by Tony Attwood
It is certainly not the most well-followed trophy among those that Arsenal are engaged in, but it is there, the fifth competition on the agenda, and having seen one of our games thus far I can confirm for those who do go, it is good fun.
For below the Permier League, FA Cup, Europa League and League Cup, Arsenal are also playing in the Checkatrade Trophy. In this, clubs from the third and fourth tier of football, play against the under 21s of some Premier League sides.
We played against Cheltenham, Forest Green and Coventry, and having beaten Coventry but lost to Cheltenham we’ve now beaten League Two’s Forest Green (who play in Nailsworth) to qualify for the next stage. The reward is an away game against Portsmouth in the next round.
In the Forest Green game Joe Willock opened the scoring with a penalty just before half time, and then two minutes later (even closer to half time) Willock received the ball from Saka and scored his second.
Tyreece John-Jules got third after Forest Green had pulled one back in the second half, 1602 being in the ground. The Arsenal team was
Ballard, Bola, Bramall, Pleguezuelo
Willock, Zelalem, Coyle
John-Jules, Olayinka, Saka
Zelalem, whose brilliant career has been cut short by a series of injuries was substituted at half time, but I am not sure if there was an injury of if this was tactical.
So the table ended up…
|3||Forest Green Rovers||3||1||1||1||6||4||2||4|
Meanwhile the Football League clubs have agreed a new deal with Sky for the televising of games, although some of the larger clubs are reported to be unhappy with the package on offer and continue to be looking into setting up their own direct to viewers service. Sky are also introducing some games which are only made available to pubs and clubs.
And elsewhere there are more revelations among which is the story that Manchester United paid Monaco €4.5 million for a friendly match which never took place, as part of the arrangements for a loan of Radamel Falcao.
The allegations say that Manchester United proposed making part of the payment for the loan dependent on them finishing in the top four and thus qualifying for the Champions League.
That however would have been completely illegal and been utterly obvious to anyone taking more than a cursory glance at the accounts – which suggests there was either supreme arrogance on Manchester United’s part or else they were woefully ignorant of the rules.
What then happened instead, it is said, is that Falcao did indeed go on loan for €6 million but a second contract was agreed in which Manchester United would pay €4.5 million to play the friendly with the contract saying that the money would be paid even if the game was not played.
In fact the club could not have played the friendly since as normal they were on tour (in the USA) in the summer. Falcao then moved to Chelsea on loan.
There is one other development emerging amidst all the leaks of emails that have given us these stories in recent times, and that is that the Premier League clubs who have not been accused of any wrong doing in the leaks, are said to be getting a bit fed up with the notion that they are abiding by the rules, and others are not, and are starting to discuss between each other what might be done next.
As for the reactions to the leaks and other tales of potential wrongdoing, I’ve mentioned my own amusement about the comments that we should not handle the story because Arsenal bribed its way into the first division. Amusement since we were the ones who published on the Arsenal History Society site the only complete account of those events, with evidence. The key articles are listed below, in case you are interested.
Then we have had the argument about the fact that FFP is itself illegal and could be challenged in the courts. In fact it has been challenged both in football’s own courts and in the European courts, the those seeking to overturn it have lost each time. Those details are included in the rather obviously named article Is FFP legal or could it be challenged in the European courts?
A third argument is that the evidence used in the articles we’ve been running in the interlull has been stolen, and therefore not somehow acceptable. That’s obviously a matter of opinion, but for me, given that this is not (at least the last time I looked) a court of law but just a place where issued can be explored, the source of the data is not particularly relevant. What matters is whether it is likely to be true, and the impending enquiries suggest to me it might be. And therefore the tales seem to me to be worth covering.
Although all that is just my view of course.
Here are the articles about Arsenal’s election in 1919.
- April 1915: New revelations concerning perhaps the most important month in Arsenal’s history
- November / December 1915: the match fixing scandal comes to the fore: Norris is armed
The voting and the comments before and after the election
- The first suggestion that Arsenal could be elected to the 1st division.
- Arsenal in January 1919: rioting in the streets and the question of promotion
- What the media said about the election of Arsenal to the 1st division in 1919
- Arsenal prepare for the vote on who should be promoted to the First Division
- March 1919: The vote to extend the league and what the media said
- Why did the clubs vote for Arsenal rather than Tottenham in March 1919?
- Arsenal v Tottenham update, team news and appalling, flagrant media bias
- Arsenal have benefitted by the world cup break: allegedly.
- Arsenal and Tottenham: which has had the easier ride so far this season?
- Arsenal v Tottenham: not exactly a battle of equals.
- Death by 300,000 passes: how the Arsenal transformation started 2 seasons ago.