What you ought to know about Manchester United.

“Power corrupts, absolute power absolutely corrupts.”

(Note: All numbers are research based and therefore, are facts)

 

Date: Jan 4th, 2005 Stadium: Old Trafford Time: 89th minute Score: 0-0.

Pedro Mendez of Spurs lobs the ball from the halfway line. Roy Carroll tries to catch it, stumbles and watches in horror as the ball is creeping towards the goal. He instinctively turns to scoop it away with his right hand, but not before the ball is already in 2 yards . With referee Mark Clattenburg and his assistant Rob Lewis too far away from the incident to judge, Mendes is denied the  winning goal. To watch that incident, click here.

I’m sure most of you remember this incident and I’m sure most of you would agree with me when I say “This is one of the worst refereeing decisions I have ever seen in my life.”  It had to be in favor of Manchester United.

Date: August 29, 2009. Venue: Old Trafford. In the first half, Fletcher fouled Arshavin so blatantly in the box, I remember being 100% sure it would be a penalty. The ref waved play on. I was watching that match at a pub and everybody went silent, they couldn’t believe the ref ignored that one. He had a clear view and he did not dare to award a penalty against ManU at their realm. To watch that incident click here.(skip to 2:20) . The ref that day was Mike Dean.

Yes, the same Mike Dean that is going to officiate our next week’s match against ManU.

Now, let’s have a look at some penalty stats:

Last season (2011/12)

 

Team

For

Against

Manchester United

11

3

Manchester City

8

3

Chelsea

5

6

Liverpool

6

4

Arsenal

3

4

Numbers speak for themselves.

 

This season 2012/13 (So far)

 

Team

For

Against

Manchester United

3

0

Manchester City

1

1

Chelsea

3

0

Liverpool

0

3

Arsenal

0

0

Looking good this season too.

 

Total number of penalties in the last 10 years:

Team

For

Against

Manchester United

60

26

Manchester City

48

41

Chelsea

56

30

Liverpool

55

38

Arsenal

58

42

Not only United has received the most penalties in the last decade, they have also conceded the least amount of penalties than any of the top clubs. Coincidence?

People brush off Howard Webb’s decision that seems to favor Man United time and again with jokes and puns but let’s be serous here. As I said in my tweet yesterday, The total No. of penalties Webb has awarded Manu: 9 in 32 games and No. of penalties Webb has awarded Arsenal,Chelsea and Liverpool: Only 10 in 100 games. 

Recent stats revealed that Webb has given 18 percent of his penalties to Man United. Remember,there are 37 other teams too.

The group of referees in the premier is called Professional game match officials board. (PGMOB). The head of that organization is Mike Riley. His job is to assign referees to specific matches. This is the same Mike Riley who ended our 49 game unbeaten run by awarding that penalty when Wayne Rooney dived. This is the same Mike Riley whim David Moyes wanted investigated on 2009 because he thought Riley was a United fan. Same Riley who has given 10 penalties for Man United in the last 14 games.

In 2008, after a cup loss to Portsmouth, here is what Fergie said: “I don’t think he’s doing his job properly and he needs to be assessed. He has a lot to answer to his country (Scotland).” He was referring to Keith Hackett. Hackett retired a year later. Normal right? People retire all the time.

On 3 October 2009, Ferguson launched a scathing attack on Alan Wiley in a post-match interview following Manchester United’s 2–2 draw against Sunderland, complaining that Wiley was ‘not fit enough for a game of that standard’ and accused Wiley of ‘walking up the pitch for the second goal needing a rest’. Wiley had also officiated the match between Man United and Liverpool few months before that in which he had sent off Vidic. Image

Man U had lost 4-1 in that game. 

Less than a year since Fergie’s criticism, Wiley retired. (Suspiciously, his Wiki page says he ‘agreed’ to retire).

In the season 2011/11, Manu lost 2-1 to Wolves.The ref, Michael Oliver was not given another Manu game to referee for one whole year. Compare that to Phil Dowd who gave Toons 2 soft penalties and a red for Diaby against us. He refereed a month later for Arsenal again. Michael Oliver refereed 2 games for Manu since their loss against Wolves (a year after) . Here is what happened in those 2 games:

1. He gave United a penalty for a shocking dive by Danny Welbeck in the home win against Wigan.

2.  He refused to give Fulham a clear penalty late in the game.United won 1-0.A game came right at the end of the title race.

Similarly, Remember in 2010/11,when we beat Manu 1-0 (Fabregas assist may I add) .Chris Foy was the referee then. He wasn’t assigned for a United game for an entire year after that. Foy did refereed 2 games for United (all cup games) in between that. Here is what happened in those games:

1. The first was in the CC against Crystal Palace. He awarded United a penalty but still they still lost. (I tweeted a joke about that to United fans: Did you watch that game? Was it crystal clear? )

Anyway, 2. The second was at City in the FA Cup. United got a penalty and Kompany was sent off early in that game.

Next, Mike Jones refereed Manu vs Newcastle in 2011/12 season. Game ended 1-1. Jones was not given ANY game for an entire month. Couple of months later Mike Jones did get to officiate a United game. It was against Stoke and they won 2-0. And guess what? Both penalties.

Rewind a season before that, United lost 3-1 at Anfield. Ferguson criticized Phil Dowd for not sending off Jamie Carragher in that game. The very next game Dowd officiated for United, he awarded a soft penalty for United against Blackburn. That game sealed United’s title win.

Jeff Winter, an ex-referee once sent Roy Keane off which cost United the win. He wasn’t given a chance to officiate a United game for two whole years. He later said: “The FA is hesitant to give Manchester United games to referees that Ferguson has criticized in the past.”

An experienced referee himself saying things like must make you uncomfortable and must make you think whether there is something really is going on inside.

United most recent loss was against Spurs couple of weeks ago. Chris Foy was the ref for that game. Last week, he officiated a League two game for the first time in 4 years. I know, coincidence again.

We all witnessed yesterday how Clattenburg gave United the win yesterday. 2 red cards and an offside goal gave United a crucial 3-2 win at Bridge. By now, everyone knows that Mark Clattenburg’s last game for United was at Old Trafford last season where the home side where humiliated 6-1 by their bitter rivals City. Evans was sent off by Clattenberg early in the game for a CLEAR professional foul. Later Ferguson had admitted after that game as his “Worst loss in his career”. It seems Clattenberg had something to prove after that and boy he did.

 Image

I find it baffling that Journalists never make a story of this. The conclusion is simple. If United loses a match, it is not good for any referee’s career. They either get demoted, or not given any match, or forced to retire. So when they are given a chance to officiate a United match again, they are under tremendous pressure to give any benefit of the doubt to United. We know that football is a game of margins and ref’s small decisions makes the difference between winning and losing.

Now, I know people (esp United fans) will criticize this article saying things like players win the match , teams win the the match, your performance win you the match. While it is true to most extent, referees have a direct influence as much as players in the outcome of the game.

Scandals are a part of global sport. Look at what happened to Lance Armstrong. Corruption in other leagues such as in Italy, Second division in Spain, Porto’s scandal in Portugal, French league all has been proven and punished in the past. But the league in England is perfect. Just like Arteta’s hair. Really? Remember Hillsborough?

Logically, it is hard to believe BPL is corruption free. I say this because this league is the biggest league in the world. One can only imagine the amount of money involved in each game. The money is generated especially through the big teams. They sell merchandise, tickets and have global fan base. Rupert Murdoch and other few corporations own all the TV networks and newspapers. The giant revenue stream comes from Manchester United who have millions of fans all over the world. God knows what will happen if they don’t win anything for a couple of years. Maybe their true fans will change their support or maybe their true fans will stop buying their products. Can they afford it? No. Solution? Keep winning at any cost. But what if the team isn’t capable of winning every time by their own? Manufacture the win. Should there be an investigation, and any if sign of corruption is revealed, this giant company (so to speak) will suffer a HUGE financial loss. They won’t let that happen.

Again, as I said on my twitter yesterday, Ferguson is a man who has been Knighted by the queen, who has been here for decades, he must have deep political connections and power within the football we’ll never know. Journalists are scared to ask him a tough question, referees are scared to give a decision against him. It shouldn’t be like that. This is football , not North Korea.

I’m just waiting for a Lance Armstrong-esque catastrophe for Man United. Truth shall come forth one day.

 

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58 thoughts on “What you ought to know about Manchester United.

  1. ARSENAL SUX December 28, 2012 at 11:05 am Reply

    LOLOL THIS IS SO MUCH FUN! GET A LIFE

  2. HeavyFeather March 8, 2013 at 8:51 am Reply

    Since the Arshavin/Fletcher incident’s youtube link has been taken down, here’s an alternative link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx0Dk7JQ4cA
    The quality is terrible but you can still see it was a penalty. Fucking Dean.

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