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If there were match fixing in England would we ever be told?

By Tony Attwood

As you may have read, in Belgium there has been a series of arrests at football clubs and elsewhere related to fraud and match fixing.   These followed around 50 raids in Belgium and another raft in France, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia.

Reports suggest that the Brugge coach Ivan Leko and a former official at Anderlecht are among those who were being questioned by police along with referees (yes referees), player agents, accountants and laywers, and of course journalists.

And I say “of course journalists” because this type of activity can only continue where journalists, editors and publishers are complicit in covering up what is going on.

In terms of what they arrested are believed to have been doing, it is the normal range of activities ranging from money laundering through football clubs, and match fixing.

Over 180 officials from the police departments of 36 countries were involved in the arrests.

As for the reasons for the fraud these are multiple.  The amount of money sloshing around in football and moving about through transfer deals is huge and so illegal payments and tax fraud are inevitable.  Plus the ease of organising Type III match fixing in countries with sloppy referee regulation means that people are bound to try it, and indeed the reports suggest that there may well have been match fixing during 2017/18.  (See footnote for a description of the three types of match fixing)

Now as you will be aware we never have reports of anything like this in England.  We have the most appalling situation with pedophiles having gained entrance to clubs posing as trainers – but that investigation which was supposed to have been rooting out everything that was amiss has been silent for the past two years.   Stories relating to certain clubs having been infiltrated have just vanished.

We have occasional tales about matters being very amiss in the FA.  I endlessly mention the Untold report of Sport England money being withdrawn from the FA, not just because it was a scandal that the FA had not used the money properly but because none of the media covered it in depth, and only one or two gave it a one line mention.  It suggests we really are not being told what is going on.

We have the scandal of the millions of pounds tax payers money being spent on a bid for hosting the world cup in England, only to find we only got two votes (one was England’s).  And now the FA are proposing to repeat the operation – with pretty much the same people running the bid as last time!!!

We have suggestions at the moment that all is not well with the Wembley stadium bid.  And we have the Tax Payers Stadium fiasco.   The last time I mentioned that a West Ham supporter wrote in and said surely it was better to have West Ham in the stadium under the present arrangements rather than no one, to which my answer is no – it would have been better never to have built the stadium, or having built it to have bulldozed it afterwards and turned the area into desperately needed social housing.

So yes there are scandals in England related to football at all levels, and yet … match fixing never comes up, and others that do get mentioned (from the FA not spending Sport England money properly through to pedophiles running youth academies) then just vanish.

And of course maybe that is because there is nothing to report.  But there is one other thought.  Given the way that the media refuses to deal with certain topics, could it be that the topic of match fixing is there, but never mentioned under agreement?

After all, the media won’t talk about

  • The wholly unnecessary secrecy of PGMO (unnecessary at least if there is nothing to hide)
  • The ease with which type III match fixing can be arranged
  • The case of the withdrawal of Sport England money after it found the FA was misusing it
  • The remarkable lack of referees in the PL which would aid the setting up of Type III match fixing if anyone wanted to do it
  • The refusal of the media ever to criticise the performance of a referee or to engage in any meaningful and reliable statistical analysis of how well a referee did – an analysis of the type undertake in our 160 game review.  After all if we could do it with our limited resources why can’t a newspaper?
  • The refusal of PGMO to accept VAR this season although most other major league have it.
  • The agreement of the broadcast media not to show or mention certain events in a match.

Which leads me to wonder.  If there has been or currently is a scandal in English football akin to that in Belgium football, how would we ever find out?  I rather suspect we wouldn’t (or haven’t) been told.

Footnote: Three types of Match Fixing

Type I: an interested party bribes a referee to ensure that Team A beats Team B.  Very crude, easy to spot.

Type II: an interested party bribes a referee to ensure that Team A loses matches.  Harder to spot since there could be any one of several interested clubs that arrange for Team A to lose, but still not too hard to see since it is always one club that is being hit.

Type III: a club owner bribes a number of referees and media outlets to help ensure that Teams B, C, D and E don’t win as many games as they might.   This can be through no awarding a penalty near the end of the game, sending a player off who might otherwise have been yellow carded, giving dubious offsides, seeing a ball to arm as handball where others might not have given it.  In this scenario there is no gambling on the outcome of specific games rather a desire by Team A that its rivals don’t do as well as they might.   The ref’s influence might therefore occur only in every third or fourth game and be simply a disallowed goal or a couple of offsides – and it will be spread across a number of clubs.   Type III fixing is stopped by ensuring that no referee ever referees a club more than twice in a single season, and by making the organisation of all things to do with refereeing open and transparent at all stages.   This is the type of match fixing which was at the heart of the Calciopoli scandal in 2006 in Italy.

 

 

10 comments to If there were match fixing in England would we ever be told?

  • DEW

    I think the media is more worried the negativity exposing such stories would bring to the British football than the benefit of making justice for the committed crime. If there were match fixing in England, then it would be much more complicated and well financed than other leagues. For me the third type of match fixing with a team of referees, players, and media is at play in England. Then it would be easy to allege that United is the most beneficiary and Arsenal is the most victimized clubs. We used to call such staffs as bias. I am guessing that this could be a major reason for Wenger frustration and lack of ambition in the second half of his tenure at Arsenal.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The more money involved, the more chance there is that dodgy people hang around and do dodgy things.
    If you compare the amount of money going round in Belgium football to the enormous amount of money going round in the PL you can imagine that some people might be very interested in that big amount of money going round and take a slice of it.
    For the moment the situation is still unclear to what really happened.
    Money laundering and trying to fix some matches seems to be on the cards.
    2 top referees seem to be involved in this attempt of match fixing (which in the end seem the have failed! )

    I guess the most important person Moghy Bayat in this case was better in fixing other matches than the refs and another player manager linked with another club.

    At the time (last match of the season – relegation battle between two clubs) everybody found the outcome of some matches (and certainly the way they went during the 90 minutes) very, very strange.
    This seems to be confirmed now that there really was something strange happening.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Wenger had the ambition to win the PL Title again for at least up to another 3 times in the last 10 years of the 22 years he managed Arsenal. But the PGMO will not allow him as they became seriously against his winning it again and made sure he didn’t win it. As a result of which the antii-Arsenal match referring child in the PL was given birth to by the PGMOL.

    As long as the PGMO match officiating referees keep on fraudulently referring matches in the PL to deliberately tilt the result of marches being played in favour of some teams to the disfavour of other teams, even if they are not bribed, it’s still match fixing. Because the main and real essence of playing the matches which is to see which team among the contesting teams will truly becomes the champions (apartment of the huge financial gains in it for the clubs) is defeated as the exercise becomes a mockery with no integrity in it nor has it any moral and face value.

    But why would the main stream media fail to report any match fixing occurrence in the PL if match fixing is occurring there or has occurred there? Has the media been gagged from reporting it? And who and who have gagged the media from exposing it if actually match fixing does exist in the Pl where the quest to win the Title is at insane level.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Admini, sorry for the duplicate posting of my comment. I did correct some noticeable errors in the first one and repost it.

    Wenger had the ambition to win the PL Title again for at least up to another 3 times in the last 10 years of the 22 years he managed Arsenal. But the PGMO will not allow him as they became seriously against his winning it again and made sure he didn’t win it. As a result of which the antii-Arsenal match referring child in the PL was given birth to by the PGMOL.

    As long as the PGMO match officiating referees kept on fraudulently referring matches in the PL to deliberately tilt the results of matches being played in favour of some teams to the dis-favour of other teams, even if they are not bribed, it’s still match fixing. Because the main and real purpose of playing these matches which is to see which team among the contesting teams will truly becomes the champions (apart of the huge financial gains in it for the clubs) is defeated as the exercise becomes a mockery after all with no integrity in it nor are there and moral and face value in it.

    But why would the main stream media fail to report any match fixing occurrence in the PL if match fixing is occurring there or has occurred there? Has the media been gagged from reporting it? And who and who have gagged the media from exposing it if actually match fixing does exist in the Pl where the quest to win the Title is at insane level?

    Surely, if match fixing is existing in the PL, it can’t be covered from exposing it forever. One some one with hard evidence will expose it. After it was exposed in Ghana and was it Kenya? Then comes Belgium. Where next will it be exposed? No one can say. A coach of one of the Nigerian youth team was exposed for collecting bribe and was dismissed by his NFF employer. But was he charged to court to face criminal charge trial? No news on that.

  • Pete

    Dew – see this re Wenger and corruption in football: https://footballisfixed.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2018-08-01T16:24:00Z&max-results=2

    Let’s hope that Emery is similarly steadfast with his honesty.

  • DEW

    Pete-it is informative blog, thanks. Supporting allegation with evidence is important. From my relatively short experience with Arsenal, I know well that things got ugly when the team starts to build momentum towards something. It has also been embarrassing how the media was reporting on controversial decisions on several occasions.

    Look for example this season fixture against United. Both home and away games are after Spurs(note Arsenal is not in CL). Arsenal-United is a very important global scale game. They know Arsenal has fitness issues in the past so I am guessing that they are exploiting this fact in fixing that match in favor of United.

  • U know who

    Since his; Emery.

    credence
    ˈkriːd(ə)ns/Submit
    noun
    1.
    belief in or acceptance of something as true.
    “psychoanalysis finds little credence among laymen”
    synonyms: acceptance, belief, faith, trust, confidence, reliance, traction
    “psychoanalysis finds little credence among laymen

    Give me the link to the page where the idea that the successes of the new head coach isndoen to the former manager please, also additionally where the current latest additions are most likely to be ones determined by Arsene in conjunction with Sven.

    I do remember suggesting he would have get him some post ots and a few papers to sign to ensure those deals went ahead, a formality as such.

    Menace is entirely top true to his name. I would have gone for the initial typo. And again nothing of the actual sentiment of my comment belatedly added was addressed. Oh that hierarchy again.

    Do I think the would announce the finer details of the investigation, o suspect not? I’m considering the same personally, the weirdness is only abated on part by my faith. I suspect theyneont be as long as with Hillsborough, I guess that was forgotten already. How similar is it to Grenfell? Where is that money? I know what the law says about that situation, it went on a case application to Wansworth held by, Since?!

    But Luxemburg is the key as it’s the head of….?

    Wembley is scrutinised as that bidder who broke his word on a number of Fulham issues moves in, US money? Meanwhile the Standard links Ramsey to two other premier league direct rivals both also Republican with a more sound business strategy if not a higher moral standard.

    As for the last article it wasn’t the best but they did manage to address the winger issue and defensive frailties, it didn’t seem particularly anti wrngerntp me, but could use a little more thought. But seriously it’s Luis not Louis. You all dontnjave dumbphones then, what you using semaphore or telegram or what?

    If We beat Leicester and get one positive result against Sporting we should beat United with Liverpool. Spurs could end in and raw of Poch goes for 1pointnajd top 4 rather than a game pf football. Both these will be some interesting games, each of those teams will want to beat is more than either City or Chelsea, we gotnunlucly at Chelseanbutnthays the game we have to play to beat Utd, City were still buoyant wish we still underdogs we played with them wrong attitude. Emery was straight into the fire I’ll give him that.

    Liverpool and Spurs is a similar game and it’s similar to the Leicester game, it’s avoutntuw first 20 mins or So, marching their intensity and if you can score first you can win. NeiyhernSpurs or Liverpoolnarengreat if you can subdue them early. They can’t tackle for a start and if you can sit in and look fornsharpnwuock breaks you can frustrate them and Nick another.

    I won’t dismantle alArsenal, there is one word that sums up how though and it requires no cheating and not even very good players, but a decent team.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Am I delusional in thinking that the EPL is fixed , and that the PIGMOB is crooked ?
    And that crooks are in charge ?
    And that their hooks /claws /tentacles are in very deep and entrenched ?

  • Far from it Brickfields. It is a perfectly valid interpretation of such evidence as we have. If we had more evidence we could make a definitive judgement, but as things stand, yes that’s completely valid.

  • Andy Mack

    Would PL match fixing be revealed in the British press, Yes, BUT only if there was irrefutable evidence and it fell into the lap of one of the few journalists who aren’t too tied up in the game.
    Are PL matches fixed, well it’s not quite that clear cut, as the ref can affect a game negatively for one team in the first 5 minutes purely by blowing up for a few non-fouls, followed by a yellow for an influential player. Add in a few poor off-side or corner calls and one teams confidence trickles away. When you feel the game’s going against you due to things beyond your own control then it usually starts screwing with your head.
    Whilst some players can close that out, getting 11+ on your team that can do that is an unusual event. That doesn’t mean the outcome is certain, but it does tilt the game in a certain direction.
    We’re coming to the part of the season where the PL management/PR dept will decide on the narrative for the remainder of the season. Which smaller team is going to be assisted to be the ‘plucky outsider’ who will be made up if they get an Europa League place at the end of the season (whilst occasionally bloodying the nose of this seasons unsupported big teams)… Which of the top teams will have their wobble and when. Lots of things the PGMO can massage but can’t ultimately control.
    As I’ve said before, the PGMO are only the ringmasters for the circus owner who is the PL marketing dept.
    Mike Riley may particularly enjoy it when AFC aren’t one of the supported teams but he’s just a paid middle manager in the PL structure.

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