MP stance on football should fill us all with disgust

By Tony Attwood

The headline in the Daily Mail announces, “Saudi Arabia should have no role in the future of UK sport’: Newcastle’s proposed £300m takeover must be BLOCKED, MP tells government over breaches of international piracy laws.”

Maybe so, maybe not.  But whatever happened to an MP saying, “England should have no role to play in the Qatar world cup;” we must stop this modern slavery by showing we will have nothing to do with such outmoded barbarism.”

Angus MacNeil, chair of the International Trade Select Committee, has written to trade secretary Liz Truss to complain about…. no not slavery, but copyright.

MacNeil wrote: ‘In its ruling, the World Trade Organisation held that the government of Saudi Arabia has, from the beginning, been actively supporting the “beoutQ” piracy operation that has stolen the commercial rights of UK sports bodies for three years.

‘This is an insult to the UK government, affront to the Premier League, and abuse of UK sport – and should not be tolerated.”

No, you stupid idiot MacNeil.  It is your letter that is an affront to the Premier League and to everyone who supports the notion of equality, and decency and human rights, and the thought that slavery should not exist any more.

Yes of course copyright matters.  I know that because I have written quite a few books.  But that doesn’t matter nearly as much as stopping slavery in Qatar.  And the way we do that is by refusing to give government money to the FA until the FA says it will not participate in any world cup in a country that runs its economy on slavery.

The Slavery Files

18 Replies to “MP stance on football should fill us all with disgust”

  1. I hear we can now support Liz and the tories at Hashtag Commercial rights matter. This latest development is worse than silence but in keeping with what we get these days with Dominic as Prime minister.

  2. There are also other ways to register disgust at the thought of the world cup being played at Qatar – write to your MP – write to the club – write to the BBC -write to the papers – cancel your sky, BT etc subscriptions and explain why when telephoning to do said cancellation – not watch one second of the tournament – then one can say (and feel) that one has, at least, made a stand…my problem is that, as I live in Scotland, the world cup doesn’t seem to be making the headlines, but I will start to do what I am preaching anyway, beginning with Nicola Sturgeon and John Sweeney our education secretary.

    For anyone who says or thinks my suggestions are a waste of time and effort, please caarry on playing lip service to modern day slavery and enjoy the next world cup.

  3. OT

    Having highlighted the fact on numerous occasions about the disproportionate number of cards some teams get (1 yellow and 1 red for 7 fouls on Wednesday) the Spuds v Man U game tonight was noteworthy. Spuds 17 fouls, Man U 18 fouls; just one card for those 35 fouls.

    Interestingly the referee was Moss who had originally been allocated our game against City. Does anyone know why we actually got Taylor instead?

  4. Watched the games tonight and was not surprised by the officiating – corrupt as usual. Moss gives Manure two penalties that should have both been reversed on VAR. VAR gets it half right but the divers didn’t get booked. The fouling in the spuds game was so disgusting but Piggy Moss just allowed everything to pass apart from the dives in the Spuds box.

    Shameful that the media does not report the game in an honest way.

  5. Mickey the swap was done to allow the Fat Blind Moss a better outcome for Rileys paymasters. Taylor on the other hand is worse than any where Arsenal are concerned so Riley had an easy option.

    VAR was invisible in our game and offsides never verified on TV but in the Spuds game Neville and VAR were wired at the hip.

  6. To continue.

    Excluding us, the other seven teams to have played so far committed 93 fouls for 6 cards which equates to 15.5 fouls per card. Counting a red as two cards we are on a card for every 2.3 fouls. Put simply, so far we’ve received cards almost seven times more often than the average for the other teams despite having committed the fewest fouls of any of the eight teams.

  7. What the referee did or didn’t do at the lane tonight, compared to the topic I fail to understand gents.

    Does this help those poor b*****ds out in Qatar?

    We all know Riley is running a corrupt organisation and we suffer as a club, but is that as important as modern day slavery in football?

    What ideas and/or actions do you suggest, apart from hijacking the article to bemoan riley and his band of mercenaries?

  8. Ken 1945………..Here are a few ideas we can all engage with:

    1) Start a club supporters petition to be sent to Boris and company asking that GB pull out of the WC immediately, on the grounds that GB doesn not support slavery.

    2) Prepare an e-mail everyone on UA can send to their friends outlining Qatar’s slavery practices.

    3) Call your local , municipal, regional and state politicians and remind them that GB outlawed slavery in 1824 and Qatar should NOT be protected by a bunch of fawning neo-cons with no backbone (asa: the Conservatives).

    4) Call the FA en masse and demand an explanation why they haven’t spoken up on this outrageous Qatari behaviour.
    and the WC.
    5) Send e-mails and/or phone calls to EUFA and FIFA asking them to seriously investigate Qatari slavery

  9. @ Ken1945

    With all due respect. I detest what is happening in Qatar and would happily support a move to abandon the tournament. However, i’m not aware of any rule on this site which says we are not permitted to talk about anything else.

  10. ken1945

    I wouldn’t worry too much that the conversation meanders around off topic, on topic, that is how it works. I don’t think that lessens or indeed even heightens the importance of any particular topic.

    Conversations carry over from older threads or subjects. I have no doubt this very serious subject will be talked about again many many times, both within it’s ‘designated’ article, and indeed later in totally separate articles, it’s just the way these things work. As I say, it doesn’t diminish the subjects importance.

    As for your suggestions of writing to the various bodies or cancelling subscriptions, I totally understand where you are comming from but will that work?

    And if you make a stand on those particular things then surely you have to make a stand with the clothes you buy, the domestic appliances you buy, the cars you buy, the food you buy, the Countries you visit, the banks you use, the investments you choose. The list of commercial/corporate enterprises that will at some point in their food chain take advantage of the down trodden, impoverished or enslaved is enormous.

    As for writing, my sister in law wrote to Arsenal about BLM on shirts saying surely it is racist as All Lives Matter and she just got fobbed off.

    So please, don’t worry if the debate wanders because you and I both know that Untold Arsenal, and Tony in particular are all over this particular subject, and I’m sure will continue to be so until somebody sits up and takes notice, like you, I and others are already doing.

    One day, with any luck, one of those numbskulls in the media will actually do their job and pick upon it, get some bottle, and make sure the World knows what a bunch of hypocrites run the game we love, or at least used to love.

  11. Mikey

    Right near the end of the match last night Moss gave a free kick and the ball was placed. A player then immediately kicked the ball away. Moss was 3 yards away, looking straight at it.

    Absolutely nothing from Moss and not a dickie bird from the commentators.

    Do you think that had that been Xhaka Moss would of let it go ? Not a chance, and what’s more it would of been followed by a total character assassination from Neville and co.

    But this was Spurs, so it’s allowed to pass by without a word.

    I’ve said many times that by and large almost all the cards we get can be justified to some degree or other. I accept that.

    The problem is no other team seems to be held to the same level of compliance that we do.

    Those figures you have reproduced Mikey are a disgrace.

    But what gets me is, we have had, and will have again, people, even our own supposed fans, coming on here trying to justify those totally bonkers statistics saying things like, ‘it’s the way we tackle’ as if for the last 20 years or so we’ve been tackling in different way to everyone else.

    As I say Bonkers !

  12. Nitram, I agree with everything you say and I am in total agreement with your sister in that all lives matter. However the Black Lives Matter is to focus on the racism by the Police rather than a statement of social standing. I would rather have our shirts with ‘PGMOL doing Football’. It would raise a few questions.

    Your statement ‘I’ve said many times that by and large almost all the cards we get can be justified to some degree or other.’ leads me to think PGMOL officials could card our players for being present on the pitch before kick off, within their interpretation of unsporting conduct!!!

    The state of the game both in England and the International level is so corrupt that the term ‘sport’ can no longer be used.

  13. Menace

    “Your statement ‘I’ve said many times that by and large almost all the cards we get can be justified to some degree or other.’ leads me to think PGMOL officials could card our players for being present on the pitch before kick off, within their interpretation of unsporting conduct!!”

    Very funny, but sadly there is a crumb of truth in what you say. So many of footballs rules are subjective, which is at the root of our problem.

    If you asked 100 people their view on almost any decision there would be very few with 100% of the people in agreement.

    The split in opinion would range from 90/10 through 50/50 to 10/90. In other words even what may seem the most obvious decision to you and I some will still disagree. In other words no matter what decision the referee makes he will be correct in some eyes.

    The argument I have put up on here many many times is the notion of a ref ‘Cheating without Cheating’, a notion that is entirely dependent on the subjective nature of so many of these decisions.

    Again my argument is:

    Lets say within any particular game there are 20 subjective 50/50 calls. Now on an individual basis whatever the referee calls he is right in the eyes of half the people watching, and wrong in the other half, so whatever decision he makes he cant be ‘wrong’, and as such cannot be called a cheat.

    Were the problem arises is how over the entire match the referee calls every 50/50. If 50% of them go Arsenals way and 50% our opponents, then that seems fair and you can hardly call the ref a cheat then either.

    But here’s the thing. What if only 40% of the 50/50’s go our way? That starts to look a little odd. What if only 30% go our way, then we really do have to sit up. Something is definitely looking fishy. And if this happens match after match, season after season, then something really does seem to be very wrong.

    And that is what I believe is behind the very dodgy card statistics highlighted by Mikey.

    Yes, when you look at each decision in isolation it probably is possible to justify most of them, especially if that’s what you want to do as in the case of SKY, BT and the BBC etc, who certainly would want to, even though a great many would of been 50/50.

    But the bottom line is, when 70% of 50/50’s go against us something very suspicious is going on. In fact the referees are ‘cheating without looking like they are actually cheating’ and that is what I believe is behind those very suspicious card statistics that Mikey has so diligently researched.

  14. @ Nitram

    Just a quick update after the Wolves Leicester game where there were 27 fouls for just one yellow card!!!

    So that brings the total to 10 clubs played

    Arsenal one card for every 2.3 cards
    The other 9 clubs average one card for every 17.1 fouls

    It has to be said that five games is hardly enough to look at trends in any scientific way but even so as you say Nitram, our cards are generally justified but why don’t other teams get cards for the same offences………………mysterious at best.

  15. Mikey

    As you suggest 5 games is hardly enough to look at trends, but I would suggest 11 years is or, put another way, over 200 games is.

    Penalty stats for and against, for us and who have generally been our closest rivals over that period:

    Team – For – Against – Differential

    Man C 80 – 34 Plus 44
    Man U 73 – 34 Plus 39
    Chels 69 – 31 Plus 38
    Lv’pl 63 – 42 Plus 21
    Spurs 49 – 50 Minus 1
    Arsen 49 – 65 MINUS 16

    Those differentials are absolutely ridiculous, especially with man Utd and Chelsea.

  16. These are the Red and Yellow card stats for the last 10 years followed by the last 5 years.

    Yellow = 1 pt
    Red = 2 pts
    % difference to Arsenal

    10 Years

    Arsenal = 680 pts
    Man Utd = 672 pts -1.5%
    Man City = 672 pts -1.5%
    Spurs = 639 pts -6%
    Chelsea = 635 pts -6%
    Liverpool = 554 pts -20%

    5 Years

    Man Utd = 350 pts +2%
    Arsenal = 343 pts
    Spurs = 319 pts -7%
    Man City = 304 pts -11%
    Chelsea = 291 pts -15%
    Liverpool = 237 pts -31%

    Well, there are some surprises but there are also some suspicions confirmed.

    It’s no surprise that over the last 10 years we get the most cards.

    It’s no surprise our rate of cards have increased over the last 5 years.

    It’s no surprise that Man Utds cards have jumped by almost 10% since Fergie left.

    It is a surprise that it’s increased to such an extent that they have more cards than us over the last 5 years.

    It’s no surprise Liverpool are bottom of both tables.

    It’s no surprise they are being more leniently treated in the last 5 years.

    It is a surprise they are quite so leniently treated. 20% more leniently than us has jumped to 31% more leniently than us. That is simply ridiculous.

    It is a surprise quit how leniently Chelsea are treated.

    It is a surprise that Spurs are as close to us as they are. I know they went a very long time without a red so seeing them quite so close was, as I say, a surprise.

    But the point is we are still badly treated, the worst over the 10 years and 2nd worst over the last 5. Add to that the disgraceful card stats in which we are again the worst treated, it is a joke and needs explaining.

    What has to be remembered in elite sport small differences make an enormous difference.

    1% in a 100 Metre sprint is 1 yard. That can be the difference, not just between Gold and Silver but Gold and no meddle.

    1% in a 5 furlong horse race is about 3 lengths. That could be the difference between a place and an also ran.

    In a Marathon, and remember the Premiership is a Marathon not a sprint, 1% is about 200 metres.

    So even those small differences can be an extremely significant advantage, but when teams are getting 20 and 30 % advantages that is absolutely enormous.

    Now anomalies happen, so if you saw some of these numbers over short periods, although it still wouldn’t be good, you could understand, and of course as we know, these things all even out in the end. Yeah right.

    But anyway, these figures are not short term anomalies they are over 5 and 10 year periods. That is a pattern. And it is a pattern that is an absolute complete and utter disgrace.

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