Rumour mongering hits rock bottom and could now affect Arsenal players.


by Tony Attwood

Rumours and fantasies about Arsenal and its players have undoubtedly reached a new low with the emergence of the story of Bellerin and the fake phone message.

I say it is fake with some force because the story is emerging in blogs that endlessly tell us that a deal is being done, or has been done and then refers us to a source – usually in Spain.  And it is endlessly fake.  There is every reason to think this is fake as well – but it descends to even greater depths than normal so needs to be mentioned.

Following Bellerin’s calm response to the issue of Arsenal Fan TV at the Oxford Union a story has emerged that, in the words of FootballFanCast, has led to a situation in which “the 22-year-old could be in even hotter water following the emergence of an audio recording.”

We do need to consider this carefully because of the point that while anyone can make up a transfer story, and can indeed actually invent a non-existent source for that story, to suggest there is a recording of a phone call goes further.  For that suggests there is a permanent phone tap in place on a phone.  This would be criminal, as is the reporting of a private conversation obtained in this way.

It would also raise the issue of why someone would go to the lengths of having a permanent phone tap on Bellerin’s phone – because if that is what the news industry is doing with footballers that is going to be just about as big as the scandal that brought down the News of the World.

Other people who have reported the tale have made it clear that the audio is a fake – which it has to be assumed to be until any evidence to the contrary emerges.

It seems so unlikely that a) Bellerin would have had the sort of conversation suggested and b) referred to it in a phone conversation suddenly out of the blue and c) have his phone permanently tapped (a difficult and expensive operation), that the most likely explanation by far is that the whole thing is made up in order to retaliate against Bellerin for his comment in the Oxford Union.

Any of these scenarios (the permanent phone tap or the invention of the story in order to retaliate) is utterly appalling and shows the level to which those involved in ceaselessly attacking Arsenal players have sunk.  Indeed there is now nowhere lower to go than this.

It might well be enough to make Bellerin think that he needs to get away from these people – I very, very much hope not, but one could understand it if it happened.

And it raises the question what those of us who do believe in the traditional approach of supporting the players and the team (ie supporting the players and the team) can do.  With this level of assault going on not just on Arsenal Fan TV but also in terms of circulating stories like this, how do those of us who are real supporters respond?

I know the argument, of course, that says that in mentioning all this I am making matters worse and the best thing to do is to ignore Arsenal Fan TV and the like – and indeed in relation to Arsenal Fan TV I have previously done that, save when one of the owners vanished for a while I did write to say that although I disagreed with his approach I hoped he was ok.

Now something must be done, but I am not sure what.  These people (and I am not suggesting in this case Arsenal Fan TV is responsible for the story reported in FootballFanCast because I don’t have the evidence) are now going to any lengths to destabilise Arsenal either in terms of inventing and releasing a fake audio of Bellerin (the most likely) or in terms of actually tapping his phone line, or being associated with people who do, and not reporting them to the police, this is now utterly beyond anything that is reasonable.

For the moment I’m back to my default position: to call these people out and point out how negative the effects are of their attacks on the club and its players in this way.

Of course I take flack for this, and indeed just this week received a demand for a significant payment to a blackmailer for what he claims to be video evidence of me doing unspeakable things.  He may well have a digitally engineered film of the acts (I know he can’t have an actual film, since I have never done such things), and all I can do (as I have done) is pass it all on to the police.

But if that is the price to pay of trying to expose these people for what they are – a mix of attention seekers and the anti-Arsenal-Arsenal then for the moment at least, I’ll pay it.  It still seems right to confront these people rather than just led them spread their bile day after day.  The alternative of ignoring them, seems to lead nowhere.

13 Replies to “Rumour mongering hits rock bottom and could now affect Arsenal players.”

  1. Well for me arsenal fan tv is laughable and if any of those that they handpick for reactions and stuff after games had any semblance of an iq I would be surprised. The thing with arsenal fan tv is they suggest that the people they speak to represent the majority of fan views and that is irksome. I always like to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself and go home watch the match in full if televised or on highlights from arsenal tv.
    Then form an opinion on performance not result. Result might have been good but performance poor or vice versa.
    As for the bellerin stories they will continue to happen and are more than likely fake. If you had this audio conversation it had to have been obtained illegally unless hector is stupid enough to agree to a taped conversation which I highly doubt. Also if in possession of such a thing does not mean a thing with splicing and editing you could take any video or audio podcast of bellerin and make up a recording saying the things you want people to hear, so he may have said those words at several times during his life time but not in a single conversation or context it is being portrayed as.
    Can we ignore this type of stuff yes and it would probably be easier to do that than spend time responding to it. However, the question is should we ignore this type of disgraceful behaviour and my answer to that isand always will be no you have to stand up and promote right and proper behaviour at all times.

  2. Tony

    You might be informed about the right to use the name “Arsenal”. Can Arsenal Football Club deny/revoke the permission for using the name “Arsenal” to that horrible AFTV crap show?

  3. Josif, I thought Arsenal may be able to do that or at least cause them serious legal fees defending themselves.
    About 8 years ago I seem to remember a case where a flower shop in Spain was using the Arsenal name and they were fighting the right at great cost but I cannot recall the outcome or the exact details of the story.

  4. It is not just hustlers and blackmailers who are trying to make money by denigrating the players and the manager and destabilising the team. It is also journalists and so called pundits. For example Jason Burt of the ‘Telegraph ‘, writing in January 2014, while gushingly praising Mourinho, advised the Arsenal Board, not just to sack Wenger, but to sever all connection with him immediately. What happened? Wenger won three FA Cups while Mourinho was sacked after failing at Chelsea. Alan Shearer this January assured us on Match of the Day that Wenger had destroyed his financial legacy by failing to sell Sanchez and Ozil last summer. What happened? Ozil signed a new contract and we got Mkhitaryan in exchange for Sanchez. Do these ‘experts’ ever admit they maybe got it wrong? No chance.

  5. This is part of our media and internet culture- devoid of proper standards. Where everyone has an opinion- but there are no minimum standards of evidence or information- anyone can say anything. So that people can say” I fink that player is crap” or ”the ref is corrupt’ or if you are a blogger on le grove- Arsenal need to sell all 25 players because Wenger and all players are total total, total crap-and never get challenged regarding the evidence-then call yourself a fan. A fan of what? Any one can call themselves a fan- from blinkered supporters who blindly support what ever the manager says as if he was the golden Dalek, to those who hate everything about the club- but that does not mean any of them are fans.
    One thing I have noticed about Le Grove is that its supporters would not be out of place in the Republican party- such is their boorish right wing rhetoric.

    This rubbish gets published because it is regarded as entertaining to say things that are idiotic and stupid.

  6. I watched Hector’s appearance at the Oxford Union (it’s available on YouTube), and I’m depressed but unsurprised at how some of his words have been wrenched out of context.

    It must be daunting for anyone to appear at such an august gathering, before some of the brightest minds in the nation, and answer wide-ranging questions for nearly an hour, but he did so courteously, charismatically and intelligently. He spoke of his roots in Spain, playing in England, his charitable work, his businesses and leisure activities. He fielded a question about a particular referee (Mike Dean?) diplomatically and sympathetically. He showed himself to be a thoughtful and well rounded personality.

    And as to what he actually said about AFTV, his initial response to the question, was to query how so-called “fans” can trade on negativity, but he then expanded to suggest that everyone is entitled to an opinion, and that anyone such as AFTV, should be able to make a living. There was a wider context too, in that he spoke at length about the dichotomy of social media.

    None of this seems to have been reported.

  7. Let’s forget about all these pandoras but focus on the real business at hand as Arsenal are preparing for the return leg of their Europa League Cup last 32 match against Osterdunds FK and beat them at the Ems tomorrow. And also focus on how Arsenal will overcome Man City in the Carabao Cup final match at Wembley after the Gunners must have dealt Ostersunds a blow in the ELC match to qualify for the last 16 of the competition. And again focus on how we will beat Man City to the collection of all points in a Premier League big game clash at the Ems after the Gunners would have lifted the Carabao Cup at Wembley to the faces of the Citizens to deny them the access to win the treble this season. I believe these 3 games coming our ways in 10 days or so are important enough for us the Gooners to draw our attention to focus on them hoping Le Boss will proffer the tactical know how that will master Ostersunds and Man City to see these duo club sides to 3 defeats in 3 games.

    Player comes player goes but Arsenal will remain. If Bellerin for an improved contract deal force his way out of Arsenal next summer to Real Madrid or Bacarlona for £60m transfer fee plus add ons just like Alexis Sanchez and Aubameyang forced their ways from Arsenal to Man Utd and from Dortmund to Arsenal, who knows? It could turnout to be a blessing for Arsenal in disguise. Arsenal will accept it, won’t they? For, they have Chambers, Maitland and Holding who are naturally right backs or can be adapted to that role efficiently for Arsenal. And besides, Arsenal can reinforce their right back option with a top quality right back signing in the summer.

  8. Tony,

    what I do not understand is the ‘visibly-as-far-as-we-know’ passive attitude of the club. Hector is an employee. He is getting attacked as such.
    He did give an intelligent response to the stupid morons publishing fake stories. Whate we are seing is them hitting back. Just wait for fake pictures, fake videos, etc

    Why is the club NOT standing behing its player ? Why is it not standing up and hitting back ? Why can it not get some serious people look at IT forensics and get to the source of these blogs and expose them ?

    Stand by me…. that’s what the song says. At the level of the club, it’s owners, I feel they are not doing it. But then again, maybe they act behind the scenes.

  9. So Rupee Baby is the richest republican member, with the most tentacles. He runs the media you are talking about, he is also so old, that if indicted, the case won’t go to court before he’s dead.

    Henry and Kroenke, by comparison are street hustler red members, but if Hector is founded a sale can be facilitated.

    Now the sale of sky, pushed by the culture secretary to avoid the scandal and cost of a court challenge through CMA, means that the liability is jettisoned to a great wxntent. The government are trying to make the scalping of certain senior cogs in Sky part of a successful bid for merger. Removing more of the liabilities.

    Cleaning house, now the Saudi’s float here, while the pound is low, Brexit collapses and the pound rises. Profits and increased capital giant for purchasers. England plays middle man, its best asset. Win, win, win, except the 80% of tax payers.

    West Ham covered up the failure of the Olympics, as do City, as Spurs and Chelsea stem some of the losses from a diabolical Wbley development. Such a waste of ground and varwlt any infasteucture for the project. With the former athlete she forms, simply atrocious.

    But it’s a bit like my boss, you can’t cover up what is missing by rotating stock, you have to add stock, I added 200 tea bags, we started selling earl grey, £2 a pop. I returned after taking maybe 20 myself, we had 2. £260 added. Then you can filter that in by having a stock surplus.

    But the government have so many deficits, they cannot plug them all. It’s inn the brink of collapse due to mismanagement, because Labour under Gordon Brown, put in place a long term, redline plan. We’d run at max capacity and create capital, though infrastructure, positive trade and increased public expenditure, creating employment, thus disposable income and high street sales.

    The conservatives went to undermine that, but apparently can’t do maths. Reece Mog can, but that would ge dostopian. Boris can’t think straight, dystopian, and Gove an drew Davies, are a couple of Ex Eatonesque idiots.

    House of Lords, illegals, but fortunately most want the pirates to be passed on merit, history and through election. If you do it properly. You can still have lineage on merit, through preference and opportunity.

    However opposing self developments through stifling opportunity, grammar schools, whilst enhancing the opportunities for others at a general cost to the80%; grammar schools. Is a recipe for disaster. Because it shortens the pool and creates defects.

    A sense of entitlement and delusion self assurity. The govenrnet. PGMO!

  10. In other recent news, Jose exports his anti football to Sevilla for 0-0!

    Depending on how you view it, Sevilla may be buoyed or frustrated. After 25 shots to 6 and the lions share of possiession they discover that even the best effort should are met by what Ian likely the best GK in world football at present.

    So with the final games of the opening knockout tirs completed, Liverpool, City and Arsenal have all but booked their place in the next rounds.

    Meanwhile Spurs find themselves 2 away goals to the good after their draw a team Dela Alpi, whilst Chelsea trail after a 1-1 draw in London.

    Without an away goal for United, they will have to talent a positive approach to their home tie. With any score draw being insufficient to see themselves progress. And Sevilla looking nearly as capable at nicking one and diggin in for the night.

    Arsenal face a quick skirmish at home to decidedly lesser opponents, beforehand back to back meeting with Coty in first the league, then Cup.

    With City then hosting the Derby shortly after that before facing off with Spurs. Arsenal have yet more chances to catch up.

    With top four almost guaranteed, but pole all but out of sight. Expect more anti football even ignore United are the hosts for Liverpool a week after visiting Chelsea. For the ‘biggest’ club in England, not losing will be far more important than a maximum 3 points.

    Next up for analysis, the Chelsea ‘traffickers’ horror slide. Given their performance against Barcelona, their big guns must be surely thinking, why did we release a number 9 an drew buy a 9 3/4 we won’t deploy against Barcelona even in the latter stages to play off of ieven when looking for set pieces?

    So with back to back visits up to Manchester before those pesky shrimps from the Palace cross town, before a sapping visit to chase the ball at the Nou Camp.

    Then Burnley who just don’t know when they are beaten before Leicester and their tireless running. Then Spurs, The Hammers, S’hampton who are finding their form finally. And then the 2 relegation candidates Huddersfield and Swansea.

    It doesn’t look good for then Bridge faithful, on or off the pitch.

    A Cup run doesn’t come out of all those slips.

    Liverpool have a mixed bag in fixtures which bodes well for a CL an drew FA Cup run. Expect them to drop the odd points here and there before going off the boil totally and limping pit the season.

    Spurs on the other hand have a list almost a similar easy as our own remaining games. But as they seem to insist on Cup replays, and grotesque football,effectively in the league and Cup may be worth their efforts, but everyone can’t win the head to heads and CL requires at least some class, even if you play, anti-football.

    The Dr prescribed bacon to back wins against Ann already title holding City.



  11. I have this puzzling theory/question in my head; that surely, the supposed “audio convo of Bellerin” (correct me if I’m wrong) did not just happen some few days ago. But the timing of its release (days after the ArsenalFan TV call out), seems to me as a retaliation of some sort. Also, of all outlet (God! I love this word) to use, to break!!! the ‘news’, why FootballFanCast?
    Now, if you will, replace the word ‘football’ with ‘Arsenal’ in the above named media outlet (did I say I love this word?), you’ll see my theory.

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