How one website launched a major assault on Arsenal hour by hour day by day

by Sir Hardly Anyone

Even by the standards of football on the internet the website HITC’s recent concerted full-on attack on Arsenal through a series of stories about cock-ups and disasters has been extraordinary.

And it is worth noting because although this set of attacks has been extreme it is probably a sign of how things are moving.  Whether Arsenal are going to respond by renewed PR initiatives to counteract this sort of attack remains unclear, but given the way websites copy each other, we could be seeing even more fanatical assaults in the weeks to come.

The attacks started innocuously enough with

Sold by Arsenal for £5m, 14-goal star reportedly wanted by Manchester City 

That came out from HITC at 3.38pm yesterday and on its own looked like a bit of old news: the story that Manchester City want to sign Serge Gnabry who exercised his right to move from Arsenal when he thought his progress to the first team was not going fast enough.   Given Man City’s problems with Uefa and Gnabry’s current value it might seem a little unlikely at the moment.

But that was only the start as half an hour later the site published the headline

Report: Arsenal set to sell one of Ljungberg’s favourites for just £800k 

This story told us that Arsenal’s under 23s captain Robbie Burton is “set to leave the Emirates for just £800,000” in a move to Dinamo Zagreb.

Of course we don’t know if this is true – but clearly it can’t happen at the moment since the transfer window is not open, and it would seem a bit strange to set up such a deal now.   Of course the source of the story is not HITC – they won’t take responsibility – and seems to come from Sportske Novosti via Football London and from there on to HITC although it is FoLo that has come up with the transfer fee.

Then HITC also ran the headline

Arsenal starlet pictured in new club’s shirt, move left Gunners ‘in shock’ 

and I guess other people like me would have looked at that story and then gone looking for the picture.  But under that headline although there are various pictures of Robbie Burton included in the tale, all of them have him playing in an Arsenal shirt.

But not to be put off just half an hour after that one HITC gave us

Our View: Arteta can’t recall £6m star, could be first mistake at Arsenal 

Their view was that Eddie can’t be dropped for psychological reasons.  They are not very clear what those psychological reasons are other than a vague sense that the player might be upset, but apparently Eddie has to keep Martinelli out of the team because of Eddie’s psychological state.  Or something like that.

Now three negative stories in a row within the space of an hour might seem a bit much but a bit of looking around revealed that these pieces were just the tip of the berg

Some Arsenal fans react to Pablo Mari’s performance for U23s

This piece quoted a few twitter accounts say that Mari and Holding in the under 23s conceded two goals in 45 minutes.

But we were quickly onto meatier stuff for we also had

Arsenal talent Bukayo Saka has been linked with Liverpool.

And of course the forthcoming match in the Europa League was not forgotten, as an earlier post had given us the information that

Our View: Previous meetings suggests Arsenal will have to fight against Olympiacos

At that stage I reached the conclusion that we probably knew more about past matches between Olympiacos and Arsenal than HITC did and so I called a halt to the reviewing of their gory tales and went looking to see who HITC are.

Previously known by their full name of “Here is the city” they proclaim that “HITC is a fast growing source of news and information on the web. Started in 2000, the site initially focussed on finance news and became a trusted source of information for that readership. In the past 2 years it has expanded its verticals to include Tech and Sport, experiencing rapid growth as those markets also come to recognise the brand.”

Their information page has a list of over 30 people involved in HITC, although a few are freelancers, but the chief is Vic Daniels who, we are told “has worked in online publishing for almost 2 decades. He has enjoyed previous leadership roles in financial markets recruitment and the banking industry.”

His pieces seem not to be on football, but on social matters, and really offer little insight into his views.   For example his piece asking what is causing the epidemic of knife crime in England ends with a list of ten causes under the headline Here are some of the theories:

1. Drug abuse 
2. Disenfranchised youth
3. Deprivation
4. Broken-families / Lack of role models
5. Bragging rights / looking big 
6. Protection
7. Gang initiations
8. Threats and intimidation
9. Social media revenge attacks
10. Youngsters playing violent video games acting out 
their alter-egos in real life

And by and large I think we knew all that.  It is one of those lists that fails to ask the real questions, like “why is there so much drug abuse?” – which again gives us the thought that maybe in-depth isn’t their thing.

But HITC does seem to be leading the anti-Arsenal brigade at the moment, and their agenda in terms of stories selected is directly linked to AFTV.  That does not mean that HITC and AFTV are linked – but with two major sources of anti-Arsenal activity now going at the club hammer and tongs I suspect the rest of the media will be jumping on this band wagon and returning to the “Arsenal in chaos” approach to reporting in the very near future.




19 Replies to “How one website launched a major assault on Arsenal hour by hour day by day”

  1. I’d like to know who’s behind Arsenal Truth. I only see the headlines on NewsNow but they appear to show a bitter hatred of all things connected with the club.

  2. Bernard Arsenal Truth has links to Arsenal Supporters Trust, and Arsenal Fans TV, but does not declare its ownership on its site. Because it runs through squarespace it is not easily possible to pick up the details of the ultimate owner, and unlike Untold it is not open about itself on its site. It has a youtube channel but again as with the website nothing is declared about its ownership. So beyond the connection with AST and AFTV it is hard to say – except that they go to some lengths to hide who they are.

  3. I’d say that this is the proof that Mr Arteta is winning his bet… if they all feel they need to go to war again, it means we are on the right path.
    Wonder how we could fight back ?!?

  4. 17/10/15

    The Mail

    “Arsenal loanee Serge Gnabry just isn’t good enough to play for my team, admits West Brom manager Tony Pulis”

    The Express

    “Tony Pulis slams Arsenal star for not being good enough to play for West Brom”


    “Football genius Tony Pulis warns Chelsea over signing of Ajax attacker Ziyech”

    Pulis a Genius ? It’s so obvious now, I cant think how I missed it !

    October 2019

    Wenger said:

    “He (Gnabry) came back from a very bad experience at West Brom where his confidence was destroyed. I tried to rebuild him because I believed in him.”

    On Gnabry’s departure from the club, he added: “We tried to extend his contract for a very long time and I think that Bayern manipulated behind the scenes, that if he went to Bremen he would join Bayern after.”

    Paints a very different picture to the one we are being fed by the media now.

    The lad was sent to that fool Pulis (I have to ask why Wenger did that to be fair) to get game time and build his confidence. As it turned out the complete opposite happened. It is obvious Wenger saw a player in there but he was having difficulty rebuilding his confidence. Even so Wenger was still trying to tie him to a new contract. In other words he didn’t want him to leave.

    But much in the same way WE attract youngsters, he was lured away with the promise of match time, something he may not of felt he was going to get, at least not yet, at Arsenal.

    These things happen, and I certainly don’t remember any of these ‘hindsight’ genius’s rueing his departure at the time, at least not to any more degree than any of the other youngsters with promise we’ve produced over the years, that have moved on.

    And lets be fair hear, there are very few of our youngsters that we let go that go on to ‘Steller’ careers and prove to be a real big mistake. Yes we do lose some of our proteges but normally after a few seasons and at a decent profit.

    Obvious Gnabry seems to be one that got away, it happens, but only when it’s Arsenal will it be dug up, recycled, dug up and recycled again, at every conceivable opportunity as just another way to ridicule us.

  5. I stopped reading HITC’s rubbish a while back for the same reasons of constant negative Aresenal stories. If you dont like the content of a perticular website on NewsNow just
    hide it from your list of headlines and deprive them from clicks and consequently revenue. If you are unaware of this feature on NowsNow, this is how you do it. Directly after the headline
    is the name of the publication, left click on the name and click “Hide publication”, you wont see any more articles from that website, it’s that easy .
    Please note, you have to Register on NewsNow to use this feature, but it is worth the bother. My first blacklisting was LeGrove years ago. Hope this helps if anyone needs it.

  6. @Nitram,

    you know, maybe, at the time, that was true.
    However, whatever problem a youngster or Arsenal player had at Arsenal, never would have Mr Wenger said anything negative like this Pulis ‘genius’.

    Remember Coquelin ? He went long ways before it clicked. Sometimes, chemistry, evolution of a young man, luck, someone getting hurt(remember Bellerin) all create the right opportunity for someone to grasp – or not.

    Look what happened with Coquelin. Or what did not happen with Zelalem ?

  7. Haven’t looked at HITC for years but on reading that it’s original name was Here is the City, it did crossed my mind that it had connections with Man $ity and wondered whether this was retaliation for calling them out as the financial dopers they are……….

  8. Chris

    “However, whatever problem a youngster or Arsenal player had at Arsenal, never would have Mr Wenger said anything negative like this Pulis ‘genius’”.

    Of course he wouldn’t, he had far too much class to do that. In fact Wenger was loyal and trusting to a fault at times.

  9. The Irish Sun has a complaint about Wenger’s proposal for offide. And they are phrasing this solely as something which benefits Arsenal and hurts the spuds. Or that is my read on things.

    They had an updated table, which is a bloody image.

    _1 Liverpool 26 23 _2 _1 71 (=) _-5
    _2 Man$ity _ 25 18 _2 _5 56 (=) _+5
    _3 Leicester 26 14 _4 _8 46 (=) _-4
    _4 Chel$ea _ 26 12 _8 _6 55 (=) _+3
    _5 Wolves _ _26 11 10 _5 43 (+3) +7
    _6 ShefU _ _ 26 10 10 _6 40 (=) _+1
    _7 Everton _ 26 10 _7 _9 37 (+2) +1
    _8 ManUre _ _26 _9 _8 _9 35 (-1) -3
    _9 Arsenal _ 26 _8 11 _7 35 (+1) +1
    10 Burnley _ 26 10 _4 12 34 (+1) _=
    11 Spuds _ _ 26 _9 _6 11 33 (-6) -7
    12 Newcastle 26 _8 _7 11 31 (+1) _=
    13 StateAid _25 _8 _6 11 30 (+5) +6
    14 CPalace _ 26 _7 _7 12 28 (=) _-2
    15 AVilla _ _26 _8 _4 14 28 (+2) +2
    16 Soton _ _ 26 _8 _4 14 28 (-4) -3
    17 Brighton _26 _5 _9 12 24 (-2) -3
    18 Norwich _ 26 _7 _3 16 24 (+2) +6
    19 Watford _ 26 _5 _9 12 24 (=) _ =
    20 Bournemth 26 _6 _5 15 23 (-4) -3

    The last 2 columns are position change and points change.

    Position Change
    _ StateAid +5
    _ Wolves +3
    _ Everton +2
    _ AVilla +2
    _ Norwich +2

    _ Spuds -6
    _ Soton -4
    _ Bournemth -4
    _ Brighton -2

    Points Change
    _ Wolves +7
    _ StateAid +6
    _ Norwich +6
    _ Man$ity +5
    _ Chel$ea +3

    _ Spuds -7
    _ LiVARpool! -5_ No Invincibles!
    _ Leicester -4
    _ ManUre -3
    _ Soton -3
    _ Bournemth -3

    This idea of Wenger’s has nothing to do with Arsenal, as Arsenal is NOT a big winner or loser in any respect. But if you look at the winners and losers, you do see where PGMO policy is warping the league. First off, the LiVARpool! Invincibles run would not be an issue. Leicester would be in a more catachable position to teams that historically are near the top (but past performance is no guarantee of future performance). In the sense that the spud would be a big lower in both respects, yes Arsenal benefits on a local (North London) basis.

    Perhaps there is other data there, such as London, North versus South. Let’s see what you find.

  10. VAR is about the _clear_and_obvious_. It is clear and obvious, what PGMO are doing to the league. They have particular teams that they want to help, and have been helping.

  11. HITC is a website to be taken seriously? I have seen better journalism on children’s websites.

    Dulcolax is also a “well known brand” but all it does is loosen the s**t that needs to be rid of – much like HITC.

    The football stories dont look any different to the multitude of click bait sites that profess to be football sites.

  12. OT: Charities

    Tony wrote a bit about the charity woes of the PFA.

    I ran across a blurb (probably a few years old) about some charities, and the salary of the CEO. _Salaries (approximate) are given in thousands of dollars (probably USD).

    Organization _ _ _ _ _CEO Salary _Fraction of $1 donated which goes to charity
    Salvation Army _ _ _ _ _13 _ _ _ _0.93
    Ronald McDonald House _None _ _ _ 0.90
    Lions _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _197 _ _ _ _0.84
    St.Jude _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _824 _ _ _ _0.81
    World Vision _ _ _ _ _ 184 _ _ _ _0.81
    Make a Wish _ _ _ _ _ _441 _ _ _ _0.75

    UNICEF _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _1200 _ _ _ _0.14
    March of Dimes _ _ _ _ 495 _ _ _ _0.10
    United Way _ _ _ _ _ _1026 _ _ _ _0.09
    American Red Cross _ _1030 _ _ _ _0.08
    Goodwill _ _ _ _ _ _ _2300 _ _ _ _0.08

  13. @Gord,

    well thanks for the link, this is straight out of Amy Lawrence’s “Arsenal have only 2 strikers with more then 10 goals” book….

    Fascinating. Ought to be on some top ten of manipulative headlines

  14. @ Gord

    I have to make a few observations on your post about charities. Unless, of course, you’re talking about non-UK charities. Please don’t think I’m having a go at you Gord, it’s just that I feel very strongly about the subject generally, you’ll see why!

    In the UK alone, the Salvation Army has five different registered charities. Not all are for the benefit of the public. There are significant amounts of income distributed to officers via at least one of the charities. In the UK the SA holds around £2 billion (yes billion) in assets and regularly appeals for more cash. As the (not highly paid) CEO of a medium sized local charity which works with homeless people I could go into detail about the six figure sum they paid in legal fees in a court case (and appeal) they lost against us as which was tantamount to bullying. I’d love to go into detail about the testimony of officers who had sworn to tell the truth on the bible too but that’s another story. I could also point you to other court cases where they have argued exactly the opposite because it suited them financially. Or then there is the well documented case about their clothing banks and their involved me with racehorse owners (when they publicly abhor anything to do with gambling) which was questioned in the house of commons. Or just a small local case where we helped an 84 year old man who they had evicted onto the streets because he had no money whilst they were being paid by the local authority to help the man actually claim his rightful income but they never even spoke to him during his stay. I could also tell you many other stories about their general behaviour or the standards in some of their homes but you can find that information on the Care Quality Commission website if you’re interested enough. The Salvation Army has many, many good people working for it who are oblivious to some, if not all, of the strategies the organisation adopts to making money and business expansion.

    Not to forget, in the UK the salary they have published for the CEO in the past has been shown not to represent the actual financial benefits derived from the role which are considerably more.

    Further, when we talk about “charitable spending”, under charitable legislation we mustn’t forget, building churches, prayer halls etc is classed as charitable spending. In my view that is hardly helping the people in need that they use in their TV fundraising campaigns.

    On a more general topic, research shows that based on turnover and number of employees, an average charity CEO would be earning 2.5 times as much working in the private sector in the UK. It is a constant frustration that half the public moan about how much we earn (whilst not being prepared to take the financial hit themselves) whilst the other half moan about how amateurish we are and that we should be more business like. In the meantime we get told by commissioners if we apply more than 10% overheads to any contract sum it will be frowned upon. I don’t imagine too many private companies could even survive in such circumstances.

    I am in my mid-60’s, I still have a mortgage on a modest two bedroom house and drive an 11 year old car. Some of my friends from Uni retired well over a decade ago and spend a deal of time in their overseas holiday home chilling by the pool. I find it strange that people can criticise me and my colleagues for earning too much! Running a multi-million pound charity on a shoestring budget can be quite stressful and believe me when austerity hits, we’re top of the list when it comes to cuts. We don’t have profit margins to work with, we aim to break even and every year we don’t know what our income will be until we get there. We have to employ talented people to make this work. Over half my staff earn below the average wage (or in Boris’ terms are “unskilled”) and quite frankly they could earn more working in a call centre.

    All is not always what it seems. There is good and bad in all (I exclude the PGMO from that) so I would ask people not be too hasty in their judgments or base them on superficial “evidence”.

    Rant over. COYG

  15. Mikey

    I live in Canada (in particular west and quite a ways north – I live where the Alaska Highway begins, Dawson Creek, BC) and the data is very likely from the USA.

    I don’t feel you’ve had a go at me with what you’ve written.

    I found out at nearly 41, that I have autism. I am high functioning, and have 2 engineering degrees. And yet, I’ve spent significantly more than half my adult life without income. I’ve had 6 interviews for engineering positions in my life, and 3 of those came from finishing top of my class with my B.Sc.

    I now find myself with the family farm (40 acres), and living in a place where climate change is happening quite quickly, I am looking to use the farm in part to demonstrate to local farmers what sorts of things outside of the monoculture they have all grown up with; they can do with their farms.

    Along the way, I hope to get 1 acre of potato under cultivation (so to speak, I am trying not to use tillage). It would be nice if I could become a regular contributor to the local food bank as my farm starts to produce more. For instance, I hope to have some fruit trees on the edge of my property (outside of the fence) open to anyone (which means open to deer browsing – and they could kill those trees) – so that they could take some fruit. Antonovka apples being one of the trees in question; if people like the fruit, they can plant the seeds knowing that variety is true to seed.

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