part of this did you not understand from the statement of the PGMOL (the company that is running the refs in the PL) : “At the beginning of the season all our referees were reminded of the importance of adhering to the PGMOL protocols. This covers a number of issues, including making direct contact with managers and players, which for integrity reasons is prohibited.

  • Nathan

    Guys there is no way that Fifa, UEFA or the FA will investigate these matters unless sir Alex drops it the same as an ex-united defender writing in his biography that fergie was asking/
    teaching players to dive. How ever when SAF does drop you can guarantee they will be a full investigation followed by points dectuction, the taking away of pl titles maybe other cups and also a nice new start in a lower division followed by a huge fine and points deduction for that season.

  • ak47

    The writer has a pop Utdfan parents?

    What about your own parents? did they teach you to make suggestive accusations without an iota of proof???

    That fact you make ludicrous suggestions about a referees impartiality says a lot about yourself more than anything.

    Does that mean if i have your wife’s number? i’m smashing her back doors in?

    Please, please, do think before you write such garbage which could actually find you facing legal action.

  • Nick

    Tony Attwood,

    I have better things to do with my time than generate statistics to rubbish a stupid claim.

    My point about growing up stems from the fact that claims like this are just getting old and are repeated without REAL evidence. I could throw statistics out there but what do they really prove except a decision was made at any one time that may or may not have been correct? Just because a referee comes out to claim that he had these “texts” doesn’t make it true, nor does it prove that anything was asked the other way.

    If I was to come out and accuse you of a criminal offense does that automatically make it true? No. Would it require investigating? Not necessarily. Many things require multiple accusations before they are even considered by the police or courts, why should this be any different?

    You picked up on the most irrelevant comment and ignored any of the points I made, although I respect the polite manner in which you did it, as many people jump straight to insults.

    But I think you missed the point, I said grow up because people forever jump on a bandwagon and repeat nonsense accusations despite hard “evidence” as you call it. Many of these are unoriginal and immature. I would expect any real fan of the game to be able to make an original and valid point rather than just say “cheat” if they lose.

    And btw, statistics do not constitute hard evidence so I am not wasting my time.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Utd fan, the site is full of such articles 😉

    apologies accepted by the way.

    One of the things that seems to pass on most Utd fans is the fact that they don’t see any problems when refs and managers ask favours.

    The instructions are that refs and managers do never have direct contact outside the playing field. There is a reason for this you know.

    Now if Halsey would have accepted his money to shut up for once and for all we would not know that such things happens.

    Just imagine that now Wenger would have the phone numbers of the refs. And that he would phone them and that favours would be done. Would you accept that?

  • WalterBroeckx

    so you suggest Halsey is lying?

    What about this: “At the beginning of the season all our referees were reminded of the importance of adhering to the PGMOL protocols. This covers a number of issues, including making direct contact with managers and players, which for integrity reasons is prohibited.”

    So let us presume that Halsey is telling the truth? Then what?

  • Just a little note for anyone thinking of writing in and telling us that we are being rather silly in our analysis without first looking at some of the analyses that have been done here in the past…

    First, you are of course welcome to comment, but if you just issue abuse or tell us we are silly, without any of the stats or analysis of the type that has been presented in the articles referred to, it does make you seem a little foolish.

    Of course it is nice for us, since it pushes us up the rankings, so by all means continue, but by and large we do prefer proper debate with some analyses and statistical input.

  • George

    Sour grapes from fans of a team who has not won anything for ages.

    Did you then corrupt the ref at Sunderland last week.

    Come on, grow up!

  • WalterBroeckx

    And another question that one seems to neglect is : Why does the PGMOL pays money at the end of a career so the refs would remain silent for the rest of their lives?

    Is that because there is something to hide? I have compared the PGMOL with the Mafia at times and I didn’t even know that they paid silence money. Paying silence money is very Mafia like to me…

  • Tom

    Yes , questions should be raised about the relationship between SAF and Premier League refs, and not just based on phone calls that might’ve been made by either party but also by some of the touch line behaviour exhibited by Ferguson towards some of the refs over the years. The obvious bullying of refs when calls were perceived to be made against Man U and over friendliness when things were going according to the script. Things like poking a ref while walking by or grabbing his shoulder to exchange a few words , only to walk away with both man smiling used to be a common place during some games I watched over the years. Signs that , don’t necessarily indicate corruption but show at the very least a level of relationship not shared by other managers and referees, one that might’ve gone beyond simple respect. Troubling as this was to some , it was vastly ignored by media who saw it as a harmless example of just another special night at “the theatre of dreams” . Some football experts probably recognized it for what it was ,when they said that having Ferguson on the touch line was worth at least ten points per season for United , and I don’t think they just meant he was a good tactician. I hope your questions will be answered( I’m not holding my breath) but if I can offer one point of critique, it would be this. Suggesting even jokingly that SAF was the head of PGMOL might play well with some Untold followers but it won’t gain you much credibility with others. Keep up the good work and take care.

  • President of PGMOL

    El Presidente here and I can confirm that the dark lord is in fact responsible for not just corrupting referees but of all the ills in the world. Through secret texts and messages he authorised president Assad to use chemical weapons. In a fiendishly evil plot on conjunction with Louis Walsh he created “Jedward” and the diabolical genius has been secretly contacting drinks company’s for years to ensure you have a horrific hangover in the morning. Death to the knight i say!!

    – This kind of ridiculous article where you are implying that a referee somehow gave Utd points through dubious decisions is verging on sad
    – You’ve got the nut job brigade calling for “police action” above.
    – I particularly enjoyed your “evidence” of Utd winning all 14 games he officiated. No mention of the fact that very few would have even had a contentious decision. It’s not Sir Alex Ferguson’s fault that Arsenal have been poor and they haven’t. There’s only one place to look and that’s at yourselves.
    – This is embarrassing stuff which I would have expected on Liverpool site and is unworthy of what is generally a decent team and lot of supporters.


    y must u people often try to ridicule man utd succesful tour, shud i say bcus u are nt a man utd fan or jst a protagonist of one’s fortune or success. u guys shud jst concentrate on ur own self career.

  • Nick


    I’m suggesting that people consider the possibility rather than automatically assume it’s true. It could very well be true, but what he has said has not suggested United asked for any favors. Nor can I say that it’s 100% not possible that Ferguson did have refs in his pocket.

    All I am trying to point out is that the level of influence that he would need to have over a very large number of refs, to have had the level of success he has had would be colossal and therefore unlikely and that this is no proof for it so people should stop pretending it is.

    I have long thought that the refs subconsciously favor the top table teams for whatever reason, fear, assumption that the bigger team would be fairer/right….I don’t know. I just don’t think that United can be singled out in this nor has it been what has set United above the other top teams like Chelsea, Arsenal etc.

    It is the other things I mentioned which have done that and people should stop looking for excuses to feel hard done by.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sometimes its a thin line between allowing some to make a fool of themselves by approving their comment or spare them and ban their comments….

    once again: “This covers a number of issues, including making direct contact with managers and players, which for integrity reasons is prohibited.”

  • D_G

    Many here dont believe in conspiracy theories although conspiracies are occuring worldwide every day and every mnute of the day i would say.
    I was flying the other day on emirates, and they have special shows for teams sponsored by emirates and being a gooner , i flicked to the gooner channel and they were showing an interview with keown him watching and commentating on our game against manu in 2002 at OT where we won the title.
    The tackles which were flying from manu in that game without any player being red carded was just unbelievable. Our players got yellow carded for the slightest touches. I would recommend every gooner to watch that show with keown to know what im talking about. He was simply,shocked and he said it how every call went in manu’s favor and he was short of saying that the ref,was bought out. Not only that , he said arsenal reached to a level where they knew they would go to 10 men in games unjustly so they practice for it. I recall back then saying how arsenal played as well or even better with a fewer player on pitch. The feeling of unjust was prevalent it seems at arsenal. Manu were like nowhere near our strength back then and they knew it and keiwn very intelligently spoke about many issues and players.
    My colleague at,work his dad attended this referee speech where they speak about refereeing and the speaker was a ref who retired few years back and writes in papers nowadays. He told,the audience shockingly that refs were instructed to be lenient with rooney at manu and not send him off. This is amazing. Im sure many times many fans from all clubs wondered why rooney was not sent off every other game. The ”foreign’ players at arsenal who were hated for no valid reason always got on the wrong end of things. Just imagne if vieira was english or freddie or…
    Calls for years went in favr of,manu leading to them winning many undeserving titles. The intention of those refs was to give manu titles but who can prove it??!!
    It,was a disgusting period for football in the uk. Before anyone spouts about those things not existing then how come match fixers were caught in italy/germany etc…
    Manu always benefited from dodgy penalty calls at OT and this is a fact. The rooney dive to award manu the win in our 50th game unbeaten along wth instances like the game where edourdo broke his leg and the bad penalty call against us. Oh well.

  • D_G

    And halsey is the bastard who allowed intentionally newcastle to draw with us after being 4-0 up.instead of sending off the scummiest player to grace english football for breaking diabys leg for i dont know how many times and that was barton, he sent off diaby for lashing out after his leg being destroyed..

    Then he gave 2 dodgy penalties to newcastle…amazing really…too corrupt,to be true..

    when i recall rooney treatment and how that pig red neck rooney got away with murder in games..

    I would never want his sorry fat ass at arsenal that uncultured pig…

  • WalterBroeckx

    this site and our sister site refereesdecisions have been trying to have a look at the referees issues.

    Last season with 65% of the refs who did the reviews not being Arsenal supporters. And the conclusion over the last two seasons was the same. you can find it on the website if you care to have a look.

    Of course people can brush it apart and ignore it. But we have written about that there could be phone calls made (just like in Italy when Calciopoli was doing the job for Juventus) and the same system could be in place.

    And do you think that Halsey would have let such a thing be published when it wasn’t true? Would he risk being sued by SAF for telling lies? And for discrediting him? I know he wanted to give SAF credit by showing how SAF cared about the refs. I think he never thought of the fact that the other side of the story is : why on earth would you want to ask a manager to do a favour to a ref.

    Because now it might look that Clattenburg has to be thankful to SAF and Utd for standing up for him when he was wrongly accused. So when Clattenburg now would make an honest mistake as I think he is an honest ref in favour of Utd. Could it be that it would be Clattenburg returning a favour? I doubt he would do it as I have heard good things about him but still having a shadow of doubt hanging over a ref is the worst thing that can happen.

  • President of PGMOL

    Not sure if I upset with last comment or just a slow mediation process. genuine question though. Why is Tony demanding statistical evidence when you have presented none yourself. You can’t prove a negative!

  • Nick


    Are you trying to suggest that I am making a fool of myself because I do not see how? You are ignoring my point.

    Have I once said that the contact is right? Have I once said that it doesn’t damage the integrity of the people involved?

    I am saying it is not proof of cheating nor does ONE referee saying its so or being in his pocket (even if he was) explain a managers success over 27 years.

  • President of PGMOL

    last comment and I appreciate being allowed to play! Surely Clattenburg’s point was about doing football a favour by standing up fro a person clearly wrongly accused of being a racist. You can make anything look dubious in this manner but if he had done any favours why would he talk about it in the press. He would be implicating himself!

  • Goonerd

    (0) 7336 673448

    is Fergies phone number. Which just so happens to spell out ‘red nose git’ in letters on the number pad.

  • D_G

    Funny just read this article from keown…look at the fines arsenal got just for celebrating ruuds missed penalty…wasnt that unjust?!

    He did mention ruud in the video where he commentated on our game against them in 2002

  • WalterBroeckx

    it was aimed at people whose comment was not published

  • Afc all day

    Why didn’t news of the world Tap SAF’s phone. If anyone’s phone why not his? Personally I think certain Man U teams have been crap and I just don’t understand how they have been winning titles. Another club I have doubts about is Barcelona. Yes they have an amazing team but when things don’t go their way the refs or lionsmen are their twelfth man just ask mourino. It’s sad that money rules everything.

  • Adam

    I was under the impression that Untold had covered how many bent refs it would take to tilt the title towards a club? And that would vary from club to club.

    With a side as talented as Manchester United it would only take a few results either within their games or by nobbling close rivals.

    Whereas getting a lower table team up the league would take a little more planning and the positioning of certain favourable officials.

    Getting a Stoke like side to win the league through referee bias would be all too obvious.

    So giving united a little extra boost is all that is needed and that would not take the majority of the select group officials.


    If we look at the actual evolution of the PGMOL it has it’s roots in the LMA and there insistence on change. So it would be a valid exercise to research the evolution of the current set-up directed by those who wanted change.

    Sir Alex Ferguson & David Moyes are on the executive board for the LMA. No manager from outside of the UK sits on this influential committee. Maybe retaining this power/influence was more important to united than getting a top foreign manager in the hot seat?

  • mic

    is it that hard? there should be no direct contact btw refs and players/managers. if a ref says he had contact with a manger,shouldn’t that ‘claim’ be investigated to find out if it is true or not? has any investigation been done with regards SAF and hasley? if yes,when and what was their findings? I am sure pple dismissed this kind of incident when it happened before until it became evident. nice job walter.

  • WalterBroeckx

    President of PGMOL, we do like to laugh ourselves a bit so we can have some fun.

    Halsey asks SAF a favour, SAF does it as asked. Clattenburg is saved.

    Maybe Halsey was proud of himself to show that he had a good relationship with SAF. Hey look guys how important I was-stuff. I could ask the best manager in the PL history a favour and he would do it for me.

    Fact is that this is wrong. The police was doing an investigation and I know how they did it partially. I know that the police had gathered evidence to show that Clattenburg is not racist at all.

    Halsey didn’t do a football a favour at all. he wanted to do a friend, a colleague a favour. In fact by phoning SAF he brought football in disrepute.

  • Nick


    OK Cool wasn’t sure sorry.

    May I say its refreshing to enter in to a debate with an opposing team on and opposing site and:

    a. have comments allowed through moderation
    b. to not have descended into abuse yet

    I suppose it helps not being a Spurs fan though 🙂

  • Adam

    Sorry, I should have stated the above link is direct evidence for Ferguson’s involvement in the current set-up of PGMOL and the re-training of referee’s. His apology to Mr Wiley is followed up by “a way forward” for official’s.

    Why would the LMA link this in if Ferguson didn’t agree.

    I think people really need to read this document to understand how we have come to where we are.

  • AL

    Apparently it appears quite a few people may have had Ferguson’s number. Nothing wrong with that, only that some of those people shouldn’t have had his number, or it would raise some interesting questions. One such individual is a certain Joe Sim, a fixer & gambling syndicate member from the Far East who claimed to have a brotherly relationship with Ferguson and also claimed to be able to get the reporter anything from Ferguson, including players on loan should he buy a division one side. In the program he is called by Robson and he tells Robson he will catch up with him after dinner with bin Hammam, the Qatari FA chief who was given a life ban by Fifa for corruption. To substantiate his claims he even asked the reporter to call him after a match at OT and the undercover reporter indeed spoke with Ferguson during that call. Now, it may just be that this Joe Sim individual was using his relationship with Ferguson to push his own agenda, but I would be concerned if a ring leader of a gambling syndicate claimed to be best friends with my club’s manager. Not just being friends, he went on to claim Ferguson helped him with betting advice too. That’s a direct conflict of interest right there. I am still surprised not much was made of this story.

    Here is a link to the story as it was reported in the Telegraph;

    For those that are lazy to read through I quote an excerpt from the article;

    “They are then introduced to Joe Sim, a Far Eastern businessman and adviser to the Thai FA, who talks repeatedly of his close personal friendship with Sir Alex Ferguson. He even passes the phone to the Manchester United manager to talk to one of the reporters when they are out together for a meal.
    Sim and Robson both boast how they would get players on loan from United once they had bought one or two of the many Championship and Football League clubs they claim are open to a takeover.”


    So when it turns out a ref was texting ferguson and vice versa, isn’t it possible the said ref could possibly be asked to influence a certain result in a match that didn’t even involve utd, but that Ferguson might have told Joe Sim the likely outcome of? There is more to this, and a full inquiry should be conducted.

  • Kevin vantus

    The author didn‘t even ask if Halsey had contacted any other manager. My opinion is that the author is probably riled because this concerns man utd and i doubt if he would have wasted his time writing this nonsense if it concerned say Alan Pardew.

  • Tasos

    Walter you’ve really gone and upset them this time.

    Great article.

    Mark Halsey has intentionally or unintentionally opened a can of worms. Questions need to be asked, this whole subject needs clarification.

    Who, amongst the mainstream media, has the gumption to dare dig a little further?

    Public perception is everything and no matter how Mr Halsey may portray his association with Fergy, this stinks.

  • RVP

    If you think the sport is fixed, dont follow it! Long Live Sir Webb!

  • godwin bassey

    for 27 years only 2 titles outside england thats how good sir alex was

  • blacksheep63

    I’ve read Walter’s excellent article, which itself builds on years of unpaid work by contributors to this site and to the exposure of poor refereeing practice which may (or may not) be evidence of corruption.

    Fans of all clubs should be concerned by this, including United. There is a difference between poor decisions and cheating and we would be naive to think that NO cheating is going on in English football. Just look at horse racing, cycling, athletics and snooker if you want to see cheating in various forms. Why should football be immune?

    United and SAF have a case to answer here. I personally don’t think United’s titles should be removed, they earn’t them for the most part. But we need to be sure. So I think there should be a transparent and wide-ranging investigation into the connections between the PGML and clubs and a rooting out of bad apples. I am sure that its not just MUFC and Sir Alex and that worries.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    It would be really nice if a major blog that supports another team, perhaps one that hadn’t beaten Utd in a very long time, for dubious reasons, had done some digging and come to the conclusion that the referees were either aiding United or hindering the competition.

    Instead we get the leaky condom brigade showing up, unwilling to put in the effort to make their arguments even vaguely plausible…

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    And another thing:
    The absolutely woeful performance of the English national football team is intrinsically linked to the problems with the Premier League, one of which is that the refereeing does not encourage a standard of play comparable to international football.

  • Gf60

    @ D_G 2.21

    “And halsey is the bastard who allowed intentionally newcastle to draw with us after being 4-0 up.”

    I’m surprised that nobody seems to have picked this up. It wasn’t Halsey, it was Phil Dowd. Halsey was the ref who reversed a decision for a penalty against us at Fulham, when he went over to consult with his linesman. That was a brave decision.

  • Chizy

    It’s a good thing to read ur essay, man. Nice work but it betrays hatred than pushing out the statistics you gave us.
    I think those in the football business are closer than we think outside here. It quite understandable, they are not suppose to be mortal enemies or always be the opposite of one another all in the name of football, are they?
    It seems as if u are presenting only the statistics which favour what you have in mind; u do not care in the least others that went against them.
    If other teams have won the EPL aside Utd, have ever cared to look into the reason why they won it. Isn’t it them most focused team win every season? Or is it rather by chance and favoritism from officials?
    Had the lost their bribery power when Mourinho came and guided Chelsea to their two consecutive EPL titles?
    When Mancity came from behind to claim the title, why didn’t ManUtd bribe to win the derby which decided it?
    Are they also in the business of giving bribe to other teams so that they can beat other league contenders so that they (ManUtd) alone could top the table and win the league?
    If it were true that referees had been cheating as u claim, it would have been leaked long ago or are u trying to call everybody in England a fool?
    Bro, it is easy to read foulplay in the referee’s statement that he text SAF, but it’s also easy not to see anything wrong with it. Our minds play us funny games sometimes that’s why u can always see what u want to see.


    Anyone who thinks that there is nothing wrong with ferguson having contact with referees is deluded. If this took place here in the USA every media outlet would jump on this story like stink on shit. The integrity of the game is called into question. All these Man.U. fans who think nothing is going on should take off their blinders. Managers and refs contacting each other is ludicrous, Who is to say what went on. Years back there was a famous baseball manager named Leo Durocher who is now in the Baseball Hall Of Fame. Leo was famous for arguing with umpires and getting thrown out of games. He once said about the umpires, I never questioned their integrity only their eyesight. The EPL is gonna sweep this under the rug. The media is gonna keep their mouths shut. The F.A. is gonna say there is no corruption here, Maybe in those foreign countries but not in good old England. We invented the game. Louis Brandeis who was a judge on the Supreme Court once said, Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Everyone who says there is nothing going on should get their head out of the sand. Your game is like a trout in the the sunlight. It’s pretty, It’s shiny, but in the end it still smells like dead fish.

  • Adam

    Gf60, I too noticed but didn’t want to get involved.

    Blacksheep, I’m not convinced that collusion is going on. I’m still leaning towards refs being scared of Sir Alex Ferguson (and a few others). But cannot get past documentation attacking the PGMOL. Then seeing their proposals initiated over a long period of time. This is influential, and the referee’s, I’m sure have noticed too.

    So I think there is a mentality that as long as mistakes are not made against certain managers, a fuss will not be made. And those managers are sitting on the executive board of the LMA.

    Plus, looking at the LMA and their commercial sponsorship links to certain media outlets it’s concerning that their executives point of view will be aired with bias. Whilst a free for all is allowed on foreign non associated managers.

  • Chizy

    I think u guys should make it possible for people to edit their comments if they want to. There are some errors in mine above!

  • rantetta

    Something for the weekend, ManU fans. Explain this:

  • beavens

    was Harsely the refree that blew Uniteds matches when they won Champions League or appeared consecutively for CL finals? bunkem talk!

  • OMGArsenal

    This is a bridge too far for me Walter. I agree that officials ignoring the PGMOL regulation concerning contact with EPL managers is a sign that their willingness to step outside their own rules has become a problem. However, trying to imply that this leads to match fixing and corruption is a stretch.
    Did United get some preferential treatment in the EPL…quite possibly, but is that why they won 20 titles….I really doubt it. That said, even the slightest whiff of collusion or fraternization between officials and managers needs to be investigated and prevented as this brings their integrity into question and their objectivity as well.
    The difference between UA’s platform about the PGMOL and all the United chaps who come on here to dismiss any allegations of wrong-doing, is that Walter and Tony have done their homework, the United chaps haven’t.

  • El Gringo

    Just looking over these comments, it’s pretty obvious that the Shut-up Brigade hasn’t two legs to stand on. Their abuse, lack of evidence, capricious ignoring of Walter’s painstakingly compiled ref reviews, willful dismissal of Halsey’s admission of breaking professional standards is enough to make anyone disbelieve them just because of poor argument. Seriously, if I wasn’t already convinced by Walter and Tony’s long and admirable crusade, I’d be convinced now simply by their opponent’s inept rhetoric.

    BTW, Adam, even if refs are making bad decisions out of fear, that is also an intolerable situation. Bullying must not be allowed, even in professional football, even if the bully is a sir.

  • Shard


    The officials and managers are not supposed to be mortal enemies or anything. But as Walter points out, there is a rule that is supposed to prevent them getting too chummy.

    Besides, there is a distinction between being friendly in terms of obvious familiarity built up through the years, and a situation where a referee calls up a manager to weigh in on something that affects a referee’s career (and indeed is a case under police investigation) That is beyond friendliness and shows complete lack of professionalism.

    If someone does you a favour, they normally expect something in return, and even if not, the person receiving the favour will, subconsciously at least, be inclined to pay him back.

    This is not a trivial matter. Unfortunately, it will be treated like one, and brushed away.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @ rantetta

    I have seen that video a goodly number of times and I can rarely get past the first 3 or 4 examples before I get pissed off…again…9 years on.

  • Shard

    Also, Wenger studiously stays away from such familiarities. He doesn’t go have a glass of wine with other managers. He doesn’t address referees with any overt familiarity. He doesn’t even talk to journalists with a familiar tone is his voice generally.

    At the same time, he doesn’t disrespect other managers, teams, referees or journalists usually either, except under sever provocation, and even then he’s generally considered in his response.

    It’s called being professional. He doesn’t give nor expect favours. But Ferguson quite obviously does, as has been shown up many times in his career. The panorama expose and 99 questions. Stam’s sale to Lazio and the access his son’s agency got to ManU’s training ground. Refusal to talk to BBC. Cancelling loan deals of ManU youth players once his son was fired from Peterborough. All this is apart from the influence in the league and among referees. That such a situation was even allowed to develop shows that English football is in a sorry state of affairs when it comes to fairness. It seems to be the last thing on the minds of most supporters too. Which is the real shame.

  • bjtgooner

    I think the first question should be why did Halsey feel it would be likely that Red Nose would help out Clattenburg; the question of how did Halsey have the contact number becomes the second question.

    What I am trying to get at is the Halsey thought process; Clattenburg was the subject of an allegation, so why was it necessary to involve Red Nose, and why was it necessary for Halsey to be the one to contact him. What previous events had taken place to make Halsey think that Red Nose rather than anyone else would be the best candidate to bring to the public aspect of the debate – was Red Nose seen as a “godfather” type figure by the PGMOL? Are the media perceived within the PGMOL as semi obliged to follow the Red Nose lead?

    Did Halsey contact Red Nose with Riley’s knowledge and hence permission? If the latter – Riley needs to explain permission being given in contradiction to the pre-season directive. If Halsey did not have permission to contact Red Nose, why then did he chose to ignore the same directive. My money would be on Halsey acting under instruction from Riley.

    The overall frequency of contact between Red Nose and the other refs is a fascinating question following Halsey’s revelations. The answer can be only be suspected until further evidence is forthcoming.

    The exact nature of the relationship between Red Nose and Riley is also fascinating – was it based on fear or some mutual interest or ambition? Further, was (and is) this relationship influential in the way in which refereeing decisions were (and are) made, to the advantage of some clubs and to the detriment of others?

  • colario

    What can these matches tell us?
    From season 2005/06 to 2012/13 (seven Premier League seasons), Halsey refereed Manchester United on 14 occasions in the EPL.
    Manchester United won every single one of those matches.

    17/04/06 Spurs 1 Man Utd 2
    29/11/06 Man Utd 3 Everton 0
    16/12/07 Liverpool 0 Man Utd 1
    29/03/08 Man Utd 4 Aston Villa 0
    18/10/08 Man Utd 4 WBA 0
    06/12/08 Man Utd 1 Sunderland 0
    31/01/09 Man Utd 1 Everton 0 (Via a penalty)
    02/05/09 Middlesbrough 0 Man Utd 2
    29/10/11 Everton 0 Man Utd 1
    21/12/11 Fulham 0 Man Utd 5
    15/04/12 Man Utd 4 Aston Villa 0
    23/09/12 Liverpool 1 Man Utd 2 (Via a sending off and a penalty)
    01/12/12 Norwich 3 Man Utd 4 (With a penalty included)
    10/02/13 Man Utd 2 Everton 0

    14 matches, 14 wins, 36 goals for and just 5 against, only 3 matches where the opposition scored.

  • marcus

    Riley is a very weak man, which is probably why Halsey asked SAF to make a statement.

    It essentially goes to the heart of the matter and shows who is in practice the perceived chief of the PGMOL.

    If Riley was a strong leader he would have made a strong statement about what was obviously a very serious situation. But he did not; the honour fell to SAF.

  • marcus

    edit: or if he did make a statement it had no effect on the situation…

  • Gunz

    “Additionally, Halsey accepted a free 5 star holiday for his family courtesy of Jose Mourinho…
    … Chelsea won 10 out of 12 EPL games that Halsey refereed during Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge. The other two were draws. So 24 wins 2 draws 0 defeats all in.”

  • marcus

    Walter’s work has over the last few years simply confirmed what I knew from my own observations.

    There was time I would have liked to become an AFC season ticket holder; but I would never pay a dime to watch the EPL now I am afraid.

    Ultimately I don’t see any reason why anybody will do anything about the palpable corruption spoken of, so unless droves of supporters lose interest, nothing much will change. Sad but true I am afraid. I am under no illusions either that AFC will win anything this season; they may do, but it will involve luck as well as skill…..

    Talk of MU having titles stripped is premature, but if it ever happened, that’s just tough luck really. Lance Armstrong was a great cyclist, and probably no more a cheat than the rest of the cyclists. But he got caught and paid the price. I still like to believe that cheats seldom prosper, even if that’s hard to see or fathom in today’s somewhat indifferent climate

  • colario

    Could it be that Halsey refused to take the £50 000 silence money because he believes he can make more money by the route he has taken – ‘publish and be dammed’.

  • Chizy

    Who says Wenger doesn’t have a closer relationship with refs or managers? I presume u are Wenger urself or definitely one of his family members?
    C’mon guys, we’d have been quick to brush it off if someone had said that a certain ref has the contact of a certain manager if the ref hadn’t said it himself. U guys want to tell me that ManU have been cheating other English teams for twenty years without their being caught? If that’s true, then it sounds ridiculous and the English Football Authorities are such a stupid bunch (I doubt that anyway). It’s natural that success brings more respect and favour as well as people’s yearning to be ur friends which may explain to us why more refs may have SAF’s contact than Wenger, or the latter’s than Moyes’; or why refs favour Barca than Atletic Bibao. Being social plays a role too; like Mourinho’s more closeness to SAF than Wenger’s. This is a principle of life and the officials are humans, forget professionalism or the likes, because they aren’t going to make u supernatural.
    But if there’s a rule stating that no ref should contact a manager and the ref went against it, then, it’s wrong.
    But don’t we think he wouldn’t have written it in that book if he did it out of corruption. He’s certainly not a fool. Haven’t u thought of that?
    I think that people who commit crimes tend to be more careful than the innocent ones.
    Maybe the problem here is that when someone calls himself a fan of a particular club, he’d, somehow, imprisoned his reasoning; but when u are into this business of writing u should be more careful because ur essays may come back to haunt u someday. We are all humans like the refs, anyway; and for this reason non ManU fans are likely to applaud ur essay even when it’s logical u will write against them because u are not their fans.
    Great work all the same, guys, thanks!
    I’m on twitter: @chizyone.

  • Stuart

    ark at Utdfan getting all on the defensive. Utd fans have known for decades they got the rub of the green 99% of the time and now it’s all coming out they don’t know how to react. All those years of gloating down the (old) toilet.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think Halsey wanted to show himself as how important he was that he could influence and get favours from SAF. Not thinking that people might think further than he did maybe?
    Showing how important you are is very human. Unless you are humble. 😉 Most refs in the PL are not humble at all. In a way you cannot be humble and be a ref in the PL at the same time.

    And now Halsey has retired the PGMOL can not harm him anymore so he can brag about him being important without repercussions for himself.

  • Unbelievable belief

    Thanks Colario.
    I remember well that September 2012 Liverpool-ManU game.

    Halsey’s performance was a travesty. there was clear pro manure bias in his actions.
    No criticism afterwards on Sky or BBC.
    I don’t think money is changing hands, but it’s been so long for Manure having Reilly and his gang kissing their asses it seems like second nature to them all.

  • Shard


    Yeah, how can we KNOW anything. Maybe Wenger has a secret fantasy in which he talks love-dovey to all the referees. Doesn’t seem to help him much but yeah, maybe that’s how he indulges himself in the privacy of his home. Or maybe that’s your fantasy. All available evidence points to Wenger not getting himself involved in the politics around football too much.

    In your world, that is foolishness. Because he should be more ‘social’ like Mourinho. Send referees out on 5 star cruises and the like? Or maybe it’s ok that referees favour ManU because they are succesful and everyone wants to be Ferguson’s friend. It’s human nature, but that doesn’t mean you just accept it and do nothing about it. Like I said, the saddest part is that football fans themselves don’t care about fairness in the sport. Why then would the authorities take any action or even care about it?

    To what extent the referees helped ManU. What the thinking was behind it. What goes into making it happen. What leaves football and referees open to manipulation. That can be thought about, and debated. But the debate never even gets off the ground because nobody really cares. Life isn’t fair, so why should football be, right? Cheating is part of human nature too, so it must be alright then.

  • In my opinion the FA have been systematically cheating for Manchester Utd for nearly two decades and when a season starts have assumed for some time that Utd are starting with a 15-20 point advantage over the rest. This is only my opinion of course , but it is based on two things:

    1) The decisions that have consistently fallen Utd’s way when they most needed them through the years.
    2) The fact that Utd have had on several occasions had much weaker squads than the opposition but still managed to keep winning the league. Last year was a typical example. I just don’t believe that squad was good enough to win a league title unaided.

    It is almost impossible to prove though and will always be met with the ‘tin foil hat’ accusation.

  • Stuart

    Afc all day,
    News Of The World didn’t tap SAF phone because it would damage Skys revenue if the premier league were to ever be discredited. What Halsey has said is really just the tip of the iceberg if others have not spoken out. Too many people stand to lose out if the whole truth comes out.

    A good question from earlier : Why do they need to have the hush money if there is nothing to hide?


    If something like this occurred here in the states there would be a major uproar. Newspapers wouldn’t carry the story in the sports pages, It would be front page news. How many other refs had numerous texts and phone calls with good old red nose like halsey did. It is mind boggling. Just a few questionable calls made by a ref can effect a team’s standing in the league table. What kind of fucking bullshit you guys have over there. Managers drinking with each other after games. What are they planning, Refs calling managers on the phone, What are they talking about, Fixing matches or inquiring about each others health. There is a reason why lottery officials and their families cannot win millions in lotto, It don’t look right. There can’t be even a hint of impropriety or people would question the fairness of the game. Anybody who thinks there is nothing wrong going on has their head up their ass. Old red nose was always too familiar with the officials. I recall several times him making jokes with the fourth official on the sideline. When things went his way everything was honky dory. When it didn’t, the ref was unfit or incompetent. Said ref didn’t do a red nose game for quite a while, And when he did do one, The ref made sure he toed the company line. Everyone from the F.A. on downward was scared to death of the drunken little Scotsman. He was like Himmler without the pretty uniform. If you don’t do what i say, Off to the concentration camp. I wanna see what the British press is gonna say about this mess, Probably they won’t write nothing. They like to show titties on their pages rather than print a hard hitting expose on the corruption in their national game. To me the E.P.L. is like professional wrestling, Nice to watch but the outcome is predetermined. P.S. Before any of you English guys take umbrage about the concentration camp remark, Don’t forget you guys invented the concentration camp.

  • Stuart


    The review from the end of that season concluded that Man City won the league without the help of refs and Utd couldn’t win the league despite help (whether intended or not) from the refs in that season.

  • Stuart

    I too am dubious about a collective agreement to stitch certain teams up and favout others. I believe it is largly incompetence as well as unintended bias mostly. Further to making decisions out of fear, I think the refs make decisions based on their leaning towards liking or disliking a team, player or manager (the Halo and Horns effect : and on some occasions, to even out mistakes made earlier in the game. I do think there is a general ‘flavour’ of dislike towards certain teams, players and managers within the PGMO and ref promotions are influenced by the individual refs leanings.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Anyone who follows football, and not just the arsenal fans on this site know the favours man Utd have been used to during the fergie era. Last seasons refereeing of Utd in particular was there for all to see, maybe they were embarrassed by him and could not wait to see the last of fergie so made things as easy as they could for him? Halseys remarks are clearly the tip of the iceberg but show a complete lack of governance at the very best. Mind you, the referees boss, mr Riley is somewhat compromised when it comes to Utd. To me and many others, this sort of stuff massively taints fergies legacy, I hope moyes shows a lot more integrity. Fergie became too powerful, and used it at every opportunity. The LMA has been mentioned, I was always under the impression fergie was the LMA. He had the refs, media, and certainly the British managers in his pocket. Remember when the LMA backed Phil brown when he embarrassed himself in being caught lying about cesc? But still, fergie is as fergie did, but the powers that be should have stopped him, but at best, failed miserably to the detriment of the game as a whole.
    Mike dean against a mark Hughes managed stoke at the weekend, happy days. I really hope someone from arsenal shows our players, especially the newcomers some of the stats on this site. We all know what will happen there if dean gets his way

  • colario

    Hello Stuart. By reference to the Halo effect are you saying that the bad decisions made in matches is basically due to the ‘Halo effect’ annulling objective decision making.

    If so I think you could be right in some situations but clearly not in match 50 and again in match one of this season. There we had obvious punishments persistently not given to one team and smaller offenses by the other team given the punishment due or correct play judged as a punishable offense and treated as so.

  • Stuart

    On a related note, it seems there are other more prominent figures bringing match fixing out in the open :

    It’s a worldwide problem so why do people brush it aside as paranoia especially when the reason for it is money of which the Premier league has the most?

  • Unbelievable belief

    Thanks Walter for this Article.
    This is something we, as football fans, not just Arsenal fans have to keep Vigilant about.

    The frightening thing is the Premier League and the FA don’t seem to care at all, but their ‘product’ is in disrepute. It was utterly disheartening to hear Reily at the beginning of the summer boasting about how much the refs influence the delivery of that product.

  • Unbelievable belief

    As spuds fans might whine, how much did we pay to the west brom keeper last year?

    Only joking.

  • Here is an interesting read (unusual from the Fail)

    “Former referee Mark Halsey was prepared to take on the legal might of the Premier League in order to get his controversial book published.
    The fierce opposition of the PL, who said Halsey did not have the necessary permission to write his autobiography Added Time, is said to have led to its pre-advertised publication by Headline not taking place.
    The PL have also lobbied BT Sport about the sense of employing ‘outcast’ Halsey as a pundit after he retired from the elite officials list without giving notice to take up the TV role.
    However, BT are happy with Halsey’s contribution to their PL coverage and intend to use him thoughout the season whatever the objections from Gloucester Place. Halsey’s ghost writer, Ian Ridley, set up his own publishing company, Floodlit Dreams, to ensure the book, which was printed abroad, can be released on Tuesday.
    A source close to Halsey said: ‘Mark has been very brave in the face of some very serious pressure from the Premier League and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.
    ‘He wanted his story to inspire cancer sufferers and tell of the pressures on top-flight referees and he turned down money to silence him.’
    That refers to Halsey refusing the standard £50,000 severance payment from PGMO that amounts to a gagging order on refereeing life.”

    The Premier League and PGMOL seemed very motivated to stop Halsey speaking it seems. That sounds like they have something to hide.

  • nicky

    Ferguson’s unexpected decision to retire, a similar situation with the Club’s CEO and now the revealing autobiography of Halsey……is beginning to take on something more sinister than just a coincidence.
    It is to be hoped that the profits made from the book will be such as to encourage more officials to come clean over the corruption permeating in the professional game.
    It may be too late to deal with the likes of Ferguson but there are others who need attention.

  • Stuart

    What I mean by the Halo and Horns (Devil) effect is that peoples decisions are infulenced by their personal opinion of the person, manager or team the decision is based upon. If a ref has a dislike for one of our players, he is more likely to punish him for an offence whilst they would let off a player whom they do like for the same offence. The Halo is where your decision is influenced in a positive way because you like them and the horn (Devil) is where your decision is influenced in a negative way where you don’t like someone.

    This doesn’t have to be a player obviously. It could be the club, the manager or even the fans whom the referee doesn’t like.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Says it all really doesn’t it jayram. As,for,dealing,with fergie, unlikely, but I do remember a certain US cyclist,who thought he was,untouchable, indeed it appears he spent much of his time ensuring he was untouchable but they got him in the end. Guess the only difference, lance Armstrong made enemies out of once allies, think fergie is much better at keeping friends close by, and in the football world, may not have as many enemies as perhaps he should.

  • Pete

    Had a look at the Football is Fixed blog. Absolutely terrifying. Makes the stuff on Untold seem positively tame!

  • marcus

    from football is fixed:

    We have recently been negotiating with two Champions League teams over the provision of high level consultancies for the forthcoming campaign – one of these outfits are blinkered self-harmers that thrive on brinksmanship, rampant lying and sidling up to inappropriate individuals who distort the game for proprietary benefit.
    The other team behave ethically and are true to their word and, additionally, exhibit cutting edge professionalism with regard to analytics, individual matches and their dealings in the transfer market.

    So that decision has been a no-brainer!

    Additionally, the latter team are fully supportive of the exposition of criminalities in Britain.
    UEFA, in particular, are particularly receptive to information about the rampant corruptions in the British game and are taking a far closer look at such criminalities via their partners at Europol and Federbet.
    The agent mentioned above attempts to portray himself as a white market operator to these bodies whereas he resides largely in the black market.

    We have also been approached with the offer of a publishing deal to lift the lid on corrupted British football but, as I don’t fancy living in Russia alongside Ed Snowden, we’ll pass on that one.
    But I am involved in a potential publishing deal (with two other writers) to expose the criminalities at a dodgy West of Scotland club who have issues regarding their real name.

  • marcus

    Could that team be…….us?!

  • vscls

    Looks like the media is doing some damage control for Pigmarole. Excerpts from the daily mail article.
    Arsenal v Stoke City – Referee: Mike Dean M2, YC0, RC0, PK0.
    The Gunners have who they believe is their bogey referee for this clash with Stoke City and the table below illustrates why.

    Mike Dean improved this record late on last season when he took charge of Arsenal’s comfortable 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic but his record is still one which rankles the Gunners faithful.
    All I can do is reassure fans of any team that referees never deliberately go against a team or try and favour another. Sometimes stats can build up and suggest some favouritism but English referees remain steadfastly neutral and impartial.
    There will be huge pressure on Dean in a fixture which has plenty of history of poor tackles and ill-will between the technical areas. With Mark Hughes now in charge of Stoke in place of Tony Pulis, I don’t envisage any change in that area.

    Read more:

  • vscls

    In the article i mentioned Poll also says that Andrew Taylor is woefully out of form and therefore has been benched.

    So what i would like to know is why should Arsenal lose points due to the bad form of a ref? First i’m hearing of a ref being out of form. Is that why riley if head honcho? Hes been permanently benched because he never had form?

    Ridiculous especially the statement about english refs being steadfastly neutral. Xenophobia comes out again.

  • Unbelievable belief

    You may be a ref yourself, but the one issue I have with Dean is his attitude in dealing with Arsenal players on the pitch.
    We are not the ones with the history of poor tackles, but good old Dean is always on our case from the start of each match. No communication, no dialogue, no explanations: a very pig headed man.
    It’s a policy that is designed to infuriate our players, especially when he has a differing version of interpreting play for the other teams behaviour.
    Never mind Dean, how do you explain Anthony Taylor’s performances? He couldn’t even be bothered to change the refs shirts even though they clearly were the same shade of grey as Villas away kit. Please offer your reassurance – and explain the rule he didn’t break- to us fans.

    Thanks for patronising us.

  • bjtgooner

    There is a nasty rumour that the repugnant Riley may be visiting the Emirates for our match on Sunday. I have no proof, just noted a comment made elsewhere. Lets hope it is only a rumour – the last time he was in the stands we got screwed!

  • vscls

    Re: unbelievable belief.
    I’m no ref, just an arsenal fan ridiculing the English refereeing fraternity as well as the english media.

    But there is something the current Arsenal team. This is our year. This team is going to win big

  • Mandy Dodd

    And the other team Chelsea Marcus? If that football is fixed dude is genuine the whole thing is pretty terrifying

  • Unbelievable belief

    Sorry about the mistake, I didn’t notice you were quoting others.
    I mistook those comments for your own opinions.
    My apologies.

  • rantetta

    @ AL
    September 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm


    To those interested in Football is fixed link, please go back a few articles and read about Finland U 21 match. It’s unbelievable especially the revelations about certain Agents and the players they control. In the recent past this site made links between who plays for England 1st team and Hodgson’s agents being the same as many of the picked players.

    Years ago that site showed something about Dean and the match at Birmingham. I just can’t go back far enough on the site to find it again. That too was astounding.

    Footballisfixed is a very interesting site that seems to have ‘come and gone and come back again’. It is fascinating – tinged with a smattering of something strange, but maybe it’s just the writer’s style. I don’t know.

  • Obsever

    Hi, I haven’t finished reading all the comments but the overall gist from the first few comments against this article run along these lines:

    “People have spent time and effort to prove a point with research, analysis and data. However, I don’t have to bother with debunking that effort since I can just ignore it with my “opinion” that it is merely manipulated data.

    My opinion matters more than the research and I don’t have to do anything to prove my point – because… my opinion matters more. Why does it matter more? Common sense says it does – do I really have to explain?”

    If the above is an effort to demean this article – it is shallow at best and irks even the the lurker in me.

    If the above are genuine posters who truly believe in the message from the overall summary that I have made, then do know you are not contributing anything meaningful.

    All you’re doing is trying to impose your opinion as “truth & facts” over what looks to be solid research.

    All explanations that you can’t be bothered to waste your time in explaining & proving your point are just “excuses”.

    As when there is no substance to support an “opinion”, then the opinion looms closely to the realm of “misinformation” & “lies”

  • bob

    “Plus, looking at the LMA and their commercial sponsorship links to certain media outlets.”
    Adam (@4:01)
    Could you specify any of these links?, please.

  • Pete

    I had already forwarded the Poll article to Walter before I saw the most recent comments. I’m not so sure it is PGMOL damage limitation. Do you think it is Poll’s way of being aware that all is not right and trying to apply gentle pressure? Presumably he took his £50k gagging payment so has to be careful what he writes…. The Dean stats with our games are incredibly damning and almost impossible to arrive at through statistical chance. That is now explicitly clear to the whole world. Also, if Riley does pitch up and Dean has a stinker can you imagine how much grief Riley will get in the stand? Whereas if Dean plays fair then probably nothing will be said. Also the match is on live TV so even more exposure.

    As for FootballisFixed, the Finland U21 game is appallingly depressing. Why on earth would top young pros with a likely long and lucrative career ahead of them do something so unbelievably stupid?! You can sort of understand a lower league journeyman at the end of his career – not that I will ever condone cheating – but those guys???

    The Fulham-Wigan game sounded a shocker also.

  • Ross

    They should go back and analize every single favourable decision given to Fergie over the years, ne that countless extra time in favour of Man U, goals, penalties, and decisions made against their opponents!
    There should be an avenue of checking Refs, expelling and probably sent them to prison if found to be corrupted.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    After going through this fine article and the comments , I’m left numb .While there is evidence of so much impropriety in the game , others are still not convinced of any wrong doing .
    As for me I’m still stuck at the 12 year search of WMD in Iraq ! What’s that you say ,” Yellow cakesfrom Niger ?”.
    Oh dear !

    In the meantime have a laugh with Paraporsdokians .

    Para-pros-dokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous. Winston Churchill loved them.

    1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

    2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

    3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

    5. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

    6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

    7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

    9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

    10. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR’.

    11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. (ever been to WalMart?)

    12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

    13. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure..

    14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

    15. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

    16. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

    17. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

  • Stuart

    I seem to remember Mourinho causing a bit of a stir after (I think) a Chelse vs Man Utd game when he said he wont repeat what he saw going on in the dressing room involving the referee. I can’t remember exactly what it was or when.

  • colario

    The site is not accepting my original post. I get a message telling me its a duplicate post.

  • colario

    football is fixed
    I can’t find the ‘Finland’ blog that others have referred to in the ‘football is fixed’ site but I found this:
    The last 24 key match-changing decisions in Manchester United’s Premier League games have ALL been in favour of the Red Devils.

    “Since the statue of Sir Ferguson was unveiled and the stand named after the man, nothing has been given against the Reds – the last decision was the sending off of Jonny Evans in the 6-1 defeat to Manchester City on October 23rd 2011 – 554 days ago.

    This is the longest run of one way decisions EVER in English football.

    United fans must be grateful to hear that the new Premier League chairman, Anthony Fry, is a United fan.

    Thank goodness…

    Apr 28 2013: Arsenal v MAN UTD (Penalty) – Dowd

    Apr 14 2013: Stoke v MAN UTD (Penalty) – Moss

    Dec 01 2012: Norwich v MAN UTD (Penalty) – Halsey

    Nov 03 2012: MAN UTD v Arsenal (Penalty and Sending Off) – Dean

    Oct 28 2012: Chelsea v MAN UTD (2 x Sendings Off) – Clattenburg

    Sep 23 2012: Liverpool v MAN UTD (Penalty and Sending Off) – Halsey

    Sep 15 2012: MAN UTD v Wigan (Penalty) – Oliver

    Sep 02 2012: Southampton v MAN UTD (Penalty) – Dean

    Apr 15 2012: MAN UTD v Aston Villa (Penalty) – Halsey

    Apr 08 2012: MAN UTD v QPR (Penalty and Sending Off) – Mason

    Mar 18 2012: Wolves v MAN UTD (Sending Off) – Taylor

    Mar 11 2012: MAN UTD v West Brom (Penalty and Sending Off) – Probert

    Feb 05 2012: Chelsea v MAN UTD (2 x Penalties) – Webb

    Jan 31 2012: MAN UTD v Stoke (2 x Penalties) – Jones

    Dec 26 2011: MAN UTD v Wigan (Penalty and Sending Off) – Dowd

    Nov 26 2011: MAN UTD v Newcastle (Sending Off) – Jones

    For comparison, in the same window, Manchester City have had 3 sendings off in favour and 8 against together with 11 pens for and 3 against.”

  • Ian Jenkinson

    This may not be 100% relevant but worth a read nonetheless.

    Match fixing in Australia.

  • Adam

    @bob, LMA Media partners are ESPN, BBC, SKY, ITV, FTB. And the Telegraph.

    The Premier league media partners are, News UK, BBC, SKY, BT.

    Stuart, after a brief look I’d go with the reverse halo effect (if I understand correctly).

  • rantetta

    @ colario, and anyone interested,
    Here’s the blog about the Finland match.

    The U21 International between Finland and England last Monday demonstrated clearly the sorts of patterns that should set alarm bells ringing.:

  • Stuart

    Yes, the reverse halo (horns) effect is what we often seem to get. Teams such as Utd get the halo effect so they are already ahead before a ball is kicked.

  • Stuart

    Scrap what I said at 8.21am, it wasn’t a Premier League game but a Champions League game :

  • Stuart

    Scrap what I said at 8.21am, it wasn’t a Premier League game but a Champions League game :

  • colario

    “Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!”
    I am posting this in the hope it will work but I posted my original message at 12.29 it would take all I got was the above. So I cut the last part andthe post was accepted however I am now getting message again each time I try to post the remainder.

  • colario

    That worked here’s the remainder of of my 12.29 post. (Thanks for the link rantetta)
    further down the same page is this:

    “Footballers aren’t allowed to bet.
    But bookmakers are allowed to own EPL clubs.
    And bookmakers are allowed to appoint those who make the EPL rules.”

    “Yesterday, it was announced that the new Premier League (EPL) chairman is to be investment banker and Dairy Crest chairman, Anthony Fry.”

    “The selection panel who appojnted Fry was composed of Manchester United’s David Gill, Chelsea’s Bruce Buck, Manchester City’s John Williams and…
    … Bet 365 supremo Peter Coates who also owns the insider gambling outfit known as Stoke City.

    Some questions of integrity.

    * Why is the owner of one of Europe’s biggest bookmakers involved in the selection of the EPL chairman?”

    for the complete page go to:

  • WalterBroeckx


    I found the post that went missing in the ‘bin bag’ of the internet.

    Strange that it got there. I don’t see a ‘forbidden word’ or so.
    I must remind you that each post with 2 links in it will go in to moderation but then Tony or I should clear it when we see who posted it.
    But this time the spam software checker (you wouldn’t want to manually trash the dozens of spam mails yourself) has thrown it away as spam. But I don’t know why

  • colario

    Thanks for that Walter. I wasn’t complaining only explaining why the content was a continuation of my previous post. I thought perhaps it was being rejected because of its length.

    I’ll remember the ‘two links’ point.

    I appreciate Untold and the fact that we can hold sensible discussion on matters Arsenal here.

    So I am not going to complain if something goes wrong or I have a problem. Resolve it and move on. If it at anytime in the future I sound as if I am complaining then I apologise now.

  • Gunz

    Leading on from, Adams findings, here is a link to LMA Website/Sponsors+Partners page:

  • Funny

    Untold Arsenal: Arsenal News
    World News. Supporting the club, the Players and the Manager

    Who is fooling who here?
    Would you have come up with some ‘research’ that isn’t suppoting your club? Funny enough the only resonable comments i have seen here is that of CHIZY. He raised up a number of questions which the authors and their supporters are afraid to answer.
    It’s evident you would have written against my team, Barcelona, if u were Real Madrid fans. Arsenal will win some trophies when they become good enough. Mentality is also vital. When you do one thing repeatedly for a long time it becomes a habit. It will only take a great person to stop you from doing it. Man City were great last season and they did it. Chelsea have been winning trophies because they are good. What have officials got to do about that? Many Utd’s success will come to an end given that the man with the winning mentality is out, but don’t expect it soon until the armies he trained are out, too.
    The name of this blog says what should be in it. How then can anyone listen to you when the whole statistics projected speak against your enemy? Is that all there is in EPL? Did you not find any single game that didn’t go their way? Did you not see anything in Fergie’s record of punishment and fine? If no, then, they must be the Devil as their name sounds and you should consider Laliga; but funny enough we are not free here (according to opposing fans, though).

  • WalterBroeckx

    Funny or is it Chizy who is praising himself?

    Anyhow did you even took the trouble to read the reviews? There are a few hundred reviews out there. Check them. And then come back.
    Biased? If you would have checked before you talk you would have find that the last seasons review have been done for 65% by not Arsenal supporting refs. The numbers are on the site and on refereedecisions website.

    We have been doing reviews for 3 seasons now so we can back up what we say.

    do you have any data?

    And by the way: we did find games when things went against MU. You would have known this if you would have checked the data.

    But on topic: do you think it is okay that refs and managers phone each other? or text each others? Or ask for favours?

    And about the fines and bans of SAF. Those fines/bans were given by the FA. But the referes are not under control from the FA. They are under control from the PGMOL and that is a separate organisation that is under control of the FA and the PL. And the head of the PGMOL is someone who has a very muddy past when it comes to giving favours to United.

    You could compare it to a Mafia boss who gets parking tickets and who pays them saying: see I cannot be a bad boy, I pay my fines…

  • marcus


    Most AFC fans know the refereeing is a crock.

    Probably a lot of other fans have their reservations. (Obviously MU fans have their own slant on things)

    Your work has put some flesh on the bone; you have the stats to prove it.

    So where do you go from here?

    It seems to me that football is an insulated hermetic little world, where everybody knows the rules of the game, (not those rules and not that game)

    Barring some sort of international crackdown on corruption, which is possible, how do you intend to take the campaign to the next level? Campaign perhaps being the operative word.
    We have had CAMRA – the campaign for real ale – how about

    CHAR – the campaign for honest and accountable refs?

  • marcus



    the Campaign for Qualified Unbiased Accountable Transparent Refereeing

  • marcus

    Perhaps you could contact Paddy Power and commission a set of crimson silk laces to kick start the campaign.

  • bob

    Thanks, mate. Very interesting link!

  • Edda

    The best proof for me that the PL ref’s are biased is the fact that very often betting lines change up 10-20% after referees are decided or there are som referee changes. That big of a change means that both the bookies and the big gamblers know that there are something fishy going on. But will it ever be investigated propper ? I doubt it!