By Tony Attwood
It was particularly interesting to receive a fair number of comments yesterday following my review of the CAS findings on the Manchester City case. Not as many as we normally get, so many the subject of the Uefa and CAS reviews of their financial affairs is now considered done and dusted, although I rather suspect Uefa will at least change the way they work in future.
That they put the arguments in favour of Manchester City is of course very understandable, for that is what many supporters of all clubs would do. But what was interesting was that the battle against Uefa launched by Manchester City, with their threats of suing the Union out of existence, and so forth, seems, on the surface at least, for these writers become part of the essence of Manchester City.
I won’t bore you with all of the comments received but instead have selected three of the early pieces to come in. They are reproduced here without any editing.
“what a load of paranoid tosh,please accept the verdict decided decided by uefa and apply ourselves to the matter of getting suppoters into the stadiums to enjoy thebest team in the land,come on city”
That is a fairly typical response – suggesting perhaps that anyone who argues against Manchester City in this matter is mentally ill. There is of course no attempt to debate the matter here, rather it just says, we won. Although there is a slight misunderstanding there I feel, because the verdict decided by Uefa was that Manchester City should be banned for two years. CAS overturned that.
Here’s a second
“perhaps it was the case that UEFA were advised by Arsenal on the defence of its case, therefore doomed to failure. The whole world knows that the Arsenal defence is non existant. Whilst we are on the subject of UEFA CL Rules what happened to the debt limit rule? I am sure one Manchester club competed whilst 700 million in debt, was there not a bar of 200 million imposed? You were so sure that UEFA would win this case in all your missives from the high moral ground. Well some months ago I replied to one of your articles telling you that UEFA were doomed to failure. I expect the club you support will once again gratefully recieve the tainted portion of Arab money once again.”
It is indeed true that we received a number of emails saying Uefa would fail in its battle with Manchester City, although I am not sure we had anyone saying that the case would fail on the issue of being out of time. But more to the point here is the complaint that schoolchildren are heard to make to parents and teachers that it is not fair if they are punished for a misdemeanour when someone else is doing the same.
On the issue of the Arsenal defence. being non-existent, I think that might have been intended as a joke, but it is worth contemplating for a moment. As we reviewed the other day, Arsenal had the eighth worst defence in the league this season – not good enough but not non-existent, conceding (for example) six goals fewer than Chelsea in the league. In relation to Manchester C we conceded 13 goals more than they did in the league – one every three games.
Here is a third…
“Fek me, you made that up, your argument is based on delusional rather than fact. The evidence from a hacker facing prison, the emails were altered and are before the FFP introduced. See where I’m going with this? Your grammar is rather piss poor. I bet on my mortgage you didn’t read the 93 page CAS documents. I hope karma strikes you.”
I receive a few threatening emails, but “I hope karma strikes you” is one of the most unusual. Karma, as you’ll know suggests that what you do in this world affects what you do in the next.
However the notion that stolen documents cannot be used in court is one that is often cited, and is completely untrue. I would refer the writer to Singh v Singh  England and Wales High Court 1432 where stolen evidence most certainly was admitted – and indeed there is never a question about not admitting evidence stolen, just because it was stolen. The court can decide what evidence is will look at, and if it is pertinent to the case, evidence, stolen or otherwise will be used. (It is interesting though that this notion that stolen evidence might somehow not be acceptable keeps coming up. I suppose people just don’t like doing even the simplest of research).
The suggestion that Rui Pinto might have selected out these documents from 90 million and changed them is interesting and unlikely from what we know, and would have taken a huge amount of time, but the attack on my use of the English language is perhaps a little unwarranted in a piece that includes such lines as “your argument is based on delusional” and “the emails were altered and are before the FFP introduced.”
Of course we can’t say that these and the other emails Untold received are not representative of Manchester City as a whole, but these, combined with the emails received after the earlier piece I wrote, primarily concerning the issues Uefa now face in the light of being defeated, show that the anger with the rest of football appears still to be present in some Manchester C supporters.
You may recall in the late 1970s, the Millwall chant, “No one likes us we don’t care” in which the club’s supporters’ isolation from the mainstream was celebrated. As Millwall have not been in the same division as Arsenal 1990 I’m not up to date with their songs, but there seems to me to be a strong element of celebrating the fact that “no one likes us” in the replies Untold received.
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