How the media sets the agenda, and helps those in authority avoid the big issues


As you will know, at least as you will if you are regular on this site, the English media is scoffing and sneering at the launch of the proposals for Super League II.

Meanwhile Untold is endeavouring to put forward details of what is wrong with the Premier League, including such ventures as Chelsea spending more than the rest of Europe put together in the last transfer window, and getting away with it by giving players 10-year contracts. 

Oh yes and the fact that the rest of the PL has put together a dossier of 100+ breaches of regulations that Manchester City are accused of without the media even noticing something was amiss. 

Now I think that is an interesting point that lots of football fans have been wondering about, namely how on earth Manchester City have been getting away with their financial arrangements for so long without being investigated properly, and how it was that Uefa just happened to take too long to present its case to the Court of Arbitration in Sport, and so lost the case.

Just as we have all been wondering how it can be that one PL referee has overseen home wins in just on three quarters of his matches this season while another gets home wins in under one fifth of the games he controls (along with many other anomalies)

So we took the name “Untold” to reflect that we want to focuss on issues that the media ignore, and topics where we can find evidence that something is seriously wrong.

But I want to add another point here.  Deliberately and constantly ignoring issues that are clearly of importance and significance, is what the English media does not just in terms of football, but wholesale.  Thus the fact that they do it with football is hardly surprising given the other issues they ignore.

In our society, we have a very long tradition of subjects which the media decide are simply not available for debate.  One might think of whether an entire local government authority could be utterly corrupt (see Rotherham 1997-2013), whether an ethnic minority could be at liberty to run sex gangs across a whole city (ditto), or whether the Met Police is institutionally corrupt

Eventually, the scandal breaks and the media reports it, but no one ever asks – how come we never heard of this before?  Everything is suddenly described as truly awful and reforms are put in place (although sometimes seemingly without effect – again see Rotherham).

And this is what happens in football.   As a tiny organisation we’ve done out best to counter this with articles such as “Enquiry into child abuse by employees at football clubs is yet again being hampered by the FA.” but we are pretty much on our own.

There was then our report,  “Clubs have been advised not to investigate historical (sex) allegations at this stage,” and The sexual exploitation of young footballers shows we have really really deep and serious problems but now that seems to be yesterday’s news and no one wants to discuss how it could be that this horror was ignored by the media for so long. 

So what I am saying is that in England we have developed an ability not to investigate and not to talk about certain things which many people know about, and then when the story breaks, everything is described as awful, and then we forget. 

Plus I am arguing that we seem to be able to ignore this in everything from cases of total and absolute corruption of major organisations of state, through to appalling crimes against young people committed under the “watchful eye” of football clubs.

And to give one simple irrefutable example: the FA cocked up totally in handling the Euro final at Wembley.  Cocked up enough to warrant the whole organisation being shut down and replaced by a body that was competent.  But nothing happened at all.

Of course the corruption of football itself is of no consequence when compared with the child sex abuse cases in English football, the corruption of the capital’s police force or the corruption of an entire local authority, but the issue of ignoring what is going on, as well as spinning us a load of tripe, is what the media does.   And since most of us get most of our news about football from the media, that means most of us are being spun a load of lies – as well as the very big stories not being told at all.

I’ll continue in a subsequent article.  For now, I’m stopping to have something to eat.

The collapse of Uefa and rise of the new super league

15 Replies to “How the media sets the agenda, and helps those in authority avoid the big issues”

  1. What is so wonderful is that we have got man City where we want them irrespective of whether they broke rules or not. They were just getting too good and once we relegate them we must do the same to Chelsea and then Newcastle. We will then be in a position to win the Premier league by restricting the competition.

    What I mean is that the Chair Person of the Premier League is a huge Man United fan and the Head of the Commission to investigate alleged wrong doings is from our club and a member of Arsenal FC.

    Great days ahead for Arsenal FC

  2. Stephen Williams I am not sure if your comment is meant to be funny (I didn’t find it so but maybe my sense of humour is on the blink) or if you actually have evidence of corruption within the Premier League – in which case it would be good to see it presesnted.

  3. Yes Stephen, we all know the only chance Man City had of beating the ‘big six’ CARTEL was to spend Billions of dodgy un earned pounds. We’ve heard it a thousand times.

    There was another way.

    Run your club properly.

    In the Late 60′ s early 70’s up to 77 Man City were more successful than Man Utd and Arsenal. Following Uniteds European cup triumph in 68 they never won a title again until Fergie turned the club around in the 90’s. In fact until Fergies arrival they had won just 3 FA Cups over 25 years and been relegated. Some CARTEL that.

    Arsenal won the double in 71 but that was their first domestic trophy of any kind for 18 years. Some CARTEL that. Then they went another 18 years with just an FA Cup and League Cup, before Graham won us the title again at Anfield. Some CARTEL that.

    We have been pretty successful since then, but even so we famously went 10 years without a trophy of any sort under Wenger, and again famously haven’t won the title for 20 years now. Some CARTEL that.

    But here’s the thing. Since your success back in the 60 and 70’s up until the oil money arrived you went through through 23 managers in 30 years. TWENTY THREE

    Arsenal over that same period went through 10 managers and 3 of them are classed as ‘caretakers’. So 7 managers in 30 years.

    It’s not Arsenals, or Man Utds fault you ran your club like a back street knocking shop with a turn over of managers more akin to a MacDonalds than a professional football club.

    But you’ll be just like every other City fan that’s ever been here, ignore the facts and do, and say anything to justify cheating your way to trophies, then having the audacity to accuse us of doing the same.

    There’s only one other club that’s done what you have and that’s Chelsea, and their fans are just as deluded as you lot are.

  4. @Nitram,

    well said. I second that !

    @ Stephen

    Let’s not forget that City were not found ‘not guilty’ of financially cheating their way into trophies. The charges were dropped by the CSA because UEFA was so incompetent as to let time run out and prescription set in.

    The interesting issue at hand here is not who is running whatever procedure the PL has started – nice try to play it ‘trumpian-mob-style’ and deflect charges by talking about anything else then the crime – but the fact that apparently the PL does not have a prescription that applies.

    And when Guardiola defends his masters with the argument that City won on the field, well if any team had beaten City with an unregistered player, they’d be screaming murder…yet they’d have been beaten on the pitch, same argument as Guardiola’s the other day.

    So yeah, City won trophies on the field, but fielded teams that were, from a financial rules perspective, illegal. Not the fans’ fault, they enjoyed the wins. But NOT right at all. And as Nitram pointed out, a cartel ?!?!? Are you kidding ?

  5. Nitram that was such a witty repsonse lol. Stephen Williams you should stop smoking what ever it is you are doping like financial doped city. Like whatever the

  6. Interesting that everyone in the media recognises that Grealish is a cheat. However he is applauded for being clever in “winning” penalties, even though he is even more blatant than the current Spurs centre-forward. Any Arsenal player attempting such tactics would be condemned by the pundits.

    We can expect more of this on Wednesday.

    I am now relaxed about this game, as I am confident that Arsenal are as good as Man City. We may well not win, but at least we will have played with integrity, without financial doping and cheating during the game.

  7. “The UAE’s enormous investment in Manchester City is one of football’s most brazen attempts to ‘sportswash’ a country’s deeply tarnished image through the glamour of the game,” said Amnesty International’s Gulf researcher Devin Kenney. This comes from an article in the Guardian, dated 11 November 2018, entitled “Amnesty criticises Manchester City over ‘sportswashing’.”

    A quick search of the internet for the definition of sportswashing doesn’t deviate much from the following definition from the Cambridge Dictionary – “the practice of an organization, a government, a country, etc. supporting sports or organizing sports events as a way to improve its reputation.” Based on this definition, and many others I’ve looked at, ownership of the ‘sportwashing vehicle’ , a football club in this instance, appears to be irrelevant.

    Can someone please explain why only one of the two clubs the UAE sponsors is considered to be a vehicle for the UAE’s sportswashing activities? Is it because Abu Dhabi sponsors one and Dubai the other? I understand why MCFC’s owners are happy with MCFC being a vehicle for sportswashing, but why are Arsenal’s owners?

  8. Vikrant Dogra

    Thanks for that, I think.

    Actually makes me feel sick.

    And to think, the other day I said I thought we were getting a fairer rub of the green from the officials. All I can say is heaven help us if they turn against us!!!

  9. @Tim,

    I’m not all comfortable with Emirates or Rwanda being commercial sponsors.
    Yet for one, nobody can say it is not ‘legitimate’ advertising at a market price.
    City on the other hand are an organisation owned by a Gulf State, whose contracts are way overvalued and who did not respect the financial fairplay rules – or do you believe 101 breaches were misread or invented out of the blue ?

    So you are comparing 2 distinct things that are not comparable – but I agree that I’ve never been a fan of the Emirates contract.

  10. @Nitram,

    I believe the incident against Brentford was the proof definite that Mason is INCOMPETENT. As are most of the PGMOL people. Poor chap was under stress…yeah…so sorry for him….maybe now he is suffering from PTSD ?

    During the game, seen on Sky in Germany, they replayed the goals 10 minutes afterwards showing the second offside. Which is quite stunning… just outlining the error. Which I guess set other things in motion as PGMOL then had to aknowledge what all spectators had seen. This to me is a tectonic shift. It ain’t hidden anymore, it’s there for everyone to see. On CNN, there was a piece yesterday under the title : The ‘human error’ that could cost Arsenal the English Premier League title. In european papers, it was a subject as well.

    The PL knows that it has to clean up it’s act as competing european league may end up coming into existence soon. Such incompetence is going to make the PL brand quite some damage. So I believe we are seeing the beginning of problems for PGMOL who cannot anymore hide behind total silence and ‘BS-99%-right-calls’ statements.

    The emperor has no clothes and people are starting to see it.

  11. Chris

    Could it of been Mason was so ‘over excited’ by the fact we had conceded an equaliser he just rushed it through in his excitement. The thought of carrying out due diligence never even entered his head. Fundamentally I don’t think it was an ‘error’ it was, it was deliberate. He knew he would get away with it, and he will.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong because I only caught the end of the comment, but did I or did I not hear Soccer Saturday bending over backwards trying to justify why the goal stood?

    What I do know is, there was an audible cheer in the studio when it came through that the goal stood.

    I think we all know where SKYs loyalties lie, and it aint with us.

    Have you seen the link above supplied by Vikrant, honestly when you see it like that it is beyond a joke.

  12. @Nitram,

    this is my point. As a competent referee you need to uphold the rules of the game and respect guidelines and procedures. Wherever you loyalties may lie. Like a judge needs to uphold the law.

    We are seeing now in broad daylight that referees in the PL are making 99.9 % right calls. We are seing they are making mistakes. For whatever reasons including their personal preferences, if they interfere, make them the more so incompetent.

    Imagine Arsenal lose the PL by one point. He will go down in history as the one referee who screwed Arsenal and screwed the table by incompetence – because he was not willing/able to see what we all saw. Maybe Arsenal could sue him…. (yeah I know, won’t happen). Thing is as of now, he is one of the rare PL referees, probably the first one, mentionned as potentially INCOMPETENT on CNN, I quote :

    “The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Lee Mason checked Ethan Pinnock’s challenge on Gabriel during the initial free-kick but appeared to not use the VAR guidelines to check a second incident in the goal’s build up when Christian Norgaard seemed to be offside. ”

    Here is the link to the full story :

    So the end result is that the whole world saw this incompetent referee screw up a game, involving a potential PL winner, in the biggest, richest, most looked at football league in the world. And to add insult to injury, he did not even follow guidelines. Talk about a damning incident.

    INCOMPETENCE all around. And we have not even yet started talking about stats Untold has been presenting gameday after gameday.

  13. In my job I HAVE to follow the rules. Literally, there is a massive rule book and it is my ‘bible’.

    I cannot walk from place to place without following rules. I am monitored all day by technology which is downloaded periodically to monitor my performance. If I mess up the first thing they do is check I obeyed the rules. Followed procedure.

    If I didn’t I am in deep deep trouble. Yes, everyone knows human error can occur, but if I failed to follow procedure that is simply not acceptable.

    Consequences. As soon as you know there are none, this is what happens.

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