Football: With reporting like this no wonder corruption is rife

By Tony Attwood

How will Brexit affect the Premier League?  See the video

When it comes down to it, there are a lot of things wrong with football.

There’s the big debate on gambling (and yes I am neither blind to the problems that gambling causes nor to the fact that in order to keep this site going we accept advertisements from gambling companies).

Derby County has been charged with breaching financial rules over the sale of its stadium to its owner, but claims that the League misled it over what was acceptable and what was not, and so is suing or threatening to sue the League (it’s hard to say which).

We have had the collapse of Bury and clearly multiple lower league clubs are in financial trouble.  And yet at the same time we are told the FA want to bid again for hosting the World Cup having spent. £millions of tax payers’ money last time around and managed to get two votes.

At the same time there has been no major upturn in the number of pitches available to amateur and youth teams – and the withdrawal of Sport England funding from the FA over this issue was never properly reported in the media.

There is no criticism of the FA bidding for the World Cup on TV, largely because the TV companies will themselves get the rights to show the games, and so they have a vested interest.  It will be down to the likes of us once again to point out the corruption of Fifa, and the horrific waste of tax payers’ money last time we bid.

Will there be allegations of bribery and payment for votes?  It would be bigger news if there was not.

As it is, the Football Association has been criticised for selling the live streaming rights to FA Cup matches to betting firms via a third party.  OK we can be criticised for taking betting advertising, but the FA selling off live streaming rights to gambling firms so you have to have an account to be able to watch???  They’ve backtracked now, but should never have gone there in the first place.

Meanwhile, we have a return of racism in football chants – if it ever went away –  both in domestic games and internationals.    England’s Euro 2020 qualifying game v Bulgaria in October was stopped because of racist chanting.

Meanwhile the media is packed solid with football trivia – not least having linked 40 players for a transfer to Arsenal this month, of which maybe one or two fairy stories might be correct.

The Athletic, presenting itself as the bright new voice of insightful football coverage gave us the launch of Dial Square FC in a story so riddled with errors as to be virtually unreadable, simply because the journalist and publisher between them couldn’t be arsed to check anything.  They chose to believe that there was no need to check the tale they’d been given because football supporters were too stupid to notice if there were any mistakes in the piece.

Yet they could have checked the facts within seconds.

Of course one can ask if it really matters if facts are mangled – but the point is, if a publisher can’t be bothered to get the easily verifiable data right, why should we ever expect them to do any serious investigative journalism that reveals hidden realities that official bodies want kept quiet?

Likewise when a so-called Arsenal supporters’ group put out the tale that Arsenal only had a £40m transfer budget, the media ran that as fact, and as far as I could see, none of the media that ran that tale saw fit to apologise when it turned out Arsenal spent £130m on transfers.

So I guess we should never be surprised when the media fails to report interesting and important stories such as Uefa’s statement that it no longer has the resources to deal with match-fixing across Europe, or that Switzerland was changing its laws so that Uefa and Fifa officials could be arrested by American law enforcement officers while in Swiss territory.  It was left to us to break the news in both cases.

The fact is that anyone within or outside football who wants to break the law can do so knowing that there is no media outlet that will pick up on their misdemeanours or hold them to account.  And that is a major reason why we are in the mess we are now in.   Journalists don’t care, and football journalism is dead.  The criminals and crooks can do what they like – no one is bothered, no one investigates, none of the major media ever reports them.


36 Replies to “Football: With reporting like this no wonder corruption is rife”

  1. Football fans, and people in general, don’t think for themselves and instead rely on the media for the truth. With this in mind, we can’t be surprised if they treat the average football fan with contempt in order to further the vested interests of certain corporations.

  2. PS. It was nice to hear, if I’m correct, singing anti-AFTV songs at the Bournemouth game last night. Thought of this website when they did…

  3. The Athletic have removed your comment from the article that you’re criticising here. Looks like they’ve got you sussed for the troll that you are.
    Suck on that Attwood!!

  4. I am not surprised that you cannot perceive the benefit of this to my case “Masterstroke” but the fact is that by removing a post which points out factual errors in the original, they are revealing quite a bit about how they see the football world. They are happier to have an error strewn piece on line than any corrections. And that in a paid-for journal that prides itself on being the new approach to football journalism.
    I could not have wished for better publicity. I notice however that you call me a troll, which seems unnecessary and unreasonable.

  5. Talking about corruption,yesterday’s VAR replay against Bournemouth showed how these guys can do anything and get away with it.They tried there tricks but they could not prove it. So they went to there usual comic of earmicro whatever they call them. @Tony our match our defender Ruiz was sent off a red card and penalty, Team Ream of Fulham was red carded too,Yasser Larouci never got a red card Liverpool VS Shrewbury how is that done?

  6. PGMO Screwups:
    Leicester v Chel$ea get Mason.
    Newc v Nor get Atkinson.
    ManUre v Olves get Tierney.
    Bur v Arsenal get Kavanagh.
    Spuds c Man$ity get Mike Dean.

  7. @Masterstoke,

    correcting a factual error, for you, equals trolling ?

    To me, being vulgar and insulting someone via the anonymous self you have on a blog seems more like trolling to me.

    Consider this :

    The Athletic, when confronted with a factual error that was signaled without insults etc decide to 1) take down the post 2) do nothing like correcting the factual error

    Tony, when confronted with your rather aggressive and vulgar post decides to 1) answer you politely 2) keep your post online

    2 questions :

    – would you say that to Tony’s face, or nayone at Untold in a pub before an Arsenal game ?

    – if one of your kids were to correct you this way on Facebook or face to face, would you s… on that ?

    No need to be aggressive just becouse you don’t agree. So many wars were started for far less, don’t you think ?

    By the way, the Guardian removed one comment I posted where I criticized their journalists for not ever mentioning the fact that Arsenal, and other teams, get the same referees over and over again.

    Have a nice day

  8. @Gord,

    without asking you to go hunting… would you by any chance have the number of times Dean had Sp*rs,and City, etc

  9. For data over most of his career (except the last couple of weeks), the team he has had at home the most is the spuds at 39. Teams at 17 or above are:

    17 Leicester
    18 Southampton
    19 Bolton
    19 Stoke
    20 Middlesbrough
    21 Blackburn
    23 Fulham
    23 Newcastle
    25 Sunderland
    26 Burnley
    27 West Brom
    28 Man Utd
    29 Aston Villa
    33 West Ham
    34 Arsenal
    34 Chelsea
    38 Man City
    39 Tottenham

    Away, the team he has had the most is ManU at 42. At 16 or above we have:
    16 Burnley
    16 Wigan
    16 Wolves
    18 Birmingham
    20 Blackburn
    20 Crystal Palace
    20 Stoke
    21 Middlesbrough
    22 Aston Villa
    23 West Brom
    24 Sunderland
    24 Swansea
    25 West Ham
    26 Leicester
    28 Newcastle
    30 Tottenham
    35 Man City
    37 Chelsea
    38 Arsenal
    42 Man Utd

  10. Five hours after Masterstroke’s point posted above about my comment on the Athletic’s website being deleted I was contemplating a further article on the Athletic’s lack of accuracy, and thought I would check.

    And curiously, Masterstroke’s statement appears to be untrue – my comment on The Athletic’s site is still there.

    So I wonder, was Masterstroke just mistaken, or was he simply making things up, or was that a deliberate attempt to mislead.

    Certainly we have across the years had a number of correspondents who do simply make things up in order to sway our discussions away from the point we are making while not having to bother with the boring stuff of actually dealing with the facts or issues at hand. Perhaps this is another one of those.

  11. Chris

    Re Masterstroke

    And talk about a hypocrite. This from him earlier in the month:

    23/01/2020 at 8:34 am

    “There should be a Godwins Law rule on Football blogs which ends commenters participation in a thread when trolling others for giving an honest opinion.”

    So one minute you should be able to give your honest opinion without being called a troll, the next he calls Tony a troll because he gave his honest opinion.

    You couldn’t make it up

  12. Well Nitram, yes you could, if you had a personality disorder like Masterstroke. I’ve just been writing an article following his comment that my note to the Athletic had been removed by the Athletic. It hasn’t – it is a Masterstrokian fantasy.

    Anyway, the analysis of his personality type probably won’t interest most Untold readers, but since it’s close to my field, and because I was too tired to go to the theatre improvisation club that I normally frequent on a Tuesday night, I thought I’d write a piece about his personality instead. It explores the inner workings a little further.

  13. Fo.Lo is proving that they can swing this English language things:

    It is understood that the German has sprained his ankle for the German and won’t be sidelined for too long, although he remains a doubt for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Burnley at Turf Moor

    We added some words for Fo.Lo.

    It is understood that the German has sprained his ankle for the German and won’t be sidelined for too long, although he remains a doubt for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Burnley at Turf Moor. It is understood that the German understands German, and was informed of his injury by an English doctor who apparently spoke German (we think he was at Auschwitz). The German was not sure if this was an English sprain or a German sprain.

    Clear as mud? Do you think Fo.Lo could ever report the truth on anything?

  14. Nearby we hear:

    How much wood, would a wood German German, if a wood German wood german Wood German, could German, would German? A wood German would German all the wood German, if a wood German, could German, German.

  15. @Gord,

    and, how many years that his career span if you have the information available ?

    Thanks for the facts !!

  16. Wasn’t he one of those who stated that they would leave our site and never ever come back ?
    But I have always believed that he was more a wanker than a stroker !

  17. Dean’s information goes from Aug 1997 to Jan 1, 2020. I have it for Atkinson for Nov 2002 to Dec 27, 2019.

  18. @Gord,

    so he has refereed Liverpool less then 16 times at home and less then 16 times away ?

  19. @Gord,

    Wait a sec, in 20 years he has refereed Liverpool 4 times and that’s it ?!?
    I mean Liverpool, the Big 6 team ? Not even 1 percent of the games he refereed over 20 years ?

  20. Home Dec 4, 2019 v Everton
    Away Dec 19, 2016 v Everton
    Away Apr 8, 2017 v Stoke
    Away Jan 8, 2003 v SheffU (English League Cup)

  21. He handed out 7 yellows in that SheffU game, 2-1 win for SheffU. 2-1 win for Liverpool v Stoke; 2 yellows. 1-0 win for Liverpool v Everton (Liverpool was away); 4 yellows. 5-2 win for Liverpool at home (3 yellows).

  22. @Gord,

    words fail me…

    so basically, PGMOL thinks he cannot be trusted when it comes to Liverpool and Everton…

  23. The dinosaurs that are The (sweet) FA, seem to confer power on northern teams that are near the top of leagues. It could be that this stopped him officiating Liverpool up to that Everton game in 2016.

  24. Chris and Gord

    I believe, but I may be wrong, that part of the reason that a referee cannot referee teams from where he live, as opposed to who they support, is not an impartiality issue, but an issue of safety.

    My understanding is that within the community they live in they and their family could, I say could, be on the receiving end of Psychological, verbal or even physical abuse, if, by way of their performance, they upset one set of fans in a match they officiate.

    Actually the main worry is I believe the abuse their children could get.

    As I say, I may be wrong but that is what I believe is behind it rather than a slight on their impartiality

  25. @Tony, maybe the athletic is just using your methods. If it’s fine for untold, I’m sure it should be okay for the athletic

  26. I don’t know why it is Deb that you can’t understand a word I say, but most other people can. But here it is spelled out for you.

    First, when I checked, my message had not been taken down by The Athletic. Nor should it be because it deals with errors of fact, and with myself providing the corrected facts and the source thereof. Take a look at the Athletic article or try
    Second, comments I take down on Untold are taken down in accordance with the rules outlined on this site on – rules which are there simply to allow the site to function. Those who don’t like the rules don’t have to be here. Why you can’t get that is beyond me. At least we have rules – some blogs manipulate people’s comments in order to make the commentators look silly. Others just delete posts without explanation.
    Your failure to grasp these basic facts does cause some amusement here, but really, your seemingly deliberate inability to grasp the basics is wearing a little thin, and I think we’ve rather had enough of it. If you don’t like the rules go somewhere else.

  27. @Nitram,

    i thought of that, yet I seem to remember some other referee from Manchester refereeing Manure anyways, specifically for an Arsenal game.
    Considering that all referees hail from North England however, this would mean some games each week do not have a referee which I believe is not the case…. ;=)

  28. Chris.

    As I say Chris, I don’t know for sure if it is even something they take into consideration.

    As usual it was in fact here on untold that a poster who seemed to know of these things, put that notion up. I have not verified it in any way.

    But as you intimated, even if it was, PGMOL being PGMOL, I’m sure it’s a rule/guideline they would circumnavigate at a whim in any case, should it suit them.

Comments are closed.