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October 2020
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There is a crisis in football and PL adopts different rules from Europe

By Tony Attwood

What crisis?  How can there be a crisis?  Just look at the money being spent, and the transfer window still has two weeks to run (and you know what the last night before the window “slams shut” is like – at least on TV).

Currently the net spending (ie the amount spent less the amount received) runs like this for the traditional big six

  • Arsenal: £21m plus salary for Ceballos on loan
  • Chelsea: £130m not including Xavier Mbuyamba from Barcelona – fee not revealed
  • Liverpool: £60m
  • Manchester City: £22.8m not including fees for Yan Couto and Issa Kaboré both currently undisclosed
  • Manchester United: £34.7m
  • Tottenham Hotspur: £45.2m (not including the seemingly rather high salary for Bale on loan)

Now all of that might seem pretty normal, except when we see headlines like “Real Madrid’s cash woes are allowing clubs to snap up Galactico bargains”.   In the Telegraph we have, “There was a time when Real Madrid could seemingly sign whoever they wanted – now the rest of European football views them very differently.”

By May it was reported that Barcelona had already lost €154 million – and that was with lockdowns already the new normal. Goal ran the report more recently that ‘Barcelona are the club worst affected by the coronavirus crisis’.

The new 2020/21 TV deal in Germany is said to be bringing in 100 to 150 million euros less than was expected because of the “very dark” scenario facing international marketing.   Advertising income, TV rights, sponsorship money,  it is all going down.

And he added ominously, “At the moment, a lot of players in the Bundesliga are happy that they have an employer.”

None of this seems to be touching England, which is rather like the situation in which the UK media won’t notice the war that has broken out in terms of Fifa and international football.  Just funny foreigners doing their thing.  So in England all is ok.

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Except we know it isn’t, at least financially.  Yes money is being spent, but in the Championship there is a growing awareness that they simply don’t have the resources to carry on.  And of course given that we don’t have rules restricting how much clubs can spend, their owners can take huge gambles while living in the fantasy world that their club is “too big to fail.”

And then, here’s another very strange thing.  The Telegraph newspaper which for a number of years was the go-to paper for the PGMO whenever it wanted to make one of its very occasional statements to the public (such as when the claimed they were 98% accurate, and then later claimed that VAR made them 2.5% more accurate), is now saying something against PGMO.

Consider this headline:

Referees may have been told to ignore the handball law

“Both Victor Lindelof and Matt Doherty were unjustly treated, presumably because PGMOL told officials to punish accidental handballs,” they proclaim in an article written by ex-ref Keith Hackett who also tells us that, “Crystal Palace’s French-born Ghanaian striker Jordan Ayew shoots and the ball touches the hand of Manchester United’s Swedish defender Victor Lindelof to concede a penalty.

“I had referees from all over the world contacting me over the weekend expressing their bemusement at two inexplicable handball decisions in the Premier League….” he adds.

“You can only assume that the Professional Game Match Officials Board instructed officials in pre-season to punish accidental handballs. … Yet this runs contrary to the rulebook,” says Mr Hacket citing the case of the ball touching the hand of Victor Lindelof.

He then argues that “English referees’ chief Mike Riley has told his whistlers to revert to last season’s interpretation of handball for this term.”

The Daily Mail is there as well saying, “The Premier League is plagued by confusion over what is and is not handball – Mike Riley must explain to mangers and players what will lead to a penalty.”

They add that Riley “needs to explain to managers, players, media and fans what will lead to a penalty. He must explain why Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof was penalised for handball when no one in a Crystal Palace shirt even appealed…. Explain why Arsenal’s Gabriel was not penalised against West Ham for something similar…. Explain why a penalty can be awarded to Southampton for Matt Doherty handling the ball after it deflected off Tottenham team-mate Harry Winks’s foot.

“Until he does that, coaches will continue to complain, players will look perplexed on the pitch, and fans will be frustrated. We cannot have that…”

“In the case of Doherty, the interpretations on handball given by IFAB and FIFA state it is an offence if a player handles the ball when making his body ‘unnaturally bigger’ unless he is making a deliberate action to play the ball.”

OK it is a fairly minor thing compared to some of the chaos that PGMO causes by what it does in terms of restricting the number of referees and having the same referee oversee the same team over and over and over again.

But it is a start first to recognise the PGMO is out there, second that it manipulates the game to its own ends, which are never revealed, and third is takes its own line away from IFAB rules when it feels like it – leaving England as the only country playing to variant rules.

3 comments to There is a crisis in football and PL adopts different rules from Europe

  • Nitram

    If that decision at OT had been in Man Utd’s favour and that decision at the Emirates had been in West Ham’s favour we wouldn’t even be talking about it.

    As I said yesterday, the whinging had nothing to do with the rights and wrongs of the calls but who it went for and against.

    It’s as simple as that.

  • ben

    we signed runarsson.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    We’ve signed Runarsson, it is okay and congratulations to us the Arsenals. And more grease to the elbows of the club’s chieftains. But when are they going to actualise their reported interest to sign the duo or one of Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouer? Whom they’ve been linked with all summer to sign them as well to complete the club’s first team squad rebuilding exercise that is being embarked upon to rebuild by Mikel Arteta the Gunners gaffer.

    And let me point out one issue that could turnout to become negatively very serious for Arsenal in their Premier League playing team squad this season if not quickly nipped in the bud to arrest it is the lack of scoring goals in their high numbers in the PL for Arsenal by PE Aubameyang.

    Aubameyang who has just signed an extension to his deal at the club @350k/w plus wages which has doubled what he was collecting before at the club when he signed the new deal that has his contract extended by 3 years has to step up his performance for Arsenal in the PL by taking the responsibility to be scoring goals in high number regularly for the club.

    But not in the average number and intermittently form as currently the case with him for Arsenal. Which I think will not urge well for him this season even if he again ended the campaign in the PL by scoring another 22 goals for Arsenal. But instead he should double this his tally for Arsenal this season to justify the £350k/w plus wages he’s now collecting at the club as his new salary. But become another Ozil’s case for Arsenal.

    If Auba had scored a goal in the Arsenal last PL home match against West Ham to give his team a 3-1 home win. Would Arsenal not be topping the table at least if it is in alphabetical order after nearly all the week 2 matches in the PL have been played?

    Us all know that goals aggregate difference can make the big differenc for a club in table placement in the Premier League. Man City and Man Utd are an example in this scenario when Man City beat Man Utd to the PL title just on goals difference in one past season’s campaign.

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