Money doesn’t talk, it swears

By Tony Attwood

Aside from running Untold Arsenal, I also run a non-football blog – Untold Dylan – which (as you might guess) covers the music and writings of the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.

Normally I keep the central topic of Untold Arsenal and Untold Dylan separate without much difficulty. One is about a north London football club that seemingly has very few friends in the media, and the other is about the work of a man who won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

And indeed the reception the two sites get is quite different.  While this site is regularly criticised for talking a total load of gibberish, or is ignored for focusing on issues such as the use of slave labour in the building of the stadia for the next world cup, Untold Dylan seems to be viewed quite well by those who have an interest in Dylan’s writing.  Indeed just the other day we were cited very positively by the magazine Rolling Stone.

So, without any obvious cross over between the two sites I don’t think I have ever contemplated using a line from a Dylan song in an Untold Arsenal headline.

And yet really when I think of it, it seems all too obvious that there is a connection – hence the headline today.  A Dylan line from the epic “It’s all right ma”.

For months the Premier League has been dithering over the issue of the takeover of Newcastle United by the Saudi Arabian government’s investment fund.   And their problem is obvious, for there is nothing in the rule book that says anything about alleged copyright breaches by an associated party being a reason for not allowing an individual become a club owner.

That of course is the fault of the Premier League for not writing its rules in a way that allows them to stop people they don’t like from running clubs.  A typical piece of shoddy rule-writing.

But it highlights also the fact that it is the issue of copyright that is bothering the League, not the complete lack of human rights that most of the population of Saudi Arabia live under.

Now it is often argued that football should not be involved in politics.  There is an argument to be had in that – except when it comes to making a big fuss about civil rights across the western world, while still contemplating playing the next world cup finals in stadia that have been built by slave labour (a topic we’ve covered several times – see the articles below) there is something to be said.

Yet Saudi Arabia seem to have found a way around the problem.  They have in the words of the Guardian “announced a major crackdown against platforms illegally streaming sporting events.”

So that’s ok then.  The Premier League can go on making all its money; Saudi Arabia can go on seriously mistreating many of its citizens; football is satisfied.   Even the bishops in the House of Lords don’t seem to mind that Saudi Arabia is a place where the public practice of any form of religion other than Islam is illegal.

But hey, all the nasty things that have happened there are ok because it has now pledged to eliminate football piracy and shut down illicit platforms, by initiating an “inspection campaign” to “stop websites and platforms violating intellectual property laws”. It said those breaching copyright protection law could incur fines of 250,000 Saudi riyals (£54,000) and those responsible can be jailed for six months.

So now we can see the real issues here.  Human rights?  Well, that’s always been a tricky one.  But copyright law?  Oh that’s a game changer.

The slavery files

13 Replies to “Money doesn’t talk, it swears”

  1. For me, I have decided that for issues like football decisions/controversies, to put more weight on the judgement of neutral parties. Indeed they may not be as neutral as expected, but I think they’re closer to the truth than either fans or opponents. I expect arsenal fans to see the Maupay/Leno incident as grievous body harm and the Brighton fans to see it as a normal challenge a striker is expected to make. Each set of fans will defend their position from now till the end of time, so no point expecting truth from either. But what do the “neutrals” think of it? I’d take Dermot Gallagher as an example, I like ref watch. His opinion? A foul but nothing more. Of course I expect arsenal fans to discountenance his opinion, it’s not favourable. But we must understand that you cannot be a judge in your own case. We are an interested party in this dispute and must know that we can only argue our case up to the point where a ruling is made. As it is said in law, at some point “there must be an end to litigation”.

    For me I’m more worried about this trending accusation that arsenal players are arrogant and have been for a while. I had to go research the assertion and I came across several instances where this accusation has been made against our team. I think it doesn’t serve our interest particularly since it is obvious we are not good enough to walk the talk. Take for instance the Maupay incidents, if I were playing against an arrogant player who I felt wasn’t that good, I’d be extra motivated to beat him and shut him up, it seems to me that was the case with Maupay. I am not making any assertions, but if our players were indeed arrogant, it would be in theirs and the team’s interest if they reined in their arrogance.

  2. Wow, Arsenal players get kicked because they are arrogant, that’s a new one to add to the ever increasing list of excuses.
    Too soft
    Too dirty
    Don’t release the ball quick enough
    Have brittle bones
    Wenger’s training methods (which now must read, any manager of Arsenal’s training methods)
    Play too much ‘tippy tappy’ football
    Don’t know how to evade a tackle
    Don’t know how to fall
    Are a bunch of divers so it isn’t really happening

    I’ve probably missed a few.

  3. @ Ante

    “A foul but nothing more”. So the whole of Rugby has made challenging in the air an instant red card because of the danger to blokes who take far more of a hammering than football players. But apparently Dermot Gallagher says, “it’s a foul but nothing more”. So Gallagher has got to be right has he?

  4. @Mikey, the first paragraph of my comment says all there is to it for me. “I don’t expect the truth of the event from arsenal fans or Brighton fans”. You cannot be a judge in your own case. Gallagher doesn’t have to be correct but I doubt any neutral that’s digging for the truth will place more weight to your judgement than his.
    1. He’s a professional referee and has reff’d to the highest levels, so he should know what he’s saying.
    2. He’s neither a professed Arsenal or Brighton fan, so naturally should be expected to call it right down the middle.
    NB: on occasions he has judged the ref on the pitch to have gotten it wrong against arsenal, eg our disallowed goal against crystal palace last season.

  5. @ Ante

    I’m not sure you’re an Arsenal fan. If you are, I don’t think you watch the same games as me. However, your rationale is naive to say the least.

    Point 1 – Mike Riley was a “professional” referee and now controls all English refereeing. If you can’t remember our 49 unbeaten run coming to an end then watch it. Professional referee or not, holds no water as an argument.

    Point 2 – He may not be an Arsenal or Brighton fan. That does not mean he doesn’t dislike one team more than another. It’s a very poorly thought out argument to suggest his allegiance to any team means he can’t have a particular bias against someone.

    NB Even the most biased referee would have to give the most obvious penalty. Giving one decision in favour of a team does not compensate for many more given unjustly against the same team.

    Point 3 – Yes, I know you didn’t make one. But you clearly have not read the independent analysis for this site of 160 games which may or may not have involved Arsenal but did involve referees who supported other clubs. I suggest you read those and then come back and we can have a more enlightened debate.

    Good luck.

  6. 1. He’s a professional referee and has reff’d to the highest levels, so he should know what he’s saying.
    2. He’s neither a professed Arsenal or Brighton fan, so naturally should be expected to call it right down the middle.

    These must be 2 of the most naïve statements I have ever read. The fact the author of these statement uses the Verb ‘should’ in both of them in itself suggests even he knows the credibility of both of them is suspect, at the very least.

  7. Like I said, ask an arsenal fan his opinion on the event and he’ll probably argue till he’s blue in the face that it was GBH. Ask a Brighton fan, he’ll argue to death that there was nothing in the challenge. I’ve refrained from making a judgement on the challenge because I don’t see the point. You can go around calling everyone who doesn’t agree with your view “biased” or “naïve” or “dishonest”, it doesn’t make any difference. You will be termed a sore loser arsenal fan. However, when the judgement comes from a neutral I believe it will carry more weight. But then again, all of this explanation will probably not change your mind if you’re bent on argumentum ad hominem

    NB: @Mikey I’d appreciate a link to the article that says non-arsenal supporting refs did some analysing and came to the conclusion..

  8. Ante

    “Like I said, ask an arsenal fan his opinion on the event and he’ll probably argue till he’s blue in the face that it was GBH. Ask a Brighton fan, he’ll argue to death that there was nothing in the challenge”

    I agree with you 100%, they probably will, but the thing is the Brighton fans are WRONG, it’s as simple as that.

    As has been said a few times, it is an illegal challange, outlawed in the Laws of the game, both in football, and in the ‘real mans game’ rugby, because ‘Charging into a player with his feet off the ground’ has correctly been deemed DANGEROUS PLAY as in the Laws of the Game for both Rugby and Football:



    A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball when:

    -The ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g., the ground or his own body) or by touching it with any part of the hands or arms except if the ball rebounds from the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save.

    -Holding the ball in the outstretched open hand.

    -Bouncing it on the ground or throwing it in the air.

    -A goalkeeper cannot be challenged (charged) by an opponent when in control of the ball with the hands.

    Awards of Direct Free Kicks. A direct free kick is awarded if a player commits any of the following offenses against an opponent in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

    -Charges (improperly).

    -Jumps at.

    -Kicks or attempts to kick.


    -Strikes or attempts to strike (including head-butt).

    -Tackles or challenges (improperly).

    -Trips or attempts to trip.

    “Careless” is when a player shows a lack of attention or consideration when making a challenge or acts without precaution. No disciplinary sanction is needed. [Just the direct free kick is awarded.] “Reckless” is when a player acts with disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, an opponent and must be cautioned [yellow carded].
    “Using excessive force” is when a player exceeds the necessary use of force and/or endangers the safety of an opponent and must be sent off [red carded; ejected].


    So whether Brighton fans want to argue it was a ‘nothing’ challange or not, and whether you want to sit on the fence or not, is neither here nor there, because the Laws of the Game clearly say it was a foul at the very least, and not only a foul but a type of foul covered by Law 12 regarding DANGEROUS PLAY.

    The only point of debate is whether it was CARELESS, WRECKLESS or WITH EXCESSIVE FORCE.

    Now given that Leno has sustained a potentially career changing, even ending serious injury, I would suggest the following statement under Excessive Force “endangers the safety of an opponent and must be sent off” perfectly describes what happened, and what action should of subsequently been taken by Atkinson.

    To my mind Atkinson clearly failed to apply the Laws of the Game correctly, and worse, failed dismally in his ‘Duty of Care’ to the player/s under his protection (excuse me for laughing).

    I don’t know whether you’re an Arsenal fan or not, but why you would be bending over backwards to defend this guy is beyond me. A player has been badly injured and it is possible his career is on the line, yet you are prepared to just shrug your shoulders. Sad.

    As for those claiming ‘He didn’t mean to hurt him’, ‘He’s not that type of player’ ! WTF ! Are they mind readers? How on earth do they know what he did or didn’t mean to do? And even if he didn’t mean to seriously injure him HE DID SERIOUSLY INJURE HIM, and he did it by doing something which is deemed DANGEROUS PLAY within The Laws of the Game.

    This isn’t me being paranoid or myopic this is me being sick and tired of seeing players seriously injured by these clowns, and apparently nobody gives a flying f***

  9. AS I keep saying in this analogy.

    If a speeding driver gets from A to B without hurting anyone he will just get a fine.

    If a speeding driver gets from A to B but smashes into a car and seriously hurts the driver in the process he will get a fine, points and possibly more.

    In both cases the driver just wanted to get from A to B. He had no intention of hurting anybody, but that doesn’t alter the fact that in both incidents he was acting dangerously, it’s just in the first he was lucky he didn’t hurt anybody. In the second he wasn’t so lucky and seriously hurt somebody.

    If this went to court at no time would he be able to put up the defence “I didn’t mean it”. That is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is what was the consequence of his ILLEGAL (against the LAW) and DANGEROUS action.

    My point is, when it comes to the Law of the Land, the consequences of someone’s actions are taken into account when he is judged, not whether he meant it or not. Surely that should be the same with the Laws of the Game, or am I missing something?

    For example:


    No Injuries/Fine/Free kick.


    Stop making excuses for these thugs.

  10. @ Ante

    It’s not hard to find the link All you have to do is read the ref reviews!

    @ Nitram

    I went out and drank 15 cans of Stella and a bottle of Vodka then drove home. I knocked down a pedestrian on the way home but it wasn’t my fault because I didn’t intend to hurt him…………….

  11. Mikey

    A bit drastic just to prove a point, but I’m with you all the way !

    But seriously, ‘I/he/she didn’t mean it’ must be the lamest excuse in the World, and those that use it, the most idiotic.

  12. Gallagher, Sky, Neutral. Three words that make me uncomfortable when used in the same sentence.

    Maupay had no chance of getting the ball legally. The challenge was both completely unnecessary, and dangerous. If that is what Leno “deserved”, the referee’s contribution must be called into question.

    I didn’t need Gallagher to affirm that the Arsenal goal against Palace was valid. Chambers was fouled when the ball was crossed. Atkinson did nothing.

    I’m not sure why people defer to ex-PGMOB referees’ opinions. If I want an opinion, I can ask my wife.

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