Today, Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-2 at Stanford Bridge.
Not a single football fan across the world is talking about anything other than Mark Clattenburg’s refereeing performance in that game.
Readers of this blog will not have been surprised at the referee’s performance. They will have known exactly what to expect during that game today and even the most skeptical will surely be scratching their heads.
Clattenburg had gone 38 games without refereeing Manchester United. His previous United game was the 6-1 thrashing by rivals Man City at Old Trafford. Clattenburg sent Johnny Evans off in a match that Alex Ferguson described as “the most embarrassing defeat of my career”.
For 38 games, Clattenburg was not handed a single United game to referee. Not a single league game, not a single cup game. That stat alone tells us nothing: he’s also gone a while without officiating Arsenal or Liverpool games. His performance today, however, tells us a great deal.
Clattenburg has now become the latest in an ever expanding line of referees who have officiated a United loss, gone a long time without reffing them, then on their return give game changing decisions to Alex Ferguson’s side.
Like Chris Foy, who took charge of a United defeat and went a year without reffing United in the league. During that time, Foy reffed 2 United cup games, giving them penalties in both and sending off Vincent Kompany in one.
Like Phil Dowd, who reffed a United loss, then gave them a penalty in the next game he took charge of which earned United a draw and their 19th league title.
Like Mike Jones, who after falsely awarding Demba Ba a penalty at Old Trafford, gave United 2 penalties in 2-0 home win against Stoke during his subsequent visit to Old Trafford. The list is neverending.
I’m not going to keep repeating myself, all that info is in my 3 previous articles. Halsey, Atkinson, Wiley, Oliver, Webb… There’s enough there to at least make you think Man United are the world champions of coincidences.
The point is this:
Clattenburg sends a United player off in an embarrassing loss at home, and gets a 38 game absence from United games. Is there anyone out there who believes that after his performance at Stanford Bridge, he’ll go 38 games without taking charge of United again?
United fans keep commenting on these articles, telling people that all of this is just a coincidence.
They cite examples at other clubs, in other eras. I ask United fans the following:
Was today yet another coincidence? And if so, aren’t you just a tiny bit suspicious about the fact that these coincidences keep piling up?
Some people have asked why, when the facts are so blatant and suspicions so widely held by the entire global premier league fanbase, is nothing ever done?
England is a country where the powerful protect the powerful.
It’s a country where innocent people (the Guilford 4 and Birmingham 6) were put in jail for decades by authorities who knew they were innocent of the crimes they were convicted of.
England is a country where the truth is withheld from the general population, until the people implicated either die or retire.
The truth about Hillsborough was known 1 year after the event. It’s only 23 years later that the media has spread the information to the wider population. During that time, some key people that could have been convicted passed away. They were protected by other people in power. Meanwhile, the reputations of the deceased were tarnished, their deaths used as banter at football grounds by people either wholly let down by their country’s media or just spiteful.
For decades, Jimmy Savile was allowed to molest children and was protected by people in power. From the BBC, to the police, to the media and to God knows who else… They all played a role in making sure Savile was able to prey on his victims in peace. They made sure the truth would only come out after his death.
That’s England. It’s extremely similar to every single other country on earth. The politically powerful protect the politically powerful everywhere in the world. The media help facilitate this arrangement. Police forces, politicians, big business, the press and other powerful people constantly work together in mutually beneficial arrangements.
Unlike other world citizens though, the English are sometimes shocked to discover this fact. All these instances I mentioned above came as a shock to the general population- whose trust in their institutions is unwavering.
The powerful protect the powerful. It’s a fact of life.
It’s how Lance Armstrong managed to cheat for so long without investigations. His acussers were called paranoid too and bullied too. Remind you of anyone?
There are very few men in the world more powerful than Rupert Murdoch, the man who finances the global juggernaut that is the premier league through Sky Tv. No man stands more to lose from any investigation into corruption in his cash cow. No newspapers in England are as powerful as his disgusting “The Sun”.
No man in football is more politically powerful than Alex Ferguson. This is a man who was awarded a knighthood on the recommendation of Tony Blair- who Ferguson helped during his 1997 campaign for prime minister. Read Allaistar Campbell’s diaries. It’s all there. Ferguson was constantly on the phone to Campbell asking what he could do to help.
As a reward, Ferguson got knighted. By the Queen of England. That was 13 years ago. God knows what other contacts he’s made during that time. And he didn’t even have someone in the FA then.
No football club CEO in England is more powerful than Manchester United’s David Gill, who has now been promoted to VICE CHAIRMAN of the FA who also wants him as their member on Uefa’s executive committee.
And no man was more power in assigning and demoting referees than Mike Riley, the head of the PGMOB. A man whose allegiances to Man United were so suspect that David Moyes wanted him investigated. A man who was appointed a few months after Ferguson heavily criticized his predecessor.
Power protects power. But nothing will ever be done. This is England.
We all have to wait until Ferguson retires (or passes away) , a seismic change happens in the FA and PGMOB or for, by miracle, certain journalists grow some balls and actually delve right into this.
Until then expect many more Mark Clattenburgs. Expect the game you love, the club you adore and the league you follow to forever be at the mercy of backroom deals, strange referee selections and decisions. Expect many more weekends spent scratching your head, wondering just how more coincidences it will take for people to wake up.
The whole world’s watching…