32% of the adult population vote to leave the EU, and this is what it does to our football.

By Tony Attwood

The FA’s view on how leaving the EU will affect football says that “there is widespread consensus that no current players will be deported as the Home Office very rarely imposes legislation retrospectively.”  Sadly they give no evidence – perhaps because there is none.

But these are unique times and FA chairman Greg Dyke is endlessly saying to anyone who listens, leaving the EU could open Premier League door for more young English talent.  He argues “Should the UK remain a part of the EEA, like Norway, then it will have to continue to accept the freedom of movement principle and little will change for English football.”

The problem is that Norway accepts each and every one of the EU’s rules, without getting to vote on any of them, all in return for a) being able to sell its oil into the EU and b) participating in all the trade deals.

Paul Shapiro, a sports lawyer at Charles Russell Speechly, however has said, “If there are restrictions on free movement then the impact on sport will be more significant,” Shapiro said.

Arsene Wenger, speaking before the vote, said, “To ignore the quality and say let’s remain amongst ourselves doesn’t work, because now they are controlling with the best players in the world.”

Shapiro also predicts a significant impact on various issues in football and notes that (as Untold noted on the morning of the result) State Aid Utd’s offer to buy Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi was worth £31m on Thursday but now will cost them £34m – and they will have to get work permits for players from EU countries.

The Premier League however went into denial mode saying, “The Premier League is a hugely successful sporting competition that has strong domestic and global appeal. This will continue to be the case regardless of the referendum result.”  It is hard to see that as anything other than arrogance or desperation.  They did after all urge us all to vote “Remain”.


The Guardian however takes a different view saying, “At the last count, there were more than 400 players [without British passports] plying their trade in the top two divisions in England and Scotland, with the vast majority unlikely to pass the stringent work permit requirements introduced by the Football Association in March 2015.”

While the majority of commentators argue that current contracts won’t be affected because it could take two years before the UK leaves the EU, if the EU (already very annoyed by what they call “waiting for the British conservative party to make up its mind”) does rule that the renegotiation of immigration rights by Cameron was itself a trigger to Article 50, they could start the exit arrangements, with or without Britain at the table.


Shapiro’s view on current contracts is that it is very unlikely they “will be affected immediately because it could still be two years before the UK leaves the EU.”

That would mean some very big names who have not played in more than 45% of their country’s maches since June 2014 would be out.  Giroud however would be ok.  So would Alexis and Ozil and Ospina and Cech.

Chelsea’s loan policy of buying up all the youngsters and then loaning them out overseas would not be legally affected, but the benefit would vanish since it is largely done to ensure they are “homegrown” in the sense of being “registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday”. There has to be eight of these in the “25” squad.  Chelsea would lose Fàbregas’ “home grown” listing, so deliberately nurtured by Arsenal.  Bellerin would lose it too, and certainly if the rules come in quickly, he would not get a work permit either.

Thus squads will be decimated.  Koscielny would be ok, Coquelin not.  Nor would Santi Cazorla or Nacho Monreal.

But there is another twist, and it is one Untold highlighted when we covered Barceolna’s child trafficking case.  We will only be able to sign foreign players over the age of 18 for as Shapiro says, clubs “would no longer be able to benefit from the exception under the current Fifa regulations given for transfers involving 16 and 17 year old footballers within the EU/EEA.”

Paul Pogba to Manchester United from Le Havre was one such move and Zelalem to Arsenal was another.  What is absolutely clear is that Fifa are not going to dish out a UK-specific rule as a result of the decision to leave the European Union.

In fact the estimate is that there are 70 youngsters registered with Premier League clubs at the moment who are under 18.

What Arsenal has so successfully done under Wenger – investing massively in youth  – is going to be restricted because that benefit from the EU rule is going.

So the benefit that comes out of this is that maybe there will be a bigger pool of talent available for England.  But as we showed in one of our analyses published in 2010 which has occasionally been used by the press (when they feel like it) the number of players who play in their own home country league, has nothing to do with the success that country has on the pitch.

What is so interesting with this point is that those who argue the contrary just say “having more English players in the Premier League will help England” and never look at any evidence at all.  Like some occasional readers of Untold they simply use the “evidence of their own eyes”.

What will happen though if quotas are now brought in is that, as Shapiro says, “the price of British players becomes vastly inflated as clubs try to meet the requirements of having enough homegrown representation in their squads. Raheem Sterling cost Manchester City a British record £49m despite only having played two seasons in the Premier League and that premium is likely to increase.”

As the Guardian points out though, it is not just football that is going to be crippled by leaving the EU.  County cricket has lots of cricketers from South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Caribbean.  That’s going to to too – although I guess it is possible that the UK could invent an open door policy for people from Commonwealth countries.  I am not sure that this is what the 32% of the adult UK population who voted to leave the EU had in mind.


73 Replies to “32% of the adult population vote to leave the EU, and this is what it does to our football.”

  1. Tony, thanks for the insight, but I must say it just gets more and more depressing on so many levels as each hour passes.

    Sorry for being a bit thick but in summery does this mean everything’s just got even better for the mega rich Clubs?

    In short, are you saying that acquiring top end, fully established internationals will be fine? You know, the sort of ready made players that the likes of Mourinho always goes for?

    But finding potential stars such as Kos, Monreal, Bellerin etc. will now not be possible?

  2. This whole article is based on speculation, Tony, which is not like you. If Britain is in a position to make its own laws, which it isn’t at the moment, we could say, for example, that everybody that lives and works in Britain at the moment should get the right to stay. That would include footballers.

    We could start investing in our public services again, reverse the cuts in local authority budgets, and provide football pitches, and well paid coaches, so that more young people can make the most of their football talents and have a chance to become professional footballers.

    The whole process of negotiation to leave the EU has not even started. David Cameron has deliberately decided to put off even starting it for three months, obviously hoping in some way to reverse the decision. But when those negotiations start, there are any number of issues where negotiators can get the best results for people here, if they care to do so.

  3. Tony

    I think you have described what us usually called ” A piss-up in a brewery”
    The vote leave decision is so full of unintended consequences, which by its nature were not even thought of
    I think we are going to be having a nightmare not just in football
    Even on the assumption that regulations can change (not just football) these changes will not occur overnight

    The nightmare has just started and with due regard to my Gunner chums, footie is the least worry

  4. Tony! Tony! we have just walked out of open prison governed by unknowns & you feel uncomfortable in this new freedom. Just be patient & don’t look beyond the simple reality of truth. This is good for UK & bad for EU. They are on the brink of mega trouble.

  5. 32% or not, the fact is 72% of the registered voters excercised their democratic right to vote for UK independence or being ruled by an outside influence. The majority saw the light and claimed a momentous victory. Should the majority feel bad for that? I campaigned hard for us to leave the EU, I studied the facts and issues for over 6 months before making that decision. For me the result of all that hard work has come to fruition and I stand alongside the 17m plus people and truly believe that this was the best thing to happen to England since 1966. So take your spin figures of 32% and look at the facts, the 2nd highest turnout ever in a UK vote happened and the majority voted for UK independence from foreign rule. As for the petitioners who want a 2nd referendum, I agree, 2057 sounds like a fair deal, that’s 41 years of living under a decision made by the majority, if you don’t like it you know where the tunnel is bloody use it.

  6. Well said Atid. Contracts of sportsmen was probably bottom of the list when considering EU exit; rightly so.

  7. Tony,

    yep, 32 % of people can have such an impact

    There is another grueling example. Hitler got 33 % of the votes (around 80% participation, so that puts it down to 26% net) to grab power in 1932 Germany.
    The rest is history.

    Guess we need to petition for the US concept of a recall election.

    Thing that bothers me is the spread of lies that went on for years with absolutely no ill-effect to the spreaders. There ought to be some kind of remedy to that abuse of freedom of press/expression/information.

    As for now, well, you are like Switzerland and will have to bow to quite a few pressures and make concessions you did not ever dream of making.
    And be inventive, hard-working and thrifty. Because it ain’t going to be the quiet sea that was promised.

    Good luck

  8. Tony

    It is far too early to speculate on how this will pan out.

    Rather than blame those who exercised their democratic rights, if you want to complain you might target those who chose not to exercise their rights!

    Further, the bureaucrats in Brussels are the real culprits, they have mismanaged for many years, they are deliberately distant and very arrogant. When Cameron went cap in hand in Feb he got what Britian usually got from them – SFA. They didn’t give a toss about the UK. (By the way I am not sticking up for Cameron, his judgment has been poor on a number of issues including this one – but what really angered me was his betrayal of the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy – a dispicable act!)

    At the minute the media is full of speculative nonsense (not for the first time!), lets try to distance ourselves from that, move forward and if we want to be political put our energies into getting compassionate and intelligent government – something which we have been denied for far too long.

  9. Wonder why people in Uk are complaining about the EU administration as UK never put its full weight towards the Euro cause by keeping abreast with the Pound.

  10. The small far right elitist faction of the Tory party who …

    Dex it hurts me to cut your post but it appears not to come from a valid email address and is abusive. I agree with you, and if you would care to rephrase and check that the email address you give is valid, I will be happy to publish your views.

  11. I presume you are making the assumption that those who did not vote would have wanted to remain.
    The fact is that 28% of the voting population could not be bothered either way.

  12. You’re speculating. What’s worse is you’re regurgitating the speculation of the very journalists you normally hold in high contempt.

  13. Pat

    “This whole article is based on speculation, Tony, which is not like you.”

    I read this as a criticism, which I find strange because surely the entire ‘leave’ campaign was based on ‘speculation’ wasn’t it ?

    -Speculation as to how we’ll be able to stop immigration.

    -Speculation as to how our economy will improve.

    -Speculation as to how we will get our old Industries back.

    -Speculation as to how more hospitals will be built.

    -speculation as to how many houses will get built.

    -Speculation that we will be able to cut trade deals with the EU as we ever did.

    -Speculation that we will open up trade deals in other parts of the World.

    Speculation upon speculation.

    Or did you have a crystal ball?

    The fact is, everything we ever think or say about the future is largely speculation so.

    How do you think Arsenal will do next season?

    Well if you had your way we wouldn’t talk about it because it would all be ‘speculation’.

    So get off your high horse.

    Yes Tony is speculating but he’s doing so with a wealth of knowledge, and vast insight into these kind of things. yes, he may be wrong, or he may be right, but I for one appreciate his analysis and enjoy reading what he has to say, even if I don’t always agree with him.

  14. I’m sure that when the people voted that football was not in anyway took into consideration and rightly so. Arsenal have a very intelligent man who I’m very sure looked at what the outcome would be either way and has made plans for the future of this club.
    As much as I love my club and I do, I did not vote with her in mind but for what I truly believe was best for my country and the future of my grandchildren. I wanted my country to take back its rights to make its own laws and run the country instead of Brussels. I own businesses and I know that in voting as I did that there was going to be a risk but I felt it was a risk worth taking. I also know that things will be tough and it’s going to take time but I had to vote for what I believe in as I’m sure everyone who voted did.
    I voted also because I have seen what the working classes of this country are going through and our sick old and mentally and physically handicapped. I have been appalled with the deaths of the homeless on our streets and people using food banks to survive. I voted because in believe we can make our own laws and while making those laws those who will be in Government will be in no doubt that the people will not take the way they have been treated lying down anymore. I voted because I believe it’s about time we stood up for our industry’s that Brussels brought to its knees. I do not want anything from my country but I want to give back to her and do what I can because she has been good to me.
    I do not want Northern Ireland to go back to the dark days of the Troubles where I have had family members murdered and innocent’s been blown apart. I have witnessed people both young and old caught up in a bombing and going through the rubble with bare hands to help dig them out until your hands bleed and finding body parts and sitting down and crying at the stupidity and disregard for life. I never want to return to that and I do not want my children and grandchildren to go though that horror again.
    If Adams and Sein Fein do not stop calling for a referendum when the vote was closer than many people think and when many Catholic do not want it either then I fear for my country and her people and Arsenal in this case and football as a whole become the very bottom of my priorities.
    The vote was democratic and a decision was reached by the people and that should be enough. Now is the time to stand together because if we don’t then all those fears that people have we get much worse if we are pulling in different directions.
    It’s says on my passport British not European and I’m damn proud to be British and I also believe that we have the resilience and the strength to come through this a nation that governs herself and believes in herself and British industry will grow from this if given time and patience, no one said that this was going to be easy but anything worth fighting for in life does not come easy.
    To quote one great man John Fitsgearald Kennedy “ask not want your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. I’m done.

  15. Be rude if you like, Jambug. I won’t follow your example, it doesn’t help.

    Whatever the campaign said, my opinion of the EU is not based on speculation, but on hard facts. I have never been for the EU and I wasn’t in favour of us joining in the first place. The last forty years have lived up to my worst fears.

    The EU is an undemocratic club where a clique of very rich people decide the fate of millions. The European Parliament is a toothless body. All the decisions are made by the European Commission.

    The head of this body, Jean Claude Juncker, told the Greek people it didn’t matter how they voted, they had to follow the edicts of the EU. They had to lose jobs and public services, sell off their airports and much else besides. The people of Greece are truly suffering and it is all so that the rich of other European countries can get a hand on their assets.

    Very little of this came out in the referendum campaign, which was cleverly steered in the direction the rich and their media outlets wanted. But still the majority of voters wanted out of the EU. Despite all the cover ups, they have recognised that the EU is not operating in their interests.

  16. Of course the author is speculating as no one quite knows whats going to happen. But one thing is for sure, the electorate was duped by the leave campaign big time as can been seen when they start retracting on election slogans an hour after the results where known. 350 million pounds to NHS? naaaa sorry guys not going to happen now. As for immigration well curb that and many of the expats could be kicked back home.

    Football wise nothing is going to change, we will still be nearly rans and celebrate the 4th place trophy as it means something, which it don’t because we are not going to win the CL. And that is speculation too but we have the statistics from past 20 years to go by there so its not a total unknown 😀

  17. “The head of this body, Jean Claude Juncker, told the Greek people it didn’t matter how they voted, they had to follow the edicts of the EU. They had to lose jobs and public services, sell off their airports and much else besides. The people of Greece are truly suffering and it is all so that the rich of other European countries can get a hand on their assets”

    Pat do you know how Greece got into the financial meltdown? It was because of excessive public borrowing, social services including pensions far beyond what the Greek exchequer could afford. When the crash happened it was inevitable this would be the result and even though I feel sorry for the ordinary Greek the fact is that either they pay for the mess they got them self into, after all Greek was and is a democracy, or the burden will be passed on to the taxpayers in Europe (this would have included Britain) though the Germans would have to have shouldered the biggest share. And why would the ordinary European tax payers have hat to pay for someone else excesses?

  18. “If Adams and Sein Fein do not stop calling for a referendum when the vote was closer than many people think and when many Catholic do not want it either then I fear for my country and her people and Arsenal in this case and football as a whole become the very bottom of my priorities.
    The vote was democratic and a decision was reached by the people and that should be enough. Now is the time to stand together because if we don’t then all those fears that people have we get much worse if we are pulling in different directions.”

    Linda a question for you. Yes the leave vote won and the people have spoken. If there is a referendum in the Northern Ireland and the people decide to reunite with the republic will that not be the people speaking and should that not be binding no matter whether the turnout is 72% and only 52 % voted to leave?

    And there is another factor here namely Scotland. Whats going to happen if Scotland demands a second referendum for independence? They can correctly argue that the circumstances have dramatically changed since the last one. This could actually end in the breaking up of the United Kingdom instead of the European union.

  19. What does that mean, excessive public borrowing? This is the mantra of the times. If I’m not mistaken after the Second World War we had a higher public debt than now, but we still managed to set up the National Health Service, build council houses and various other things that benefit people.

    As to pensions, look at BHS. The former boss is a billionaire, but the pension scheme of the company he sold off is closing and the pension scheme is in dire trouble. A fraction of his fortune would sort out the problems of the pension fund.

    For years companies ceased paying into their pension funds while the employees continue to do so. And then suddenly they say the pension fund is in trouble. And now thousands of people who in good faith paid into pension funds out of their earnings will not get the pensions they paid for. Public borrowing has nothing to do with it.

  20. I hope all this furore about how leaving the European Community will adversely affect professional football, will soon sink into oblivion and we can get back to the importance of potential signings for Arsenal FC, which players have “snubbed” offers from our great Club and how we are likely to line up next term.
    It is somewhat ironic that only a few days ago, scaremongering was equally rife from both sides of the argument.
    Now, when a democratic decision has been reached, there is doom and gloom slowly gaining momentum. Resignations and sackings are the order of the political day. The nasty side of politics is beginning to appear.
    This time (say) next year, when things are back to normal, people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

  21. About Greece – no the Greek people aren’t greedy. They just managed to hang on to their public services longer than we did, probably because they fought harder for them.

    But the EU is determined that the race to the bottom on public services should continue. Nothing is worth while unless someone can make a profit out of it. Look how hard the French people are having to fight to try to hold on to their labour regulations. And good luck to them, I say.

  22. Pat the difference between the British after WW2 and the Greece to day is that the British did this off their own back! Not by borrowing and expecting the rest of Europe to pay the bill for them or at least huge part of it. Regarding the pensions its public pensions that the Greece state finances and they had been told it was excessive and beond their capability to sustain. Same with the rest of the social services and if you cannot afford them with your current tax intake you have to borrow. its as simple as that and the Greece are now reaping the consequences of that.

    And I have never said the people of Greece are greedy. In fact they are generous people who have put the rest of Europe to shame in the current refugee crisis.

    “For years companies ceased paying into their pension funds while the employees continue to do so. And then suddenly they say the pension fund is in trouble. And now thousands of people who in good faith paid into pension funds out of their earnings will not get the pensions they paid for. Public borrowing has nothing to do with it.”

    Pat this is purely the private sector doing what they have always done, trying to get away with paying their fair share and has nothing to do with public finances.

  23. Happy Sunday to all Untolders.
    Oga Tony, I think you’ve hit the head of one nail that I’ve been thinking on. And that is the plight of the people from the British Commonwealth of Nations in the envisage new immigration laws which will later-on be enacted by the British government after the pullout of the UK from the EU.

    The Commonwealth is a union which I think enjoy some privileges in the UK as regards to being allowed to come to the UK and be issued resident & work permits to enable the qualified ones among the lot of the citizens from the Commonwealth to come to the UK to study, work and live there. But not to the extend of over populating the UK which could lead to social & economic problems for the natural citizens of the UK.

    With this annualment of the automatic rights of the EU citizens to come to the UK to work and leave unlimited there without having to obtain UK’s work and resident permits and other related ones, should not be viewed as a bad thing that will happen. Rather, it should be hailed because what is good for the goose should also be good for the gander in my own view.

    The people of the Commonwealth of nations were once the colonies of Great Britain for many centuries and had loyally served her before been given independence to govern themselves. And they are still maintaining historical ties with the UK up to the extend of adopting the English language as their official national language. And yet they did not enjoy the kind of rights the EU citizens have been enjoying in the UK. So if the EU and the Commonwealth nations who are outside the UK are on the same footing as far as having unlimited rights to leave and work in the UK is concerned, is an equity of justice at play.

    The UK must be the nations where the goody goodies of life abounds and can be source, that why everybody body is running there to source it for the sustenance of their lives.

    As regards to finding potential stars like Bellerin and etc from the EU to come to Arsenal and other clubs in the Premier League in particular, and in the lower divisions of the English League in general to ply their trades, they can still come but this time under haven fulfilled certain conditions I presume. And one man’s poison is another man’s food. Under the new immigration laws which will come in into force in the UK, any EU youth football talent that is bellow the age of 18 shall no longer be allowed to join the football academy schools of the top clubs in the UK. And that’s is good news for the UK home talents who will have the opportunity to now join the academy to develop their talents for England in particular who have been behind in this area among the rest of the UK nations.

  24. TT @ 1.09pm

    Re your comments about NI and Scotland.

    While the media is spewing speculation about the future of these countries, it is far too early to sensibly do so. The peoples of these countries have not yet had a chance to sit back and think logically about continued membership of the EU outside the UK.

    With less money going into the EU coffers there will be less to share out – and the lion’s share (no pun intended) of that will go to the poorest counteries (mediterranean & east european), so there will be few benefits. Further, NI and Scotland, until now relatively isolated from the worst of the uncontrolled immigration, would suddenly find that situation reversed. I don’t see a “remain” vote in such circumstances.

    Your comment was really about the validity of a majority – not sure if you were trying a wind up or not, but a majority is always a majority, qualified only by pre set terms – if any.

  25. Fascinating plunditry from the itv plundits. Looks like the protectors of the national game the paramours of the special agents and PGMOB have nominated Giroud for deportation ahead of anyone else. Nothing to do with him being an arsenal player.

    Fascinating because what they are saying contravenes all football sense.: if France are chasing a goal with ten to go and they’ve taken their Big Lump off to replace him with Mexican exile Gignac (Mexico recently lost 7-0) then most will be laughing at them.

    I guess the above might explain why Andy “get in” Townsend is not a coach.

  26. TT

    You’ve missed my point. It was that it is possible, if the will is there, to have decent public services even if there is a big public debt.

    As to rebuilding after the Second World War, certainly the British people did a great job, but so did the people of all the rest of Europe and other world countries, many of which had suffered massively greater destruction and loss of life than Britain because they had been invaded.

    To give examples, Warsaw was almost totally destroyed. Hundreds of villages in Belarus had been destroyed with all their inhabitants by the fascist German invaders. Twenty million Soviet people died.

    In the case of Greece, Britain doesn’t have a very honourable role. British forces helped prevent the Greeks from having the kind of government they wanted after the war.

    Second, on pensions, there is a relationship between private and public pensions. In the case of Britain, our state pension is low compared to many countries. This was supposed to be compensated for by company pensions but now the company pension schemes are being closed down in the manner I described above. This leaves people without enough money to keep them in their old age through no fault of their own.

  27. Case in point:

    Brilliant cross from France on FK, desperate players in the box, the cross takes two deflections still at pace and a blindsided Koscielny does brilliantly to get close to the ball after it takes the last deflection from the defender in front of him who was also blocking Koscielny’s view of the cross. Great cross, great defending, nearly a goal.

    Townsend: Koscielny should score.

    Risible gibberish. Time to look for an Irish, French or Mongolian stream. Anything would be better then this shite ruining the match.

  28. Two defenders marking the lump as he makes a run on Sagna’s excellent cross leaving the smaller griezmann free to find the finish.

    And there it is: the lump goes one better and from a long ball from the back (ha ha ha) he controls his header down whilst under pressure from two defenders desperate to stop the lump therefore leaving griezmann free in acres of space to pick up the knock down that was as good an assist as any Ozil flick, another good finish too.

    Yup. A first half of vitriol from the plundits against the Arsenal player. Just in case you’ve been in any doubt it had been possible to quantify the venal quality of their gibberish in these last fifteen minutes.

    They most certainly do not like the Arsenal. Or the French. Think I’m beginning to pick up on a theme here….

  29. All I said was ‘get off your high horse’

    Is that being rude? If so I’m sorry to offend your sensibilities.

    Funny though, I didn’t notice you rebuking your friend Johnno for calling Londoner’s a ‘bunch of Cunts’. Or doesn’t that offend your sensibilities?

    Anyway, moving on and trying not to offend you anymore.

    “Whatever the campaign said, my opinion of the EU is not based on speculation, but on hard facts”

    Your opinion of the EU is your opinion. It may well be based on hard facts, but it’s based on the facts you chose to believe. There are hard facts I chose to believe, and I base my opinion on them.

    Either way that’s up to you and me and our consciences, but completely irrelevant to my point.

    My point was, you rebuked Tony for speculating. I made the point that we all speculate all the time. That’s what so many debates are based on.

    Who will Arsenal sign?

    Will our current players renew?

    Where will Arsenal finish next season?

    Will Arsenal be awarded a home penalty next season?

    Will mourinho still be a prick.

    All speculation. All subjects for debate.

    That is no different to when in comes to all the ‘leaves’ claims about how things will be in a future out of the EU, for which you voted. All there claims I listed above are ‘speculation’.

    Again, if you choose, as you did, to believe that speculation that’s up to you, but don’t deny others the right to make there own speculations..

  30. Another long ball from the French, more chaos created by Giroud in the Irish defence and Ireland are now dismantled.
    France and Deschamps utilising the old “little man, big man” combination up top.

    Townsend: “good work Giroud”!

    Praise from Townsend? Now you know that he’s had an impact on this game (including the first half).

    This match has given us a fascinating example of the irrelevance (at best) of these plundits

  31. finsbury/pat

    Back to football then.

    Thinking just the same. Townsend just could not wait to have a dig at Giroud.

    As you said, he kept suggesting that it has to be Giroud that gets taken off. Well it wasn’t Giroud. He stayed on to claim an assist for a goal and an assist for a sending off, if there is such a thing of course.

    Not noticed Townsend admit how wrong he was of course.

    He’s off now anyway. Seems they’re saving him for the next round.

  32. ITV panel, including Petite, reviewing the French goals. Did not mention Girouds role in either goal.


  33. Shane Duffey had to take one for the team. He sacrificed himself apparently.

    So that’s all right then.

    It’s just that I’m old enough to remember dear old willie young being crucified for the rest of his career following a similar ‘sacrifice’ on Paul Allen in the 1980 FA Cup Final.

    Just Google ‘Willie Young of Arsenal’ and it’s the first thing that comes up about him 36 years later.

    Henry is still derided for that handball.

    But as per Robbie Keanes dive, now this, it seems the Irish can do no wrong.

    Am I wrong not joining in with the Irish love in ?

  34. Agree re Townsend. Totally useless and was never a good player will never be good commentator and God help any team that he ever coaches.

    And Pat I don’t think I missed the point. The British depth after the war was manageable as the evidence clearly showed and the effort that they put in to rebuild is admirable but they never defaulted and that is the difference. Once you cannot keep repaying the depth you no longer can keep borrowing hence the drastic cutbacks in Greece. The public pension in UK may be low but if the corporations are not doing their fair share its down to the government to come down on them. That is down to the British government in most cases not the EU.

    djtgunner No I was not winding anyone up. Its the simple fact that both NI and Scotland voted to remain but England and Welsh to leave. So its logical for them to look at the pros and cons and what they will loose and what they will gain by the Brexit.

    “until now relatively isolated from the worst of the uncontrolled immigration, would suddenly find that situation reversed” not sure this is correct and imho should have nothing to do with the Brexit, and furthermore as has been pointed out in the last 2 days even by some of the leave campaigners immigration might change very little or not at all.

    As for the France game as frustrating Giraud was at times he was instrumental in the fight back. He definitely gives the Arsenal and France an extra option. He is however not good enough to be Arsenals 1st choice striker IMO, but worth keeping as he can give you that extra when u are chasing a game and need an outlet that can hold the ball up. If he had the speed he would actually be one of the best strikers in Europe I think.

  35. Hi guys,
    When it comes to football and all things sport, I think this site is pretty well informed. Contrary to belief from outside, this site not biased towards any particular side or view, but considers evidence and where no direct evidence is available, is able to draw reasonable conclusions using logic and salient reasoning. So I agree with Tony on most things but it seems to me that on this, Tony (and many others here) have fallen into the trap of talking about things they have no (actually, its false) knowledge of.

    The EU is an organisation where the legislation is written by a group of commissioners that are unelected by any EU citizen but completely accessible by lobby groups, the agents of corporations and the moneyed aristocracy of Europe. This is the very definition of FASCISM. It is also a very good description of a dictatorship. So I’ll just repeat for clarity: The EU is a FASCIST DICTATORSHIP. This is not a joke, nor is it hyperbole. For the last decade at least, it also has not had its accounts audited. That makes it a bona fide CRIMINAL ORGANISATION, not to mention, our entry into it was dubious to begin with.

    It doesn’t matter what the effect on Arsenal is quite frankly, because all sports are “bread and circuses” to distract the masses from what is being done to them and their fellow human beings by a criminal “Elite”. This is basically the reason why we see all this stuff happening to Arsenal and all this corruption in sport generally. It was never designed to be contest. It was meant to be a distraction and way of instituting emotional mind control on large swathes of people, primarily to keep them divided and preoccupied. This is why I am so proud of Arsenal because despite this, they seem not to dive to the obvious depths of immorality that other sporting companies do. I firmly believe that because they don’t join in, they are punitively punished. I don’t really know on that…but if you want sport to mean something, really be a contest, we have to extracate ourselves from the EU and actually start to hold our politicians and “Elite” accountable for the crimes they’ve committed in the past and are committing now against innocent. That’s US by the way.

    As for the situation with Greece, I used to be of the same opinion as TT, spouting ridiculous nonsense and ignoring the cost on the only thing that matters: human life and life in general. What changed my position on this was understanding WHERE money comes from. The process by which it is created in fraud at all levels. No debt that has ever been levied by a modern bank is legitimate and the banks never had any of the money in the first place, so they have taken no risk. So, just for clarity again: the people of Greece are being murdered and made destitute for literally NOTHING. This is what the EU is a vehicle for.

    I am not some Little Englander or racist. I am a person of african descent, born to immigrants. I have worked all my life for public and international organisations and lived across Europe but just because of that, doesn’t mean I’m going to sell my fellow human beings down the river. Get informed on what is happening and make your own mind up but don’t speak from a position of ignorance spreading fear, based on lies, which shouldn’t be too harsh a statement for anyone coming to this site to hear (I hope).

    Start to read about the EU and where it came from and listen to Christopher Story’s elegant speech on the subject
    The EU Collective

    Start to scrub the propaganda pumped out from the mainstream media out of your mind, consider alternative ways of viewing world events:
    UK Column
    Richie Allen
    21st Century Wire

    Understand what Fractional Reserve Banking is:
    Money Mechanics

    Start to realise what it is that these people actually believe in:
    Swiss tunnel
    The ceremony

    Find out what REAL law is and how we have been duped into believing in false axioms and ceding our power to criminals:
    Mark Passio

    And ignore what you’ve heard on the mainstream media about him, get yourself on David Icke.com and listen to what he’s saying:
    David Icke

    If we are going make a better world, the first step is understanding what the world we live in and WHY things happen they way they do. Otherwise, we don’t have any chance and all the debate on this site will be for nothing anyway.

  36. Definition of fascism given in Oxford Dictionary

    An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

    Note the word “nationalistic”

    And I think I would like a bit of evidence for

    It doesn’t matter what the effect on Arsenal is quite frankly, because all sports are “bread and circuses” to distract the masses from what is being done to them and their fellow human beings by a criminal “Elite”.

  37. The EU is a FASCIST DICTATORSHIP. This is not a joke, nor is it hyperbole.

    LOL stopped reading there. God help you man.

  38. TT
    If and its a big if, the people of my country have to have a referendum then so be it. I won’t have any worry about the vote. Adams and co have jumped in when the knew the deal and what was in it of the Good Friday Agreement and the people know this. If you have ever lived here you would understand that the people on both sides are worried we will be took back to what was supposed to have been left behind by that same agreement.
    We are a part of Great Britain that is our heritage and we want to remain so and that was part of the deal. Gerry Adamd himself said that he knew there would never be a United Ireland in his life time and probably never at all. It’s only when the majority of the people wanted to leave the UK that a vote was to be took. We are living in peace and that is what we all want for our children and grandchildren, you did not live her for the 30yrs of the conflict between both sides I have and I don’t ever want to go through that living hell again and I sure as hell do not want it for my family growing up here.
    The vote was took and the people chose to,leave the EU and it’s a pity that people have not got the good grace to expect it, if the vote had gone the other way I may not have been to happy about it but I would have accepted it and took it on the chin and got on with it, when you get knocked down its how you get back up that counts and what you have learned from it, that’s how I was brought up and I’m thankful to my grandparents and parents for that lesson that has stood me in good stead all my life.

  39. Linda

    No one is saying that NI should join the republic, just there the question reunification vote remember that the republic would have to vote on it too and not all in the south are to hot on it. Regarding the republic where I live we have seen our share of the troubles on this side and please don’t say the its part of the Norths heritage to be a part of great Britain. The Catholics living in the north before the troubles where treated as second and third class citizens. I have relations that can recall this vividly and suffered at the hand of the authorities so lets be clear this heritage is only felt by part of the population there. Furthermore I don’t think that any vote in the NI would be strictly by catholic/protestant lines, not any more as the young people have far more sense than us older ones when it comes to sectarianism (i’m in my fifties) . As for people having the good grace to accept a referendum I agree. Just like I hope IF there is one in the north that goes reunification way it will be respected as the will of the people just as it should be if it falls the way of remain.

    In the end of the day its going to be the young people that will have to live with this not my generation.

    Now to football. I was very impressed by Griseman and for me he has been one of the better players in this tournament, would love for us to go for him and try and sign him. I would even go so far as to sell my favorite player, the little Chilean as I feel Grisman is more disciplined and more of a team player.

  40. @ Billy: You don’t think the political, military and economic aggregation of set of states into a single organisation constitutes the attempt to make a single “national” entity? You don’t think the US is a national entity? You don’t think the UK is a national entity? Come on. On the second point, there are many different sources for that assertion. You can even google and look at the Wiki definition. That isn’t even actually looking either. There’s a whole bunch of links there. Look at them.

    @ TT: If you won’t even consider another point-of-view, complete with reasoning and resources, then there’s no helping you and there’s no point in trying. Your position is kind of antithetical to the philosophy of this site, as I understand it anyway.

  41. I totally agree with you TT about the way Catholic’s were treated and it was wrong totally wrong. Yes being part of UK is my heritage and I meant no harm in saying that and if you have been offended then I apologise. It is what it is for me and if a referendum is called I have no,promble with it but unfortunately lots of people don’t see it that way. I think Adams should have waited and let the dust settle as should Nicola Sturgeon. The people of Scotland must be sick to death of voting. I’m only being honest as I tell it like see and feel it and I truly believe that the vote would be to stay in the UK and your right about the Republic also maybe not wanting it. I have lived through it and the Republic has had it share also and I hope with every fibre of my being that we will never see it again and we can all prosper.
    I love Grisman as he is a joy to watch and would love Arsenal to sign him but he seems happy at A Mardid but who knows. All the best TT.

  42. j

    Mate when you state that The EU is a FASCIST DICTATORSHIP please go and look for the definition of fascism. If it was indeed a fascist dictatorship the BREXIT vote would never have taken place as its not in the FASCISTS nature to allow a different point of view. In fact Boris and co would be dead by now and so would their political allies. All you need to do is to look to Europe not so distant past to see this.

    So until you learn what FASCISM is really all about there is not much point in debating with you.

  43. No offense taken Linda:) And i have no problem debating on and I agree with you re Adams and wait until the dust settles, he is after all a politician and they will work every angle there is. Tbh I’m not worried about the young people in the north and south. Its more my generation that would be reactive and cause issues not the young ones that I must say have fare more sense than my generation had when we were their age 😛

  44. @ TT: What amazes me is that you think I could’ve written that comment and provided those links without knowing what fascism is. That’s incredible. Because apparently fascism can only exist if politicians from “Elite” are being offed. Hmmmm, a little short sighted, I think.

    It actually occurs to me that you don’t know what the definition of fascism is or what the definition of a dictatorship is either, because the points I’ve made accurately describe both. I don’t need to debate you, as I’ve actually done research and looked at what’s happened in the past and how those events came to be. That’s why I provided the links.

    My family also used to live in a fascist dictatorship, created by the machinations of the western security services, so I do understand what I am talking about, but as with everything, you are entitled to believe what you wish.

  45. What is it with these pundits and there obsessional hatred of the ‘Zonal System’?

    Draxlers just scored for the Germans, having been left unmarked in the 6 yard box. Fine, not good. I appreciate that.

    But the second it happens we get “It’s that Zonal system” from Dowie.

    No it’s not. It’s a player not doing his job.

    My point is, we get just as many goals scored against teams set up ‘Man to man’ but when we do, we NEVER seem to get comments such as ‘It’s that Man to Man system’.

    Pundits just seem obsessed with highlighting any goal scored against a Zonal defence.

    Both are only as good or as bad as the team adopting them, but as I say Pundits seem to have this thing about Zonal.

    Finishes Germany 3 – 0 Slovakia.

    Germany looked very impressive. Ozil played really well. Although he did miss a penalty. Lack of practice maybe?

    Not let a goal in yet.

    I don’t believe it, as I’m typing this they start on about ‘Zonal’ marking again !! Eeerr !!

    But to be fair, they do seem to be a bit self deprecating about it with terms such as ‘our old friend Zonal marking’ as though they realise they are obsessed with it.

  46. Wrighty and Dixon would ‘fancy’ us against the Germans.

    Good luck with that. I don’t fancy us against Iceland.

  47. j

    There is no helping you I fear. I suppose all conspiracy theorists do the same. Hand pick “evidence” and twist the facts. Fascism ,by its definition, would never have allowed the brexit vote. this is something you don,t seem to be able to grasp and that very fact renders all your “arguments and proof” impotent. If in fact you have looked at Europe past and the fascist rulers there please pick one of them that allowed parts of his “territory” to vote for and exit from his rule and tell me his name.

  48. TT

    Maybe it’s a new form of ‘Democratic Fascist’ we have here ??

    I mean, in China we seem to of witnessed the rise of the ‘Capitalist Communist’ so you never know.

  49. lol jambug don’t think so and tbh i have never believed that there was real communism anywhere in the world. There were nations where tyrants and dictators called them self’s communists, kind of all people are equal in our country just that some are more equal than others 😛

  50. TT

    “kind of all people are equal in our country just that some are more equal than others”


    That was my dear departed Dads favourite saying regarding communism, or at least a version of it.

    ‘Of course we’re all equal, just as long as I’m more equal than you’

  51. BBC pundits are giving deserved credit to Giroud for his assists today. They ribbed Henry mercilessly over his handball goal against Ireland. I like Rio (always talks sense), and I think Thierry has a man crush on him.

  52. j – your definition is beyond the understanding of some (dictionaries are non emotional). You are correct in every aspect of description of the EU. They had a lot of very good working terms for workers to ensure subservience.

    Democracy is not a continuous set of referenda. It has a set of elected officials that must carry out the will of the people despite their own views. The EU was & is a sponge for capital to ensure all its officers (unelected or otherwise) & families are cossetted in comfort.

    The likes of Farage is paid an obscene salary. The Kinnocks milked the EU as many others have.

    We are fortunate to have prevented future generations from being empoverished by the gradual bleeding of national wealth.

  53. Is it just me, or is the refereeing, including English refs…..of a higher standard than we see I’m the EPL?
    Back to Brexit, see the leavers are debunking their grand own electoral claims by the hour.
    Some seem to have given up on reduced immigration , or increased money to the NHS , be are now reduced to mentioning what we will save being out of the EU……by my calculations, a huge gamble , potentially losing two leaders of political parties….ok to some not a bad thing, credit rating reductions, the pound falling, financial institutions leaving London, the breakup of the UK , this rosk has therefore been taken solely to save our net EU membership, around, £7 billion…..sounds a lot, but this gamble has been taken on a saving of roughly 0.37 % of our GDP. you know it makes sense……right….

  54. I would suggest that we take a full month off of talking about the Brexit and its consequences because feelings are still raw. Normal evidence based and well thought out arguments can resume then. 🙂 🙂

  55. On the corruption front, MARCA had an interview with the outgoing president of Adidas. He apparently doesn’t think the problems with Benzema (sp?) and De Gea (sp?) will affect Adidas’ image, but he is still concerned by FIFA et al.

    In transfer news, some Arsenal site I think is trying to invent the rumour that Lord Bendtner might be coming back to Arsenal.

    Does that help GGG?

  56. @Gord The Greatest Striker in the World? Back at the Emirates?..it can’t be!

  57. GGG,

    It’s not on the corruption front, and it’s actually a bit OT, but still worth mentioning: We probably won’t get “the best striker in the world”, but we’ll welcome back the new (and old) best player in the Copa America, and by extension in the whole South America. Alexis Sanchez just retained his title, and was voted again the best player of the tournament. No mean feat, considering his competitor was none other than Messi. The only worry will be that he left the Final in the 114th minute (I think), apparently injured, and couldn’t take another Panenka in the shootouts. But Chile held on to win (and Messi missed his shot btw). So, have a nice rest Alexis, and hopefully the injury is not serious.

  58. Florian,

    He went off limping a bit and later I saw images of him staying out of the melee with the other players a bit in order to not make his injury serious.
    He then posted a picture where you can see his ankle tapped in with an ice bag https://www.instagram.com/p/BHJXcnCgZj_/ sitting on a chair with the copa and his personal prize in his hands and his medal in his mouth.

    Let’s hope it was just a knock on his ankle as the Argentinian players surely meant business in the extra time and kicked around a bit. So fingers crossed it isn’t too serious…

  59. Walter -Congratulations to Belgium on their fantastic win – playing some beautiful football.

    Great link to see Alexis with a collection of gold.

  60. I woke up to watch the second extra-time thanks to my sister-in-law who had called us to inform us that our niece was born. 🙂

    I wanted to see Alexis in action but he was already out. Both teams were reduced to ten men due to red cards. At penalties, one of the best penalty-takers in the world Arturo Vidal missed but Messi responded with one of the worst penalties I’ve seen.

    Regarding Belgium, I couldn’t help myself thinking they are still far from being a good team. The way how Hazard, De Bruyne and Lukaku messed up counter-attacks and were barking at each other afterwards suggests they still lack team cohesion. Quality is obviously there, especially in the attacking department, but I think Italy have shown how Belgium will fare against more organized team with enough individual quality to hurt them (Hungary are two levels below Belgium in terms of quality).

  61. Great news about Sanchez being player of the tournament and let’s hope his injury is not serious. I’m now going to look for the pictures .

  62. If anyone really thinks that their vote influenced the outcome, then i am sorry.

    A more likely scenerio:-
    The two main stays of Western civilisation, USA and England, are being abandoned, and the “nazi elite” want to return back whence they came – to their homeland Europe, which will “re-bloom in it’s re-emerging glory, just like the phoenix, and again rule the world” as it once did according to the elite.

  63. j – your evidence is mind blowing. I hope some smart individuals listen & understand what the EU is. We have truly walked out of an open prison – time for our government to do the bidding of the electorate. Incidentally our voting system should be private & stats like Scotland’s vote & London’s vote should remain confidential. How can a vote be classified as young or pensioner? None of the detail should be available for publication or argument.

  64. We aren’t going to leave the EU.

    The Leave campaign is a coalition of very disparate groups. A significant subset will be unhappy with whatever deal is finally arrived at – some of the Leave goals are obviously mutually exclusive in any case.

    So a proposed deal would have to go to a second referendum and by then the economic, social and political damage will be so clear and so overwhelming that Remain is likely to win comfortably.

    Key thing is not to trigger Article 50. It seems that no one in any kind of senior position in what passes as a government has the bottle to do this. The EU (which is also an unwieldy coalition of disparate groups) will have to back down from “no negotiations before Article 50” stance. It is almost if they want Britain out…

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