How much longer must English tax payers fund the criminal idiocy of the FA?

By Tony Attwood

In the end the FA couldn’t even sack him.  Instead we find that the appalling Allardyce left his job as England manager “by mutual agreement”.

As various newspapers have pointed out, Allardyce has been known for many, many years to be a man who regards the basic rules of football as an option to be dipped into when he feels like it.   And yet the FA, funded by English tax payers, has been wasting yet more money bringing him as manager in and paying him.

In July this year the sports secretary in England, Tracey Crouch warned the Football Association it could  lose government funding if it does not reform.  It has not reformed.  In fact in the Allardyce episode it has become clear that it has got worse, wantonly taking on a man whose behaviour in the 2006 football corruption saga in England was questionable to say the very, very least.  As I pointed out yesterday, Allardyce stated openly that he was going to sue the BBC for what they said about him, and then backed down, leaving the accusations on the table.  And the FA knew exactly what those allegations were.

Of course it wasn’t all bad from Allardyce.  He did give us a laugh and a half when in the conversation with the Telegraph undercover operators he repeatedly said that he was a “key note speaker”.  I had to get a new hanky to wipe the tears away on that one.  You might as well employ Billy Bunter.  (Don’t worry about it – its an old man’s joke).

And he (Allardyce not Billy Bunter) made the point to the Telegraph men that the FA were financially inept over Wembley.  It was as if he had been reading Untold.

So what now?   It seems as if tax payers like me will continue to fund the FA and the weak willed government sports ministers will continue one after the other to dust down the “FA will lose its grant if they don’t reform” speech, while waiting for the day they can do another job.

In essence the FA has become a criminally wasteful organisation throwing money at Fifa as it made its bid to host the World Cup (for which it got two votes, one being its own), rebuilding Wembley with money it didn’t have in the hope of someone else picking up the bill, making one third of staff redundant when it turned out that no one would pick up the bill, and endlessly refraining from reforming its internal structures.  As I have reported countless times in the past, even Sport England withdrew its funding from the disgraceful body when it became clear the FA was diverting funds that should have been used to build new all-weather pitches for grass roots football, and using it to keep itself financially afloat and pay its own bloated elite bunch of old duffers.

Of course it is not just the FA that are to blame – they are remorselessly supported by the media who like the whole razzmatazz of international football.  They don’t want the end of Fifa or Uefa because these organisations make easy shock horror news stories that cost nothing to cover.

Which is why the media has hardly picked up on the most simple basic fact of all – Allardyce had form in terms of the 2006 scandal and because of the unresolved issues therein, he should never have been appointed.

But there again, this is not a story that the media likes, because anything that suggests (as Allardyce does) that football is fixed is against the interest of the media that report it.   They pay their money to the League and the FA for the rights to print fixtures and film matches, and there are unwritten rules resulting from that about what can and can’t be said.

It is just another part of the scam the media is involved in.  Although time wasting by goalkeepers is hardly in the same league as the massive malfunction that was the offering of the position of England manager to Allardyce it is just another part of the hidden agenda, something that the media won’t pick up on because it is an issue that shows football in a bad light with no redeeming features.

Now we are going back around again and eventually the FA will appoint a new manager, and the newspapers and sport broadcasters will be happy with that because it uses up more space and more time without it costing them anything in terms of investigative journalism.

Mr Wenger’s name will be there, especially if the appointment can be delayed until the end of the current season.  But I hope Mr W doesn’t sully his reputation by getting involved.  Eddie Howe, Alan Pardew and Steve Bruce will be mentioned a lot.

Then we have Alan Shearer (because he has managed eight games and lost five of them) and Gareth Southgate, (because there is always Gareth Southgate – its written into the constitution), and Glenn Hoddle (because there’s…) Jurgen Klinsmann (because we always have a Johnny Foreigner on the list to show that we are not nationalistically biased)…

Now I must admit that to make up that list I cheated, and went and had a look on the BBC website where they deal with this issue, and many of these names appear there.   Along with our Arsene.

And to my utter amazement, shock, surprise and bewilderment, I found this…

The Frenchman’s training methods have been blamed for causing injuries to Arsenal players. However, statistics for the first half of last season reveal the Gunners had fewer injuries than Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Now talk about a turnaround.  Mr Wenger causing injuries through lunatic training methods has been part of the BBC’s mantra for ten years, and the notion that they might be about to drop it (even just in reference to half a season and three other clubs) took me aback.  However I was reassured that the world hadn’t gone totally bonkers when I saw that the phrase “Blamed for causing injuries” linked across to a Daily Mail article which contained a load of bonkers gibberish from our old pal Verheijen.  The Mail (inj the piece the BBC linked to) says,

“In Twitter comments, Verheijen hit out at the “pattern” of Arsenal injuries to players like Ramsey, as well as Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas in the past, before pointing to a 10-year UEFA study which reported “football coaches are responsible for most injuries”.

“Verheijen, who has a new book called ‘How Simple Can It Be?’, also used media interviews to denounce Wenger’s “old school” training methods, for which he was once heralded as a “revolutionary coach”.”

I think the herald in question was his aunt, but anyway, it is nice to know the old prejudices are always there reprinted without any recourse to actual evidence.  Arsenal get more injuries than anyone else.   Say it enough times and you might believe it, but look at the statistics year after year and it is never true.

However if the story means that other clubs rise up and say “You can’t appoint Wenger, he’ll send all our players back injured,” and that means we keep him for a bit longer, I’ll take that.

Recent Posts

Anniversary of the day

28 September 2002:  Arsenal 4 Leeds 1.   Arsenal beat Nottm Forest’s record of 22 away games without defeat.  Olivier Dacourt of Leeds commented on the team,”We’re all fighting for second place now. It was demoralising. They just pass and move, pass and move. You find yourself working for nothing.”    Arsène Wenger called the performance as “edging nearer to perfection… We are playing great, Total Football.   Danger comes from everywhere.” Leeds manager Terry Venables said: “Manchester United have been exceptional for 10 years – but I’ve not seen anything as good as that.”   Arsenal also beat Chesterfield’s 72 year old record of scoring in 47 consecutive league games set between December 1929 and December 1930 in the Third Division north.  Arsenal player Jack Lee, who was transferred to Chesterfield in 1928, was very much part of Chesterfield’s run.


73 Replies to “How much longer must English tax payers fund the criminal idiocy of the FA?”

  1. “…were not the only agents who claimed that money needed to be paid to secure deals.”

    Yes yes all well and good but when are Untold going to cover the real story? All the DITHERING in the transfer market by AFC as reported by our 24/7 football media. When are AFC & Venga the Scrooge going to stop DITHERING and start spending some fragrant & fruitle Wonga?

    If I repeat myself ad nauseum do you all think that some people will drop their guard and actually start to believe what I am writing?

  2. Tony, your association of Allardyce with Billy Bunter is pretty apt.
    Both being greedy, envious and somewhat obese.

  3. Tony

    One word I’ve heard banded about in reference to Allardyce is that he’s been ‘Naïve’.


    Robby savage even felt ‘sorry’ for him. I swear he was on the verge of tears.

    Get a grip Savage, the mans on £3 Million a year, and that still wasn’t enough.

    You know what that makes him Savage. A greedy fucking b*****d, that’s what. It really was sickening to listen to.

    More importantly though, what this shows Tony is what the media can do when they want.

    The problem we have is that whilst the media has it’s snout buried so deep in the footballing trough, it is always going to be part of the problem, as opposed to part of the solution.

    Yes, going for Allardyce is to be applauded, but really Allardyce is just one symptom of a much much deeper rooted problem, and that problem, as you say, is the FA, and that’s not to mention the other similarly corrupt, or at least not fit for purpose bodies such as, the PGMO, EUEFA and FIFA.

    Removing a feted limb is a start, but until someone in the media is prepared to go for the head nothing will change.

  4. I think this is more damming to the English football as the brand especially now the reported eight mote managers involved in taking some kind of bribes. Simply because over the last ten years or so British media has branded its football as the perfect holier than holly while everyone else practices unethical ways (bribing) of dealing with football.

  5. @Finsbury,
    With respect, how can you claim that AFC “dithered” in the recent transfer window?
    Certainly there was delay before we secured our newbies but that alone does not explain the cause.
    You know full well that other than those directly involved at the Ems, no-one has much idea of the to-ing and fro-ing on matters affecting Arsenal FC. 😉

  6. Oh Tony, my dear man! How I adore your way with words and wit! I hurriedly came to Untold this morning when it dawned on me that our own Arsene Wenger might just be in the sights of the beady eyed lot called the FA. I am greatly comforted that you have said the needful.

    The same FA that sat over proceedings while the hard work, resourcefulness, sheer bull-headed determination and a noble character of Wenger get flushed down the toilet every season. They dare not ask this good man to take up the England poisoned chalice. They want to reap where they did not sow.

    Let them come clean with all their dark deeds against the man and his good work at Arsenal first, which they wont. Nobody should be under any illusions that AW has been made the laughing stock of the football world by the unholy alliance of the FA, PGMOL, and the English media long enough. Now they should face the music.

    Let them allow Wenger to finish the beautiful work he started, by winning the EPL this season, without their help. Let them not court him with any unfair advantage on the field of play. Some of us know that the man is worthy of a league title or two in the past five years or so, if he and his team had not been at the receiving end of their schemes.

    Arsene should not even think of taking the bait. He has too much to lose and nothing to gain.

  7. @finsbury
    Are you for real? Many mangers are under scrutiny for fraud, and we are confident AFC & AW had nothing to do with it. In a way, they may delay some transfers because they are doing their jobs properly with the right due diligence. This is a time to specially appreciate the gentle approach of Arsenal in its business dealing. Respect.

  8. Nicky and Sammy

    Unless I’m mistaken, I believe Finsbury was being sarcastic ?

    I stand to be corrected.

  9. Allardyce is an English problem created by the English media. I don’t have any sympathy for England. They can live with their shame(Allardyce). A man who has never won anything in football was presented by the media as the best candidate for the England job just because he helped one club escape relegation, took another one to relegation and helped another one get promotion to a higher division(not premiership). I believe the only real qualification Allardyce had was that he was one of those who joined jealous Maureen to insult our own AW who they now want to insult more by dangling the England. God forbid.

  10. When a prospective new owner of a football club is identified, they have to pass the FA’s “Fit and Proper Person” test before they are allowed to take over.

    In my mind, I see the FA as the “owner” of England football team, and therefore, they have failed their own criteria, by appointing someone who was identified as “corrupt” in the past.

    Nobody trusts the FA to investigate itself, so this should be done either by parliament, or by the police. Further allegations this morning, suggest Allardyce is the thin edge of a wedge of corruption in English football, and for that, the FA are responsible.

    I’m not at all confident that the media will follow this through with a call for full investigations into corruption because on the whole, they are part of it. I think the only “group” who could force through and investigation into football corruption in this country, are the supporters.

    However, I feel that like Halseygate, this current debate will quickly be swept under the media carpet!

  11. Norman14

    “I’m not at all confident that the media will follow this through with a call for full investigations into corruption because on the whole, they are part of it. I think the only “group” who could force through and investigation into football corruption in this country, are the supporters.

    However, I feel that like Halseygate, this current debate will quickly be swept under the media carpet”

    You echo the exact points I made earlier.

    We need our media to expose these bodies, these individuals, but they are as bad as the those we want them to expose.

    As I said, with there collective snout so entrenched in the footballing trough, they are part of the problem, not the solution.

  12. Money! Money! Money! Throw in a Maureen, throw in Sam’s willing helpers with all their fingers they want to donate to him so he can lick up more honey, throw in oceans more dosh being placed on the hour, every hour, without any control over where it ends up, and how it ends up, and you’ve got modern football, TV sport in a hall of currencies.

    The scandals will be never ending because the corruption and the opportunity for more corruption extends as far as the eye can see. All we are left with, aside from the good piece of work from the Telegraph and Tony’s admirable description of Big Sam, are a series of questions and a few choice moments.

    Shearer’s sadness, for example. He knew Allardyce’s record. How could a manager named years ago for his attachment to the honey ever be made the English manager, the choice applauded?

    Where language does fail – third party ownership of a player is a rewrite of the old slavery shackles. What then of the FA’s control of the game of football? Who gave them their right? Why are club players subject to the dictates of national team managers? Why are corrupt, addled, organisations such as the English FA held to be ‘custodians of the laws and morals of football” as I heard someone say?

    A good article Tony.

  13. Each time I hear about Fat Sam I remember the story Dofgace once told about Fat Sam and how he (Dogface) made some fun on his behalf during a match at the Emirates….

  14. I’m most interested to hear the names that Allardyce reveals that are bleeped out in the Telegraph video.
    I think we can probably guess who’s near the top of the likely candidates.

  15. I’d be very surprised if Mons. Wenger will be be silly enough to take on the England job.

    1. Interlulls will be prime opportunity for day after day of assaults on his character by the press.

    2. The FA are corrupt, and I like to think that Mons. Wenger has kept himself above cess pit that football has become.

    3. The talents of England’s players are vastly overrated. Flattered with skillful team mates at their clubs, most are soon found out when playing for England. Wenger would surely be signing on to all but guaranteed failure.

    If the man has any sense, and I think he does… he’ll avoid that poisoned chalice.

  16. A question…doesn’t FIFA have a rule that precludes governments from ‘interfering’ in their FA? If so, besides cutting funding, how does a nation reforom its FA if it can’t be done from within (presuming one gives a toss for FIFA regulations)?

  17. Off topic but the UEF YOUTH LEAGUE game v Basel kicks off in 10 mins.

    Arsenal –
    Keto (GK), Johnson, Bola, McGuane, Bielik (c), Da Graca, Malen, Da Silva, Mavididi, Dragomir, Reiss Nelson.

    Subs, Virginia (GK), Osei-Tutu, Coyle, T Bola, Hinds, Nketiah, Mourgos

  18. Basel

    Pukaj GK), Vogrig, Galeano, Cumart, Kaiser, Pacheco, Schmidt, Stabile, Manzambi (c), Pepsi, Liechti

    Subs – Lokaj, Micelli, Tausch, Rashiti,, Bislimi, Thurkauf, Tranzle


  19. It’s all spin on Wenger and England as everyone knows he will never leave the Emirates comfort zone on 8m plus a year where he is under no pressure to deliver trophies as has been evidenced by the past 12 years. Sam is a disgrace but then is there a single club in the PL who is not guilty under the sickening financial climate that has been created for them by TV and mass media – products you lot are forever knocking in a sheep like manner. Just suprised Untold has not taken most of the credit for this latest debacle. Reality is a funny old thing and for some it just never knocks on their door.

  20. Half time here at Borehamwood and Basel lead by one goal to nil – deservedly so

    Goal by Basel no 4. Cümart. Free kick inside their half Keto caught off his line great kick over his head.

  21. The Brickfields Gunners Blog – 10 REASONS WHY AW WILL NEVER BE ENGLAND MANAGER –

    1. Rectitudinous in character

    2. Uprightness of every action .

    3. Unbending and virtuous principles.

    4. Undiminished loyalty .

    5. Unshakable moral compass .

    6. Magnanimous and generous .

    7. Humility and modesty

    8. Perseverance in the face of adversity /negativity .

    9. Integrity .

    10. Honesty .

    All things that makes him what he is and them , what they are not .

  22. Bielik, our best player, picked up an injury about8 minutes from the end of the half. He collided with the railing separating the supporters from the pitch and was on the ground for a long time. He walked off very gingerly with his right arm immobile. Have to hope he is OK for the second half. Looks like Tolaji Bola to come on. We now have both Bolas on.

  23. What are the principles (or faults ) that you would like your England manager to posses ?

  24. I never understand fully why Martians visit our website. We don’t speak the same language and our logic processes are completely different. This will never change.

  25. MickHazel

    Thought Jack was still at Bournemouth or are you attempting to comment on Theo’s rebirth?

  26. Wonder if Daily Telegraph or some other newspaper has the balls to go after Mike Riley’s and his secret organisation next!

  27. On a different note, read in the newspapers that “Abramovich is ready to bankroll another Chelsea spending spree” if needed.

    Made me wonder what about the FFP implications? How much more can Chelsea spend without falling foul of the FFP (given that you need £35-40mn nowadays for a proven world class defender and north of £70-80mn for a world class midfielder)?

  28. Jambug..

    Apologies, didn’t notice my plagiarism – whilst unintentional, I think it shows how like minded people feel about the FA.

    I don’t believe for one minute that a private company (FIFA/FA/PGMOL) can stop a government investigating potential fraud within them. If, however, they can’t (investigate), then the UK government wants to act pretty damn quick and change that! What are FIFA going to do – stop us getting the World Cup?

    I think there should be a petition to ask the government to investigate, because this needs stopping now.

  29. Twit feed wasn’t doing anything, so I went to Basel were given a penalty deep into stoppage time, and converted it. Arsenal lose 1-2.

  30. The FA must have some major resignations for failure to interview the candidate adequately. This candidate was known to be flakey but wasn’t sufficiently questioned & advised prior to being appointed. I suppose the FA are just as greedy but have not been entrapped yet. I am sure the same applies to the PGMO.

    Despite all this bile laden sport, there are still media propositions that Wenger might be considered. He will not get involved in this immorality that seems to be the norm without embarrassment.

  31. The U19s lost in time added on to a dreadful penalty decision. Would only normally be given by Mike Dean. Ball struck from two yards away at full power by their No 9 (a big hit Chiori Johnson with his hand in front of his face and the ref awards a penalty. Outrageous decision and one which robbed us of a hard fought draw.

    Their first goal was a 55 yard free kick where the taker saw Keto well off his line and hit the ball over his head. Our goal was a good finish from Dragomir following a rare good long through ball.

  32. @Gord

    It was a foul decision worthy of Mike Dean at his Machiavellian worst. Don’t know who the ref was but he was dreadful all game. I’m disgusted with the result as were the crowd and the Arsenal bench. An absolute travesty!

  33. Norman14

    No worries my friend. I plagiarised Tony in the first place !

    As for the point you make regarding FIFA/FA/PGMOL. Exactly. A private company immune from investigation in to possible fraud ?

    How does that work ?

  34. Andrew

    The officials for the U19, as listed by

    _ Tim Marshall (NIR)

    Assistant referees
    _ David Anderson (NIR)
    _ Andrew Nethery (NIR)

    Fourth official
    _ John Brooks (ENG) only has the referee doing 35 games.

    Transfermarkt has 99 games for him. He seems to give penalties at about 11% the rate of yellow cards. No idea how that compares to others. Soccerway has a blurb on him. In his last 6 games in the middle, he has issued M yellow cards per game. Here is M in reverse order: 3, 3, 4, 8, 3, 6. It would seem he is recently card happy.

  35. I’m surprised they want AW as manager of England. Are they not afraid he will take all of his players from Arsenal? 🙂

  36. para

    Thanks for the link.

    Polo put it up a little earlier on the previous article.

    As I said over there, it has some very funny moments and I particularly enjoyed the ‘frying pan’ and the ‘lawnmower’.

  37. No Bulldog thread yet?

    Oh well, posted the lineup.

    Arsenal team: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Alexis.

    Arsenal substitutes: Cech, Gabriel, Gibbs, Elneny, Reine-Adelaide, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas.

  38. I finally seen the Untold Arsenal banner in a picture for a game! coverage of 24 minutes after the hour, (kickoff is 45-ish).


  39. Daily Mail coverage says the atmosphere is building.

    I kind of doubt it. I think the atmosphere has been here for quite a long time. There was a blurb in the science news that Earth seems to be losing oxygen faster than expected, but that is a trivial effect that won’t influence this game.

    Medja types like to talk about the pressure. The weather report suggests to me that the pressure is probably steady, and is probably slightly above 101.325 kPa.


  40. Gord, I think they were talking about the atmosphere in the stadium. The more noise people make it seems the “atmosphere” is considered good. Or electric. Or whatever term. Intimidating. Unless its the away fans who are making the noise.

    Too many cliches in football these days, I’ve watched all our games on (Who btw Gord, are still using Flash and not HTML 5 for some reason) and their commentary while unbiased is very cliched and not great. Adrian Clarke is the only exception, he is the only person who speaks well.

  41. Basel is consistently reaching out to grab Arsenal players.

    Some really nice Wengerball out there. Let’s get a few more goals guys!


  42. Have we put the wrong banner???…

    Its should’ve been ‘at ARSENAL football is the art’

    What a display. What a display. Brilliant.

  43. I think Iwobi is still trying to get a feel for the team, and vice versa. There seemed to be some (2? 3?) occasions when he should have been slightly better situated.


  44. Don’t know who the commentator on my stream (Fox Florida ) is, but he’s so laid back . Sounds like he’s from Bristol and bloody good

  45. Ludogrets holding their own against visiting PSG (1-1).

    Not seeing too much Arsenal bashing in the written commentary. Daily Mail is doing all the games form a single commentary, and is hardly talking about Arsenal at all.


  46. Match report is on line. I must say that because of an unknown reason for me the preview appeared in between earlier articles….

  47. Has Pandora’s box been opened by recent events? Does the world now see the English game, with all its money is not as clean as some image out.
    If Sam is up to such things, I am sure other managers, players, officials and even owners may be doing dodgy deals.
    We do know how far this will go, there may be vested interests in it dying a very quick death.
    The FA are too weak and lack motivation to properly take this on. But , if they want to keep the brand and money flowing into our game, The Government, the EPL, the LMA and maybe even the PGMOL need to join forces with the FA to ensure that in the future, the game is and is seen to be whiter than white. But, that’s not going to happen, is it?

  48. Really embarrassing episode- the whole saga. It highlights the sickening greed which lies right at the heart of English football. Its no surprise that the Murdoch media has turned a blind eye to the bungs and corruption at the heart of the game-look who their owner is.
    This is not just an issue about incompetence- its about values-and the fact that the values the FA espouses are undermined by a lack of proper regulation concerning financial dealings.
    Allardyce has betrayed the trust placed in him by his employer and has genuinely brought them game in England into disrepute and should be banned from managing again .

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