Sky News seem to have missed it, and it is not featuring on any of the blogs that I can see but the biggest match fixing scandal since 1914/15 is about to hit football.
Let’s do the history first, since this is primarily a history site – but I will move onto the current situation is a moment. League football continued in 1914/15 despite the war, largely because the club owners wanted their money and the propaganda said the war would be short lived and of no significance. After all during the last war (the Boer War 1899/1902) life had continued so why not now?
Match fixing up to then was endemic with game after game being arranged in return for cash, but the 14/15 season was the worst of the lot with the two gians of the north west, Manchester United and Liverpool being the big players in this.
Of course they are also very good at manipulating history and so ever since then with the connivance of journalists they have hidden the truth of the match fixing (into which there was a full enquiry) and focused on the fact that in 1919 Arsenal were promoted from the second division. They leave out the bit that says that Arsenal went up as part of a deal in which Arsenal agreed to drop their demands that Liverpool and Manchester be removed from the league for their match fixing.
Anyway, it has never really gone away, and now it is back big time. Rumblings have been going on for months, and I have mentioned them a few times on UNTOLD ARSENAL.
But now the bigger picture is nearly out. 200 games across nine countries have been found to be fixed including some European Cup matches. The Germans, who for some reason tend to dig into these things far more than the sleaze infested English yesterday announced that this was the start. Informally I have been told that the total runs into thousands.
There have been 17 arrests so far that I have seen reported, and the attention thus far is focused on Switzerland, Germany, Austria and (yes of course, it has to be,) Britain. A million quid’s worth of property has been picked up. They are starting to get ready to arrest the players too.
The problem the authorities has is that the match fixing seems to go right to the top – that is to the authorities. We know that a couple of years ago the whole Italian league was riddled with the friendly attitude towards refs that four clubs showed, but in Britain they said, “oh it doesn’t happen here”. Try saying that to a Scottish supporter.
As usual the British journalists slip back into nonsense and blame “organised criminal gangs” as if that is a meaningful phrase. What is the alternative? “Disorganised unconnected grounds of fairies?” Icebergs and tips were mentioned several times.
Here’s one from the Guardian today. “Uefa officials are believed to be shocked.” And this from an organisation that suddenly, three weeks before the draw for the World Cup play offs changed the rules so as to give the bigger clubs the chance to get through. An organisation that went through its own bribery scandal involving its marketing company a few years ago. An organisation that willingly works underneath FIFA whose time in court has revealed them to be liars at the top level. And what have FIFA done this week? Banned Iraq from playing internationals.
Of course UEFA will now blame every one to try and ensure the police don’t investigate them. In March Uefa announced a crackdown on corruption and Platini has made the fight against corruption a key priority of his presidency. That was before he fixed the draw for the world cup play offs.
My headline above isn’t true – but it could be – that’s my point. UNTOLD ARSENAL predicted Arsenal would win their first match 7-1, and was just one goal out. Of the 19 games we have predicted the results of we have got 15 right and 4 wrong. The bookies don’t like it, and Platini will see it as a perfect way to deflect opinion from his own back
If FIFA want to start somewhere they could have a look at the penalty that Ireland got against Georgia – as Roy Keane pointed out. If ever there was a country that looked to have paid the ref, it was in that match.
We have to face it – football is bent. And as long as the bent officials who are running the sport continue in place, aided and abetted by the self-serving sports journalists of England who always claim that it is those funny nasty foreigners who are to blame, so it will continue.
There’s more Arsenal history – and some of it is a lot less heavy – at www.emiratesstadium.info – or you can buy Making the Arsenal direct from us of via Amazon when they get their stock situation sorted.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009