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Why is the UK media utterly ignoring Uefa’s declaration on match fixing?

By Tony Attwood

At the weekend I mentioned the failure of the UK media to report Uefa’s admission that match fixing has now reached such a high level that they can’t cope any more and want outside agencies to tender for the chance to study match fixing and report it back to Uefa.

This is, for me (if no one else) explosive news.   We know that corruption exists in football because occasionally people are arrested in terms of what are considered by the UK media “match fixing scams” and we know that in other countries (notably but not exclusively Italy) there have been major corruption scandals not centring on gambling but on certain major clubs bribing referees.

Now Uefa has said that it can’t cope any more, yet I still haven’t any British paper touch the topic.  And so I start pondering why.  Why ignore the fact that the organisation that oversees football in Europe says that match fixing is now so rampant that it can’t deal with it by itself and needs the help of outside agencies?

1. They don’t think it applies to England

Of course there is a long history of match fixing in England going back at least to the era just before the first world war (we’ve covered it in depth in the series “Henry Norris at the Arsenal” on the Arsenal History website).   Bringing this up to date in February 2013 Uefa released its survey of 380 European matches that were fixed, of which one took place in England.  This was a Champions League game and details were not released at the time because of what were called, “ongoing judicial proceedings”.  I don’t know what happened after that.

In 2013 six people were arrested by the National Crime Agency following an article in the Daily Telegraph that November.  Before that there was the issue of at least one match involving Accrington Stanley being fixed – but of course these are all called minor affairs.  The story happens, the story goes.  It doesn’t apply to us, no more headlines.

2. Uefa is run by a funny bunch of foreigners who being foreign do funny things.

We know all about the activities of Fifa and their corruption – indeed as I have often liked to mention, it was Untold that broke the story that the law in Switzerland had changed to allow the US officials to arrest Fifa executives – which a few months later they duly did.

The media ignored our piece (see link above) but did get excited when the arrests happened.  Yet even then there was no thought of consequences.   Within a few years of admitting that the bidding process to give the World Cup to Qatar was fixed, England was back with a plan to spend another £10m of taxpayers money on another bid to host the WC without any certainty at all that Fifa had cleaned its act up.

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So the English media sees corruption as being a foreign thing, but we still want to be part of the game.

3.  It spoils the image.

People, I have heard broadcasting executives argue, don’t want to know about corruption.  They want to watch the match, cheer their team and yes sometimes boo the referee.  That’s football and any talk of corruption spoils it.   But of course the image has long since gone, as with the Daily Telegraph article of September 2016 in which it was revealed that their undercover reporters had found eight Premier League managers who were open to corrupt payments.

And this came after the appalling Sam Allardyce lost his job as England manager as the Telegraph filmed cash payments being made under the table.

They said at the tim,e “It leaves the FA facing its biggest crisis in recent years, as it deals with evidence that attempts to clean up the game have failed.”

The Telegraph then wrote that it had “agreed to give all relevant transcripts to the Football Association and has also passed information to the police. As well as the eight current and recent Premier League managers named by agents, two bosses of Championship clubs were said to have been open to so-called “bungs” – illicit payments.”

And since then?   No clean up.  Yes a lot of excellent work on chasing down child sex abusers but nothing on bungs or match fixing.

So when the media and the FA seemingly conspire not to follow up on revelations about corruption it is perhaps not at all surprising that they won’t publicise the fact that Uefa is saying that it can’t cope with the level of match fixing now going on.

I suspect (and yes of course I fully admit I have no direct evidence on this) that the only explanation is that the accredited media (TV, radio, major newspapers) sign deals which in return for access to clubs and managers means they agree not to publish anything at all about match fixing in England.

Now if you are 100% certain there is nothing wrong, that’s fine.  But if, when Uefa says that match fixing in Europe is now so huge that it can’t cope any more, you feel that maybe there is something that is not being reported, then you share my view that there is a lot we are not being told.

We get the scraps of course such as Liverpool’s dealings with the signing of youth players recently and their subsequent ban for one year.  And Chelsea’s dodgy deals with another one year ban from signing players, but Uefa isn’t currently talking about that sort of thing.  It is talking about match fixing.

Maybe England is immune.  But if it is, surely that in itself is a story.  Surely the FA should be telling Uefa how, uniquely among Uefa countries, England is totally and utterly match-fixing free.

That, surely, is a good story.  And yet we don’t get that.  We get a total silence.  And maybe it is just me, but I find that ominous.

14 comments to Why is the UK media utterly ignoring Uefa’s declaration on match fixing?

  • Mikey

    No it’s not just you Tony. Ominous is the kindest word I can think of.

    What I find strange is that some people will actually disagree with your conclusion…………I suspect without any rational argument for doing so though.

  • lil dre

    How about that time RvP got a red card @ Camp Nou for finishing off an attack, when the Arsenal was winning. Think that lousy ref got promoted to a leading position within the body after that. Nothing to see here, move along.

    And that time Barca hired that scandalous cycling doping supreme-O doctor, and then they went on a 2 year run without injuries, playing on an insane level, every match.
    Nothing to see here, move along.

    Or how about that statistic the Arsenal have with good ol Mike Dean, with a win % of 17 or something. Basically not possible for any top club, who should be on about 50-60% wins under any ref.

    Gotta love corruption

  • laos gooner

    Please keep this information coming Tony. I find the silence damning. Could it be that if too many people knew about the match fixing, that big money tv deals would collapse which is the reason behind the lack of any reporting? Following all the debate surrounding video assisted rigging this weekend would the story be too dangerous to scribblers income to expose?

  • Apangu Iddi Amin

    We need to give UEFA a go on to really know what is going on in the so called march fixing scandle and how its done may be some people will come to notice some of the evidences when they are given one sample of how its done. But to me the way some of the marches which are given to the league teams are so favoring that you can imagine how they always get that fixtures year in year out.

  • Apangu Iddi Amin

    I even believe they are even trying there level best to do it with VAR, Look at what happened to the clean goal Arsenal scored yesterday and they went on to look for any possible way of cancelling it even if it was scored against Arsenal i would request the goal to stand because the two players if you see their foots its clearly 50/50 and both went on to go down at the same time so how can you now favor the other.

  • Masterstroke

    I don’t know if it’s related, but The Guardian reported on Spanish match fixing months ago.https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/may/28/spanish-footballers-arrested-over-laliga-match-fixing-claims

  • Tony you dont have evindence but for me i do have lots and lots of evindence starting from the unbeaten match with MANURE ,through VAR of recent. I want the FBI to investigate through the videos i will give them overwhelming evidence.

  • Do keep us informed of how it goes although I am not sure the FBI has jurisdiction.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    The Premier League is certainly not immune from match fixing. Neither is it match fixing free not after what us have seen the PIGMOB match officiating officials and those manning the VAR machine device have collaborated to fix the outcomes of the result of the PL match between Man Utd and Liverpool by manipulating the VAR to ignore the foul that was committed in the buildup to Rashford’s opening match goal he scored for Man Utd to give them the lead in the game. Which would not have stood had the VAR was not manipulated to ignore the foul.

    Just last Monday night at Sheff Utd and yesterday at the Ems in 2 PL matches involving Arsenal playing against Sheff Utd and Crystal Palace. The VAR was glaringly manipulated to rob Arsenal of getting at least a possible 1 point or even all the 3 points in their away match to Sheff Ud if the 2 penalty calls committed against Sokratis and Saka were given. But Mike Dean the PIGMOB centre referee of the match flagrantly in arrogance refused Arsenal any of the 2 penalty calls that were committed by Sheff utd in the match against Arsenal.

    And as if that weren’t enough, the PIGMOB officials made sure Arsenal were denied of the match winning goal legitimately scored by Sokratis late on in their match at home against Sheff Utd by collaborating among themselves to chalk off would have been the match winning goal by Arsenal using the VAR under the guise of an Arsenal foul before the goal was scored which none existent foul that was purportly said to have been committed by Arsenal but made up to rob them of 2 vital points.

    But the big question now being asked by the Arsenal faithful is, are Arsenal going to make official complaint to the FA or the PL management board on these 3 incidents or not? I think Arsenal should just be expressing their disappointments on the issues to the media, but make an official complains to the appropriate authority concerned for redress to forestall future occurrence of match fixing any Arsenal match in the PL to advantage another club side but at the detriment of Arsenal.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    The edited version of comment is as below please.

    The Premier League is certainly not immune from match fixing. Neither is it match fixing free not after what us have seen the PIGMOB match officiating officials and those manning the VAR machine device did to have collaborated to fix the outcome of the result of the PL match between Man Utd and Liverpool by manipulating the VAR to ignore the foul that was committed in the buildup to Rashford’s opening match goal he scored for Man Utd to give them the lead in the game. Which would not have stood had the VAR was not manipulated to ignore the foul.

    Just last Monday night at Sheff Utd and yesterday at the Ems in 2 PL matches involving Arsenal playing against Sheff Utd and Crystal Palace. The VAR was glaringly manipulated to rob Arsenal of getting at least a possible 1 point or even all the 3 points in their away match to Sheff Ud if the 2 penalty calls committed against Sokratis and Saka were given. But Mike Dean the PIGMOB centre referee of the match flagrantly in arrogance refused Arsenal any of the 2 penalty calls that were committed by Sheff utd in the match against Arsenal.

    And as if that weren’t enough, the PIGMOB officials made sure Arsenal were denied of the match winning goal legitimately scored by Sokratis late on in their match at home against Crystal Palace by collaborating among themselves to chalk off what would have been the match winning goal for Arsenal using the VAR under the guise of an Arsenal foul before the goal was scored which in actual sense was a none existent foul that was purportly said to have been committed by Arsenal but made up to rob them of 2 vital points.

    But the big question now being asked by the Arsenal faithful is, are Arsenal not going to make an official complain to the FA or the PL management board on these 3 incidents? I think Arsenal should not just be expressing their disappointments on the issues to the media, but make an official complains to the appropriate authority concerned for redress to forestall any future occurrence of match fixing any Arsenal match in the PL to advantage another club side but at the detriment of Arsenal.

  • Cheadle

    I would like to send a special thank you to Mr.G for safely hauling down a Palace attacker who might have made our bad day at the office even worse in the final few seconds of the game.

    That singular action probably preserved our share of the spoils. It would have been a hammer blow coming at the heels of the Sokratis goal that succumbed to the VAR virus.

    Speaking of the game of football. It’s a mulitbillion buck industry and it is therefore inconceivable that nothing shady is going on.

    One of these days the $#€¥ is going to hit the fan and its not going to be pretty.

  • Menace

    Any supporter who booed Xhaka should do the honourable thing and find another club to support, probably in another sport. Xhaka is our captain and Emery is our coach. They should both be respected by Arsenal supporters. Was Xhaka out of order? Yes he was but fully justified and forgivable. The booers should hang their heads in shame.

    In fact those who feel they know better than the Arsenal management should enrole in a MBA Open University course. They will learn more than they can imagine.

    I have no issues with unhappiness after the loss of a match, but to assume an all powerful posture against the Captain of the team you support is obnoxious.

    If ever PGMOL were bad for our club, our booing fans are worse. They probably wear our shirts but are not worthy of cleaning Xhakas boots.

  • Dec

    @Cheadle
    Spot on. I’ve been critical recently (unusual for me) of our friend Pepe and the time it was taking him to show why we paid so much for him. I was extremely happy to swallow my words and apologise after his last couple of performances. He’ll do the business I’m sure. The reason put forward was that it takes time to adjust to the pace of the EPL. It would appear that nobody told Mons. Guendouzi about that. He’s been an inspiration since his first game and must already be among the best bargains we’ve ever acquired. He saved a point and more importantly heartbreak on Sunday and does it game after game. A bundle of turbo powered energy on steroids with a brain to boot. Now if only he’d get a bloody haircut! Allez les gunners!!

  • Kenward Garg

    Football is fixed. There’s no doubt of that in my mind but its UEFA: rights holder for the Champions League: one of the most corrupt tournaments out there. Anyway, this is my first time commenting on a website I’ve been a fan of [and still am] for years.