How football journalism puts all of us in danger

By Tony Attwood

Put simply, I’m worried about what the press in England are up to.  .

Not the ordinary everyday biased stuff that we see all the time.  Not the fact that today the press will be full of the number of years in a row Arsenal has gone out at the last 16 stage, and won’t mention just how many years in a row we’ve been getting into the last 16.  Not the fact that they comment on the issue that such a feat would have been considered fantasy land during the era of the long term manager who preceded Arsene Wenger – George Graham.

Graham’s tenure gave us final positionings of 4th, 6th, 1st, 4th, 1st, 4th, 10th, 4th, 12th.  Imagine the press reaction if Arsene Wenger delivered a couple of sixth places, a 10th and a 12th.

But we know that, and we live with that. They live in a bubble and tell us what to think.

However in the last few years something far more insidious has crept into football journalism – and it is this that worries me.  It is the running of press releases from clubs and organisations, and treating them as news stories.

The great problem with this is that the “serious” newspapers are supposed to be investigative and responsible.  Sure they have their own political viewpoint, which we all know, but when it comes to digging up facts and exposing corruption they are supposed to be doing just that.  And doing it independently.

And yes sometimes they do it.  The Telegraph’s revelations about the defrauding of the state by MPs in their expenses claims was an excellent piece of work.  The Guardian’s decision to stand alone and publish the Edward Snowden revelations concerning at least 58,000 files revealing how the UK government spies on its own population, was worthy of their traditions.

However matters started to go seriously wrong in football in the build up to the Rangers FC tax fraud case and their subsequent descent into insolvency.  The press in the UK simply failed to report what was going on, instead taking press releases from Rangers FC and printing them as news.  When challenged in 2012 after Rangers had entered administration, as to why they had done this, the papers cited obscure “legal reasons” and left it at that, and pretended nothing untoward had happened.

The press had been tried and found seriously wanting, and the optimist in me hoped that they might learn their lesson.  But rather than see the Rangers fiasco as a dire warning most of the “serious” press have taken it as a way to work.   Thus when PGMO gave the Telegraph a load of highly questionable information about what it does earlier this season, they took it and printed it, without any consideration as to whether the piece had any merit, was balanced, or needed further investigation.

I mention all this today because FC Barcelona is using the same trick, and to its eternal shame, the Independent has fallen for it, running a series of “articles” as “exclusives” when in fact they are simply churning out propaganda for the club.

Of course interviews with senior people in any major football organisation are important and worthy of note – but they need to be investigative, not pats on the back.

In the pieces in the Independent today the Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu says of the one year transfer ban on the club “The ban is completely disproportionate, completely.  It makes no sense that Barça is punished because some young players have come to our La Masia academy without their parents.

“I am completely in agreement with the spirit of the law. Fifa should give very strong punishments to clubs or individuals that mistreat children.   But [it is] one thing to protect them and another to punish us for going around the world giving what are effectively football scholarships.”

OK, that comment is worthy of publication, but my point here is that it is printed with zero analysis of why Fifa might have given such a punishment, upheld it through appeals, and why the Council of Arbitration in Sport should have upheld it at appeal too.   It’s just a statement from Barcelona with no comment.

Worse the president goes on to suggest that the ruling of Fifa is illegal under EU law adding “one day, if an affected parent takes this to the European Community we will see another Bosman ruling.”
Another interesting point – and another highly arguable one.  I won’t bore you with the details of why I think this is quite wrong, save to mention that the Fifa and CAS rulings recognised the unique position of the EU and the need to treat the EU as a national boundary in itself, and not as individual countries.  In short there is a strong argument to say that the Bartomeu statement above is utterly unfounded.  But the Indy says not a word and investigates not a word.

In a separate article today (which the paper calls an “exclusive and rare interview in the Nou Camp, the Barça president, Josep Maria Bartomeu”) the President talks about fighting the Neymar tax case.

So we get a lot about how every one of the 144,756 members of the club votes on the “decisions that shape the club. It is a far more democratic process than in England.”
That’s an interesting point and one that needs debating, especially given that the man making the claim is about to stand trial for alleged tax fraud in relation to the signing of Neymar along with former president Sandro Rosell.
Then the article/press release pulls a clever trick.  To back up its claim that the club’s democracy is a good thing, it makes the point that it was a member of the club who made the complaint against Rosell for alleged misappropriation of funds over the Neymar signing.
But this needs consideration also.  For if I thought that Arsenal or its directors were involved in tax fraud, I could report them to Revenue and Customs.  You don’t need to be a member, season ticket holder, or anything else to do that.  Revenue and Customs even have an on-line form to help whistleblowers.  Thus the point about democracy is made, a second point is quickly made, and there is an implication that the two are linked.  But of course they are not.

Besides, “Barça has not set out to commit any tax offence. We will fight it because it’s open to interpretation. You pay in Brazil or you pay in Spain. To be prudent we have also now made the payment in Spain so when this is resolved we will get the money back from Brazil or from Spain.”   So given the fact that Barcelona has now paid €13.5m to the Spanish tax authorities is all right!

No, of course not.  Each of us in his/her own country has a duty to pay taxes as the state demands.  In Spanish law if Barcelona is guilty the club can be fined up to six times the amount of tax avoided.  But still, Qatar Airlines will presumably pay that.  (That’s my comment, its not in the press release/article).

Oh and just in case you are still not convinced, the President adds, without a word of serious questioning from the “interviewer”, “There is zero fiscal advantage. In fact, in Catalonia we pay 56 per cent tax on earnings, which is the highest rate in Europe, so when it comes to matching salaries with other big clubs we are actually at a disadvantage.”

Now I am not a tax expert (self-evidently) but I did bother to take a trip to and looked up their article on taxation.  Given that the site is one can take it that it speaks with a certain authority.

It says,

“The Corporate Income Tax general rate is 28% (25% for SMEs) and can be noticeably reduced when certain legally established tax benefits, such as those affecting R&D and innovation, are applied.”

Might the Independent not have raised this point?  Well, it didn’t.  But still, 56% tax, 28% tax, I mean, its just numbers.  Like how many years in a row Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League at the round of 16 stage.  It’s just numbers!

Here’s another little piece, that might have been investigated by the Independent had it not been running an “I love Barcelona” campaign.   “Bartomeu says the club’s charitable foundation that puts €12m annually into projects in 48 countries, with players giving 0.5 per cent of their wages to it, is the side of the club the critics don’t want to see.”

What is needed here is context.  Barcelona’s turnover for 2013/14 was €530m, which means that 2.3% is given to the foundation.  Is that good?  Is that enough?  How much does Arsenal give?   Those are the interesting questions at this point, but they are also the questions that no one asks, so no one answers.

Of course the Independent is not alone in all this.  Rather it is just part of a trend.  And indeed there is worse to come, because on their web sites the papers are now printing paid-for links (“promoted stories” they are called).

Just recently a senior journalist at the Telegraph resigned because the paper refused to run serious articles on the activities of the bank HSBC in helping UK citizens illegally avoid UK tax.   The Telegraphy still won’t touch that story.

But perhaps that is a matter for another web site.


Today’s anniversary: defeat with honour

18 March 1910: Woolwich Arsenal went into liquidation.  Fortunately Henry Norris was on hand to bail the club out, and he eventually paid all the debts including non-football debts and debts that were not disclosed at this moment. See also here.

And the books that tell the tale



36 Replies to “How football journalism puts all of us in danger”

  1. Think that Jack Wilshere recently summed up our press perfectly. I am no expert on our media, but it seems they have gone over to the Fox News model, take to easy, lazy route except when it comes to promoting your own agenda.
    Only report on scandals when someone else exposes them. Has gone on for a while, nobody will ever convince me the media did not know exactly what was going on with the likes of Saville, Cyril Smith and other establishment figures, but they were very easily silenced, as it now seems were the police.
    The great investigative journalists are still out there, just not working on our newspapers any more.

  2. Great story!

    My feeling is that it is a race for volume, for clicks if you will. With the internet the ‘news’ organizations find themselves with an ever increasing number of competitors around the globe. It is possible that their employees are being pressured to churn out a story once a day when previously like an opinion editor/columnist rather than say twice a week. Quantity over quality. As you have noted their sources are often just club press releases, speculation, or facts taken out of context and repackaged.

  3. I hate to say it, but today’s football fan is a lot, lot dumber and it’s mainly localised to these islands whereby running around and doing fuck all for 90 minutes is easier to see for fans who have no concept of the game and it’s complexities than seeing a player who is constantly ghosting around the pitch to find space and recycle the ball, keeping it flowing and moving in the forward direction.

    I love Alexis, he was tremendous for us at the start of the season, but he will be given a free pass from some possibly warranted criticisms of late because of his constant energy to zip around the pitch, where as Ozil, who moves so intelligently and so “lackadaisically”, that the opponents don’t see him. If professional football players who are paid thousands of pounds per week can’t pick up his movement, then there is zero chance of the idiotic fan or crap pundit picking up his movement either.

    Ozil will never be a player that will spend 90 minutes chasing lost causes and running his feet into the ground. He never has been and never will be. There are many ways to play football, Ozil plays to his own tune and does it better than every player in the world. It’s because of that which is why he has a winners medal for the biggest trophies in football and it’s why these idiotic fans are sitting on their arses watching 20% of the pitch for 90 minutes, listening to has been ex players who could only dream about possessing 20% of Ozil’s ability and 20% of the awards he has won over the last 5 years.

    And just think, a player of that ability plays for our club, I’m happy to carry on revelling in the fact I get to see him pull on Arsenal colours every week and see him do his thing for us. These muppets can carry on showing their lack of any knowledge and slate him from a position that means fuck all, Wenger sees his class and he’s the one who picks the team.

  4. While you make a valid point, Tony, only the most naïve of us would believe much of what football journalism publishes these days.
    Sensational stories sell newspapers, TV and radio broadcasts improve ratings.
    The compilation of news, if not from the horse’s mouth can be easily embellished by an expert in fiction.
    Even the internet is not immune. Only the other day I read glaring headlines on one site declaring “Cazorla apologises to fans over leaving”.
    On reading the appended article however, it turned out that he was apologising, not to Arsenal fans about a projected departure, but rather to fans of his previous club Malaga.
    There is a saying “The first casualty in war is the truth”.
    Not only in war, I’m afraid.

  5. The media are today focussing on Arsenal’s elimination from the ECL at the last 16 stage for 5 years in succession.

    What a disgraceful record!

    Liverpool, Spurs, Man Utd cannot be accused of such a failing.

    Why is that, I wonder?

  6. @Naman

    Very much agree with your post. Just one addition – stats prove that Ozil not only does all the things you say but DOES actually run around a lot. In one match recently he had the top number of miles covered of any Arsenal player.

    Not only does the press give a distorted view of reality, but powerful bodies, whether big companies, governments or rich football clubs, pay people a lot of money to work out the distorted view of reality to present to the public. We are constantly being deliberately deceived.

  7. Ozil.

    He is always seeking to find space to receive the ball. When he receives the ball in the final 3rd he is always looking to play the killer pass. He will hold it and hold it waiting for the right runner. If nothing opens up he will recycle the ball to a team-mate – and then find more space to receive the ball back. He does sometimes get tackled, he does sometimes see his pass intercepted. But he is undoubtedly Arsenal’s go-to man when attacking.

    The quality of his vision and execution is unmatched – hence his key pass and assist stats.

    Therefore, as others have noted, his key value is in engineering chances and goals. He is not flashy but he IS deadly.

    I absolutely love watching him play – and believe his team-mates love playing with him.

    Hopefully now that Ozil, Alexis, Giroud and Ramsey are now finally all fit at the same time we will be watching some sumptious fireworks for the remainder of the season. Santi and the Ox can add even more.

    Roll on Saturday!

  8. The anti Arsenal bias in the media and press is becoming more and more blatant.

    But, in general the media slants every report to a greater or lesser degree to comply with the viewpoint of the editor and/or the perceived or anticipated outlook of its readers/watchers. Long gone are the days when the media accurately and honestly reported the news – now it has to be embellished, dramatized and when considered necessary by the editor, it is distorted, (or sometimes ignored). For this reason I very rarely purchase any paper and try to watch news programs from more than one source, even then…….

    I was totally disgusted at the way the media attacked our exit from the CL. As others have correctly noted, we went out after a magnificent performance, with all guns blazing (pun intended) having played courageous entertaining attacking football, while the darlings of the corrupt media – Chelski – left the competition after a cowardly display of blatant cheating and thuggery – accompanied by relatively muted and short lived media criticism.

  9. While I agree with most of the complaints over the way our successes and failures are being dealt with by the media, I would respectfully request that we take care not to get over paranoid about it all.
    A lot of what’s being said or written stems from pure envy, while the rest can be written off as sheer ignorance.

  10. I am sure Arsenal were caught up in legal ramblings withe HMRC pretty recently. Paying the players through image rights and not deducting the right amount of tax and NIC. We were fined £20 million if reports were to be believed.

    Eveybody is at it.

  11. Another excellent article,Tony.

    If you haven’t already read it, the book Flat Earth news will probably be of great interest to you. It’s what Nick Davies from the Guardian was up to before getting involve in the hacking case. I remember little detail but most of the journalistic woes come down to one thing : money. Much of the news media is struggling for it, and the people who have plenty are the last people you’d wish to do so.

    Also, I’ve been waiting impatiently to see what you made of last week’s piece in the Guardian from their chief football man which was built around some secret information from our good friends at PGMOL. The claim is that they keep all sorts of tabs on measures such as time-wasting and hassling referees, and presumably every other measure of foul play and bad sportsmanship, and, the article tells us, Chelsea are not as bad as all that, and Arsenal, wouldn’t you know, score highly in a number of measures like time-wasting.

    Incredible stuff, but unfortunately while the journalistic was allowed a peek, it appears we just have to take his word and there is no need to do anything silly like let the public have a look at that type of thing.

    ‘Chelsea might have brought Graeme Souness to the point of spontaneous combustion the other night but, on average, there are three other teams – West Ham, Manchester City and Arsenal – who receive higher marks per game on that front. As for the overall table, Chelsea are a couple of places ahead of Arsenal’. ?????

    If you don’t mind my saying, the eye op seems to have sent you up a level again in terms of productivity, so I’m hoping you can have a good look at that and make what sense of it there is in there. I certainly can’t find much. As for time-wasting, there’s not a chance in hell we’ve done as much in the entire season as Palace did against us in our very first game. To me, it’s some of the best proof yet that they are inventing things as they go along and from a place of sheer dishonesty.

  12. budgynana

    Of course John Cross is correct. We often complain about referees, or as Menace often calls them “crows”. Well, as the “crow” flies, it is 640 miles from London to Monaco and 707 miles from London to Barcelona. The distance that crow would fly between Manchester and Barcelona would be even farther.

    That this explanation doesn’t make sense, probably wouldn’t occur to John Cross. As he is a twit, it is fitting that he provides this “wisdom” by twitting.

    Apparently later today, an official announcement will be made that Nimes will be relegated to the 3rd division in France for matchfixing at the end of the season. Among other things, buying results with large amounts of wine.

  13. Whilst we’re on the topic of bias of the media. My complaint to the BBC about Phil Neville’s advice to “do players” who were too clever and talented for him has still to be resolved. I have now had to complain that they have not dealt with my original complaint.

    Having been initially fobbed off with the idea that it was just a joke. I explained that I found the acceptance of said joking inexcusable and as such either Neville was taking the BBC for fools or the BBC were taking the viewers for fools. On the 27 January they said hey would get back to me within 20 working days. On 17 February they said the were unlikey to conclude their investigations within 20 days as everybody was busy!!! Since then I have heard nothing.

    As I said in my latest complaint, I just feel that they want me to forget about it and just go away. They are making little or no effort to take the complaint seriously and I have told them that I will take it to the Press Complaints Commission since I consider advocating violence as a solution to a dealing with a talented footballer is wholly unacceptable behaviour.

    I note that Neville is still spouting rubbish quite happily and presumably being given my licence money for doing so. It’s completely outrageous. Like politicians, the media seem to think that their customers are all stupid.

  14. Zoon……… careful, you saying that ‘if reports were to be believed’ dooms your statement to ignominious and patently media bullshit. IF you have a solid source and statement from AFc OR HMRC then we can begin to take the story seriously….however IF it comes from the same media that ‘reports’ that maintain Messi was seen at Heathrow wearing an Arsenal shirt, then…….

  15. Off topic, sorry.

    Can someone please enlighten me whether CL adopts the Hawkeye technology used in EPL? I can’t find anywhere confirming or denying it.

    The save by the Monaco keeper from Giroud/Sanchez on first glance looked debatable. Monaco it seems posted that save on their website. With the ability to stop the video, it looked very likely that it did crossed the line.

    Was this incident reliant on the 4th/5th official standing behind the goal?

    It sickens me to think the ball could have crossed the line and we were knocked out as a result of an error which could well have been eliminated with the use of technology.


  16. Zoon

    Only allusion to anything like that on the internet came courtesy of a first-rate moron

    The idea that we’d be guilty of that, and the media would stay supremely quiet, seems ludicrous to me.

    They hammer us over anything they can get their hands on and would give at least one nut to have something like that to slam Arsene with and use to suggest all the principle talk is bogus. Adrian Durham, for instance, would mention it every day.

  17. I don’t read any papers at all these, not even. They’re a waste of time. But I understand those that do, sometimes it’s important to see what the other side is saying.

    Do you have a link to that video? I remember myself and Yassin questioning whether that ball had actually crossed the line as it appeared to have crossed the line. It’d be sad if we have been cheated again by glt.

  18. I’d just like to say two things about Mesut Özil:

    1) it’s a pity that Arsene Wenger has manners unlike Alex Ferguson. Özil’s haters deserve the same sentence Ferguson said when Veron, another brilliant midfielder who wasn’t recognized by the English media, was under attack and

    2) Mesut Özil has forgotten more about football than Paul Scholes had ever known about it.

  19. Re Ozil

    Last night he received the ball from 5 players more than 10 times 3 of them were defenders. He passed the ball to only 2 players more than 10 times Cazorla and Sanchez. That is what he does in a nutshell he is the link between the defence and our creative attacking players.

  20. Mesut Ozil was lampooned by the meida again today. Why? Mainly I suspect because they need to get behind that Little Hitler at the DM who “laughs” every time someone mentions to him that he said MO was knicking a living. Got that one wrong Shorty – followed by so caalled professional journalists jumping in to defend one of their own.

    The comment by Mandy at the top of this thread sums it up. The media are good at starting something, but not finishing it off. For all their stuff about Saville and Smith, the DM have failed to follow up their alleged expose of the deputy leader of the Labour party and her husband’s role in promoting paediphilia in the 70’s. They brought it up, then failed to carry it forward. They SHOULD be demanding at least an internal investigation by the Labour Party, but no, they choose instead to bury it as quickly as they brought it up!

    Similarly, it’s easy for the scruffy sports writers assciate members to have a go at Arsenal because we are the best run club in the country. There is nobody to liken it too, and it is obviously more productive for them to have a go at the minority because it stirs up the emotions of those clubs revelling under massive debt. So they upset a few Gooners, and appease the masses by decrying our football, our manager, our players, our board and our finances.

    I counted Mesut Ozil do something useful with the ball on at least 70 occasions. Obviously, the gutter press were sleeping at the time!

  21. Think Paul Scholes has identified a route out of obscurity into the public limelight; by bashing Ozil at every opportunity. He blasted him again last night for swapping jerseys at half time with Kondogbia. But who does he think would have initiated that move? What has Kondogbia actually won, for Ozil to seek him out for his jersey. It’d suggest to me it wasn’t Ozil. Anyhow, yesterday’s game was played in good spirit and I don’t think there is any issue between two professional players having a mutual respect of each other and swapping shirts, regardless of who sought who. Scholes is a complete muppet.

  22. Cheers Gunner6. I think that would warrant clarification by using glt, I’ve seen it used on much clearer cases than this one.

  23. Long ago since i studied “the world” and realised that the media was not independent and has not been so since a very long time, i withdrew from TV, newspapers and such.

    As far as i know media cannot publish what they want especially if addressing a topic that is dangerous to the policy of those who control it. It is always “edited” and decided if to be published, changed or discarded.

    Truly independent media is harassed, made fun of, threatened and even killed, yes killed, the company is brought to ruins or bought and assimilated.

    I have never voted in my life, having seen the futility of it all a long time ago.

    This is the world we live in, and we are all a little at fault for letting those with the money fool, control and rule us.

    The internet was something “they” did not see as a threat until too late, but even though they now want to change the internet as we know it to be under more control who can publish webpages and articles(by making it expensive), they are pretty sure of their agenda being carried out.

    Football being a huge money maker is an area that will not escape the attention of the so called “elite”.

  24. @Zoon

    Why would you post that link without mentioning that the earlier figure you provided of 20 million is nowhere to be seen and that the article is about a group of other premier league clubs paying out a figure of six million.

    I see the mention of Arsenal, right enough; it says they ‘historically’ used similar practices, and settled their accounts some time before.

    Fair enough for enemies to be incredibly unworried with accuracy when talking about us, but i simply don’t get why people who profess to love the club do it.

    If there’s some other article somewhere which says anything like ‘Arsenal fined 20 mill’, I’ll be glad to take a look at it, but as it stands your link, while interesting and proof Arsenal were involved at some point in practices found to be wrong, says absolutely nothing about the figure you threw out there earlier.

    Why do it? It’s our club. We should be honest about it, but require very good evidence before believing the worst of it.

  25. Over fifty years ago journalists had a code of ethics which they were supposed to follow. Their role in society was to stand up to authority on behalf of the powerless. Fifty years later, 2014, there are more journalists in the National Union Of Journalism working in the PR sector than there are journalists working as journalists.

    Work in PR you deliver a narrative on behalf of the powerful. Little chance of standing up to authority when you earn your crust feeding a story to the public. Still more pernicious – fewer and fewer journalists working in the newspapers, more electronic technology, more journalists working in Public Releations, means press releases are transmitted automatically into the newspaper without the details of the press release being checked.

    This was happening already in the 1980s, before the internet, before online newspaper sites, before clickbait leads to collect advertising.

    Add 24/7 rolling TV news, huge TV screens, global marketing brands, and the world is way way beyond what most of us can recognise as newspapers.

  26. Para, man you really read my mind, I stopped all news and tv (except Arsenal matches) a loooong time ago.
    We are inditectly controlled, the lies that are transmitted through the media is unbelievable.
    Again, to all untolders, you see how the media can affect the football fans and turn them up for only a game, they indirectly control them using lies and fear of becoming lonely and called stupid. Now imagine how much will they affect a more important issue. When you know all those fighting and killing, all those stealing and reaching the tops, are just from and through the same method and way, that system, those rich and in control, those elite.

  27. Rich
    “Fair enough for enemies to be incredibly unworried with accuracy when talking about us, but i simply don’t get why people who profess to love the club do it”
    I’ve been wondering the same too. Particularly with zoon. He always has to come in from a negative angle. Like on the other thread where everyone, and rightly so, was questioning why the media are having a go at us for being eliminated but after putting such a brave fight. His comment was something to the effect that the media dislike all the big clubs, and Chelsea were equally savaged last week. He’s basically telling us to ‘stop whingeing, Chelsea got worse treatment’ which to any reasonable person can see is not true.

    I’ve noticed a few individuals who do that sort of thing on a regular basis here; they’ll defend anything and everything as long as it is supposed to show us in bad light; be it refereeing decisions, media bias, etc etc. Zoon with his pal lizard are the biggest culprits, ably supported by tailgunner and shoot. It’s the fucking truth, and they can’t deny it. Like in this case, he goes and does some digging to support an inaccuracy about our club. I’ve never seen him to dig some evidence to support there’s bias against us, even though there’s plenty of it. I wonder what their agenda is. It’s bad enough to take shit from rival fans, but when it’s coming from one of yours then it’s doubly difficult. I really wonder who these people are, and what it is they really want. Come on, say it, what is that you’re really after??? Say it or just go away, getting fed up of you now. It appears you’re after something but have not got the balls to say it, and just resort to countering everything this site and it’s regulars are saying. Shocking.

  28. Rich, the Arsenal used a company called Sevco 1270, so some players and Mr Wenger had shareholdings of upto 9.25% each.

    This was perfectly legal at the time, BUT the Inland Revenue were not happy with the obvious tax avoidance.

    The Parlour v Parlour divorce, detailed the advantages to that player.

    The Arsenal accounts reveal a settlement with the Inland Revenue.

    Rich, Mr Gazidis rubbished the poor attempt at a Payroll breakdown. The author has no idea that the Payroll tax year is April 6th to April 5th the next year. Angry of Islington tried as well.

    The article is dated February 2012, therefore using the Financial Report for 2011/2014, the actual figure disclosed is £109,578,000 rounded. 454 full time and 834 match day temps. We know the £130 millions wages and salaries total is fiction!

  29. Notoverthehill

    Thanks for the info.

    I, hopefully, never go too far towards thinking the club are angelic types, and I always try to keep my mind open for negative stuff.

    I’m afraid payroll, tax stuff and financial breakdowns are no strength of mine, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that a lot of completely bogus stuff is said about the club, and that plenty of our own fans are perfectly happy to repeat it

  30. Al,

    Here, here. At the very best it is very peculiar behaviour- day after day coming to a site largely populated with people whom you strongly disagree with, letting them know that with your comments every time- to what end?

    Want to be a bit careful because I’m not keen on idea of making anyone feel like crap who happens to respect the writer’s on the site and what they do, and who enjoys commenting here, but feels for the most part the majority are getting it wrong here. Admittedly, a strange combo, but who knows.

    It’s good to have different opinions, but shouldn’t they be very tired of us and our constant wrong-headedness by now?

    More often than I like I leave comments under the football articles on two of the main news websites. And I’m fully aware by now that isn’t especially rational behaviour. The chances of changing anyone’s mind must be astronomically low, and it’s unpleasant and infuriating for me to be surrounded by so many people talking so much horrible shite. Most importantly, I cannot do the thing I’m desperate to do : shut up those erroneous fools who pen the articles; point out the ways they lie and so forth. I do it, but I know those forums are a pitiful substitute for real debate.

    Yet, despite all that, it makes so much more sense to be doing that sort of thing on a website viewed by many thousands, as opposed to a much smaller community who are pretty much open about the fact their main reason for being is an escape from all the other shite and a means to try redress it. If you constantly disagree,that is. If you’re seeking to hear the views of mostly like-minded people, here makes a lot of sense.

    Maybe I can ‘save’ one misguided soul in those places in the course of my life! Now that would be a miracle.

Comments are closed.