What the press won’t talk about in relation to football

By Tony Attwood

On 17 April Untold Arsenal ran the headline, “Football is being taken over by those fighting their own wars. Can Arsenal survive?”   In the subsequent article we set out the battle that was now being fought between Arabic countries with football as the battle ground.  Here’s the simple table we ran…

Club Country TV War / Dispute
Manchester City UAE Man C v Uefa
Newcastle United Saudi Arabia BeOutQ 2nd Arab Cold War
PSG Qatar BeIn 2nd Arab Cold War

Part of the piece pointed out that while the BeIn TV channel was one that paid fees to run Premier League and other matches on TV around much of the world, BeOutQ simply took the feed from BeIn, unencrypted it, and put the same games out for free as part of the cold war between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The mass media, and the blogs, all ignored our reportage of course, because Untold is a regular critic of the media en masse.   But then on 22 April the media, en masse, ran the headline “BeIN Sports asks Premier League to block Saudi Newcastle deal over piracy.”

What is particularly interesting here is not just the fact that we tipped them all off about the story five days earlier, but the similarity of the headlines

The Guardian.

BeIN Sports asks Premier League to block Saudi Newcastle …

The Irish Times

BeIN Sports asks Premier League to block Saudi deal at …

Football Addict

BeIN Sports asks Premier League to block Saudi Newcastle …

News Trust

BeIN Sports asks Premier League to block Saudi …


BeIN Sports asks Premier League to block Saudi …


BeIN Sports asks Premier League to block Saudi Newcastle …


And on and on and on.   Some of them had minor variations, as with Gazette news giving us “Premier League told to block Saudi-backed bid for Newcastle …”

But overall the prediction that we made – that this takeover of Newcastle was part of the 2nd Arab Cold War, was finally realised by the media.  Of course it would be very self-centred of me to say that “we told you so”, but we did tell the media what this was about five days before.

So what is happening now is that beIN is asking the Premier League to refuse to allow Saudi Arabia to buy Newcastle United because of the existence of beOutQ.   What is not mentioned is that this is all being funnelled through PSG and beIN in order to make it look like something other than a war being fought between Qatar and Saudi Arabia over oil output and pricing arrangements.

Now as we know, the media is incredibly selective in terms of what it writes about in relation to football.  Knocking players is perfectly ok, for example, predicting transfers when their past success rate is 3 in every 100, that’s ok too.

Telling managers what to do and players how to play, that’s fine as well, whether the person commenting knows anything about football or not.

All this is fine.

But considering the psychological and political drama that is football – no that is not ok.  We don’t mention that.  At least we don’t mention that in the UK.

The full story of this affair is not that Saudi Arabia has allowed a pirate TV station to exist, but a long-running battle between the countries which could well explode into full-blown hostility.

Qatar supported the Arab Spring and the Muslim Brotherhood.  But at the same time has close relationships with Iran – not a paragon of democratic virtue.  Saudi Arabia likes none of this.

In short, it is a political conflict, and to try to reduce this to the simplicity of a copyright dispute is ludicrous.  Each and every news outlet that does this, does a most serious disservice of misleading its readership.

And why are they doing this?  Is it pure laziness on the part of journalists – the same laziness that leads newspapers to fill their online content with fake news transfer tales, or is it that they have been bought by Qatar?   Sadly we have no way of knowing but all we can do is point out that whatever you now read in the major news outlets about the issue of Newcastle being bought by Saudi Arabia, it will almost certainly be written by the propaganda team in Qatar and be reproduced by our own mass media without much change.

It is, to say the least, sad.

2 Replies to “What the press won’t talk about in relation to football”

  1. Alas, you fall for the same trap – reproduce propaganda by the mass media in your “reporting”/smear campaign against the owners of Manchester City. Apart from the above I do enjoy and respect you’re ability to critically think but alas, we all have our blind spots.

  2. Sadly it seems I have completely failed to put across to you what I was talking about, and I am not quite sure how or why. My article was titled “What the press won’t talk about” and you accuse me of reproducing propaganda by the mass media.

    I will try harder.

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