This Thursday Arsenal play the Donald Trump of European football.

Report by Sir Hardly Anyone.  Additional dirt provided by Marianna Trench.


“Untold Arsenal” tries to live up to its name – covering aspects of football that other people don’t, won’t or can’t write much about.  And of course that can give us a tough task because sometimes it is hard to find that much which others don’t cover.  But when it comes to Sporting CP whom we play on Thursday I really don’t think most “outlets” will know where to start.

Let’s got back to May when 50 masked men entered Sporting’s training ground and attacked the players as they were preparing for a training session before the Portuguese Cup final.   They were protesting about… well something, but since I don’t speak Portuguese I can’t really tell you what.  But it might have been because third was not a trophy.  Here is how the season ended.


Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Porto 34 28 4 2 82 18 +64 88
2 Benfica 34 25 6 3 80 22 +58 81
3 Sporting CP 34 24 6 4 63 24 +39 78
4 Braga 34 24 3 7 74 29 +45 75
5 Rio Ave 34 15 6 13 40 42 −2 51

Sporting also lost the cup final, partly because their main striker sustained a head injury in the attack by the masked men.  The President of the club called it an act of terrorism. Over 20 men were arrested.

Not surprisingly a number of players decided they had had enough and so rescinded their contracts on the grounds that the club had failed to protect them from attack thus apparently giving them just cause to leave under EU law.   The manager has also left.   But still at the club there is Bruno De Carvalho, the Donald Trump of football.

He has been in charge since 2013; his relationship with the players is similar to President Trump’s relationship with the press corps.  Last April De Carvalho said that 19 players in the club would be suspended after they spoke out against his criticism of the team in relation to the defeat by Atletico Madrid in the Europa League quarters last season. I am not sure if this threat was carried out.

The translation I have of his commentary on the players’ threat reads, “I’m fed up with spoilt children who don’t represent anything or anyone. This time, my patience has run out for those who think they are above the club and any sort of criticism.”

All of this followed a rather amusing battle with those mighty warriors of truth, decency and taking the taxpayers pounds: David Sullivan and David Gold of the team formally known as West Ham United.   This seems all to have been over the issue of  Carvalho who himself suggested West Ham fans might like to “call David Sullivan and his brother ‘the Dildo Brothers’.”

My personal view was that West Ham v Sporting was like putting two annoying children in the far corner of the room and telling them to sort it out amongst themselves.   Although I did rather like Sporting director Nuno Saraiva describing a comment from David Gold as “intellectual pornography” better suited to “the set of an adult film”.

Those two clubs really do seem to deserve each other, and if the Tax Payers United team ever do make it into Europe again we can only hope that Sporting is also in the mix and the two play each other.  A match made in heaven – or the other place.

But while the Donald Trump of America only has the votes of the American people to consider (and possibly rig, although on that I couldn’t possibly comment) the Donald Trump of football has a 30% shareholder in Sporting taking legal action against him and several other directors for gross violation of duty and to “protect the reputation of the club and the company.”  They added, “The current administration seems to be in denial and think that they answer to no one other than themselves and that must change, quickly.”

Actually that last comment makes it sound as if football journalists are running the club.

So what does all this mean for Arsenal?   Well, in the short term it reduces the potency of the opposition a little, and in the longer term could mean that we might put in a bid for Gelson Martins, the winger, who is 23.  Of course that is just chitter chatter, and indeed Martins is not the only Sporting player allegedly coming our way.

William Carvalho seems to have been linked with us in every transfer window we’ve covered (when he is not joining the mighty TaxPayers United) although just as Sporting’s handling of personnel issues seems a bit sprouty, so do their estimations of the worth of their revolting playing staff.   The Taxpayers United however didn’t think he was fit enough.

Anyway, and by and large most of the players in the club are tipped to be going somewhere – just as every single member of the first team squad was said to be leaving Arsenal last summer.  Which raises the point: some of these reports might not be linked to reality.

But Sporting president Carvalho raised the stakes yesterday, urging West Ham fans to “call David Sullivan and his brother ‘the Dildo Brothers’,” in pursuit of the truth about the Carvalho bid.

Back with the playing staff, Sporting filed a complaint to Fifa and the recently discredited Court of Arbitration for Sport, against three players who claimed they had terminated their contracts over the lack of safety provision, and then signed for other clubs as free agents.  One of these was Rui Patricio who recently joined Wolverhampton.

So it looks like being fun.   More on this game in a little while.

8 Replies to “This Thursday Arsenal play the Donald Trump of European football.”

  1. When you refer to the ‘donald trump’ of european football. are you saying that Sporting CP are a bunch of lying, fu**ing piece of sh*t and deserve to be put up against a wall anf F***ING SHOT after having is skin peeled off as slowly as possible ?

  2. Wow. Sir Hardly, please easy on our dear neighbours. Let’s wait till we get on the turf with them before we show them there is no love lost.

    Would be nice for your expose to mean they get a proper whoop in the arse tomorrow. I really expect a very good game and nothing but all three points in the bag. Nothing less, nothing else.

  3. deejay, I hear you man and in my honest opinion very well put.
    DEW, Only if you respect a lying racist asshole

  4. doug,”lying racist asshole”? Being English, I’m not certain what the third word means but would you be alluding to the Labour party or Remain supporters?

  5. The problem with trying to have any sort of political debate here is that this is not a political blog and the articles are not in essence about political matters; so because of a complete lack of depth in the discussion nothing will be resolved and we are left to name calling.
    Might I ask all commentators to refrain from name calling. I would however be very happy to publish a well-argued article on how and why the UK leaving the EU is likely to affect football.

  6. Tony, Bearing in mind your reasonable observation above, may I ask politely that you refrain from your occasional political and idealogical mutterings (unless they specifically relate to the topic)? That would help prevent the Comments from being hijacked away from football. An article on Brexit and its affect on football would be interesting but I would not wish to devote the amount of time needed to research it. It may well be that, like all the other “definite facts” about Brexit that have not happened (because we haven’t Brexited yet), it will be conjecture. However, my personal view is if Brexit saw the demise of football, that would be two corrupt institutions rid of at once. I would miss reading your blog, though.

  7. Peter Kay that is a most interesting point and I am torn both ways as well as admitting that I have opinions – like everyone.

    My view is that part of the problem with the mass media is that the writers and commentators therein pretend to be neutral when in fact they all have agendas. Not because they are necessarily overtly pushing that agenda but because the institution for whom they work has an agenda as well as feeling that they have a need to “spice it up” and “grab the reader by the throat” (as we say in my day job of writing adverts).

    I do try and make it clear that an opinion is an opinion and a fact is something that can be backed up, and which is which, but we have people (and I am honoured always to see them here) who have been reading Untold for ten years, and they don’t want to read the same disclaimer from me over and over.

    What I would love to have is more writers, but since the income from the advertising only pays for the lunatic level of protection needed on the site to stop data being stolen and the site being hacked, I can’t afford it.

    I do take your point but the best I can offer is to make it clear what is a personal point and what is something that seems to be reflective of a widely held opinion, and what can be backed up as fact. Without boring the long term readers who know it off by heart.

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