Sports Category

Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.

Manchester United fans cheers for Danny Welbeck as his mis-controls the ball

How football journalism works: the Dail Mail v the Daily Star  Sun. Last night Manchester United lost 2-1 to Arsenal in the FA Cup. Danny Wellbeck, formerly of United, scored the winning goal.

Neil Ashton is dishing out points in the Daily Mail:

Danny Welbeck: Kept his composure to put Arsenal back in front when her took the ball round De Gea with class and conviction. Good on him for that. 8

That’s the game’s highest score.

In the Daily Star, Jeremy Cross saw a different Wellbeck:

Welbeck struggled to make an impact… The first pass he received  was badly mis-controlled and the same happened the next one he got…

Maybe Neil Ashton is trolling? As he wrote previously:

Life would be easier if I followed the golden rule – give the highest mark to the player who scored the winner, or set it up – and you won’t get clubbed to death on Twitter.

But so good was Wellbeck that all the Manchester United fans cheered him off. Well, so says Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail:

The locals will not begrudge Welbeck his moment either, or resent his celebration. They did not want him to leave and confirmed that support by applauding him all the way to the bench when he was replaced by Olivier Giroud after 72 minutes

Neil Curtis in the Sun heard other noises:

Even the Arsenal fans gave him some generous applaus after initial boos

David McDonell in the Mirror also used two ears:

Welbeck was treated to a mixture of boos and cheers from United fans…

Such are the facts in the tabloids. And in the more high-brow newspapers, the facts are even more challenged. The Times tells us that 8 is better than 7:


Manchester United, The Times, Arsenal, football, FA Cup,


Football used to be just about the scoreline…

Posted: 10th, March 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The All Hair Hockey Team 2015 are ready to be appraised

The All Hair Hockey Team


The All Hair Hockey Team 2015 are ready to be appraised:


Posted: 10th, March 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United v Arsenal shocker: Ozil scores more but Cazorla wins

No football match is complete without newspapers awarding players a score out of 10. Last night’s match between Manchester United and Arsenal was no different.

The Daily Mail says the game’s best player was Danny Welbeck, who scored 8 out of 10. The Mirror says Francis Coquelin was the best player. He gets a 7 out of 10. And in the Times, the best player was Mesut Ozil, who scores an imprssive 8 out of 10.

But hold on. That same Times column says the game’s best player was Santi Cazorla. He scored 7 out of 10.


Manchester United, The Times,  Arsenal, football, FA Cup,



We know journalists are bad at maths but when seven beats eight it’s time to get the fingers out and get back to school…

Posted: 10th, March 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney teaches dumb foreigners Angel Di Maria and Adnan Januzaj the Great British Dive

Wayne Rooney, dive, diving, football, manchester united

Writing on Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Manchester United, Martin Samuel turns to the matter of diving. Two Manchester United players – Angel Di Maria and Adnan Januzaj (who now has more bookings for diving than goals for Manchester United – five yellow cards for diving; four goals scored) were both yellow carded for cheating.

Samuels is unimpressed, telling his Daily Mail readers diving is not the English way:

“Januzaj has been around the English game long enough  now to know better.”

Is Samuel seriously suggesting that only foreingers dive? That it’s not the English to truy to con the referee? If he is, he could do worse than look at Manchester United and England cpatain Wayne Rooney, who in the previous FA Cup match won a penalty for this tumble:


How we hanker for the good old days when ever sin in the game – and let’s include Team GB’s Olympic tumbling – could be blamed on Liveprool’s Luis Suarez

Posted: 10th, March 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenals fans learn that Manchester City will sign Jack Wilshere for £30m

Transfer Balls catches sight of the Daily Star’s lead sports story that Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere is off to Manchester City for £30m.


wilshere manchester city


This story is billed as an “EXCLUSIVE”.

Paul Hetheington has the exclusive facts:

England ace Wilshere, 23, is one of the potential targets mentioned by Etihad Stadium bosses.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 8th, March 2015 | In: Arsenal, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Paul Pogba joins PSG, woos Barcelona, dreams of Arsenal and rocks Manchester United

Transfer balls: A look at the Daily Star’s scoop that Paul Pogba has “ROCKED” Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea by agreeing to play for…Bournemouth! No, only joking. The Star says Pogba has “agreed” to leave Juventus and plays for PSG.

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You might suppose Manchester United are not all that rocked given that the Star reported recently:


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Although a day before that the Metro said Pogba was heading to United and Chelsea:


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And the Mirror said Pogba dreams of playing for Arsenal:


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The source of this latest story is Pogba’s loquacious agent Mino Raiola, who opines:

Speaking to Le Parisien, he said: “No, Ligue 1 is not too small for Paul Pogba. For Paul, all the big clubs are interesting regardless of which championship they play in. We respect the Spanish championship, the French championship, England, Italy and Germany.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 7th, March 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Alvaro Morata rejoins Arsenal for £35m more than they paid for him

Transfer Balls: a look at rubbish being presented as fact and scoops in the mainstream media.

The Daily Mirror says Alvaro Morata is off to Arsenal. The fee: £60m.

Arsenal news and transfers: Gunners given Alvaro Morata go-ahead – for £60million.

Having produced a sensational headline, the Mirror then defers to The Metro:

The Metro report Arsenal have been given the green light to sign Alvaro Morata with Juventus ready to cash in on his services. Morata, only moved to Juve last summer from Real Madrid and Madrid have a buy-back option to re-sign him at the end of the season, it’s reported they’re willing to pass on that.

The Metro believes that Juve and Real have agreed to let the striker join either Arsenal or Liverpool for £60million instead – and split the cash.

The Metro story has been written by Jamie Sanderson (more of his stella work here). The headlines trills:

Arsenal ‘clear to seal Alvaro Morata transfer, Juventus will accept £60m’

Good of Juventus to accept that. And then the facs:

It’s believed Juve and Real have agreed to let the striker join either Arsenal or Liverpool for £60million instead – and split the cash.

Believed by who? You? Me? Them? Anyone other than Jamie Sanderson, whose story contains no link to any source.

Previously Sanderson has told readers that Morat was worth £25m:


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And he’s agreed top join the Gunners.


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And his fee was…£15m.

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Such are the facts…



Posted: 7th, March 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United balls: the Sun shines on Jonny Evans

The tabloids can hardly contains their excitement that Manchester United’s Jonny Evans denies spitting at Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse.

Cisse has held his hands up to the offence, apologised and accepted his seven-match ban. But Evans is digging in. The Sun calls his stance “amazing”. Louis Van Gaal, Evans’ manager at Manchester United, has delivered the outstanding defence: “…he was not aware he was spitting.”

As we look for signs of drool from mouth-breather Evans, the tabloids go to work.

The Sun fill up 7 pages in the Evans spit, including its font and back pages:









If you discount the adverts, the Sun’s 68 pages are reduced to around 54 pages. Seven pages deal with Jonny Evans’ drooling – that’s around 13% of the entire paper. And not a single word on Westminster paedos, Iraq, Syria or phone hacking in the Daily Mirror.

To the Sun, ‘Jonny is Evans sent’…


Posted: 6th, March 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Liverpool replace Gerrard with Manchester United and Arsenal’s William Carvalho

Transfer Balls: a look at the nonsense written about William Carvalho, the Sporting Lisbon midfielder.

Yesterday the Daily Mirror told its readers that Carvalho could be on his way to Liverpool.





That will come as some news for Manchester United fans because according to reports in the Daily Mirror, Carvalho plays for the Red Devils, who he joined for £37m before the last World Cup:



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News of Carvalho’s move to Manchester United was confirmed by the Daily Express, although there it was for a lower fee:



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And there was the earlier news in the Daily Star that Carvalho was on the point of signing for Arsenal:



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As for the player himself, well, the Daily Express had news that he doesn’t want to play for Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United.



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Such are the facts in the mainstream Press…


Posted: 6th, March 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United’s Johnny Evans and Newcastle Pappis Cissse to get life bans and spitting statue

In the Premier Lesgue match between Newscastle United and Manchester United, Johnny Evans and Pappis Cisse appeared to exchange bodily fluids. No, the players – one white, the other black – did not get off with each other to further please fans looking for evidence of moral enlightenment at the match. It seems that they spat at each other, and not in any way that can be construed as good for the game.

No-one has moved to claim the spitting was rooted in racism. And in the curent climate where racism is sought in a speck of dust, for that we must be thankful.

The referee missed the spitting.

But the papers didn’t. They wade in, telling their readers how long the Evans and Cisse could be banned for:

The Guardian says one-match, maybe:


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The BBC looks to recent history: “Last season, George Boyd was given a three-match ban for spitting at Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart”.

The Daily Telegraph says: “Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse [are] facing six-match ban after spitting row in Newcastle v Manchester United clash.”

The Daily Mirror wants more: “Papiss Cisse apologises for Jonny Evans spitting storm as he faces SEVEN game ban.

lan McInally: “If you get tackled and somebody injures you, I think you take it. If somebody spits on you, as a footballer player, that’s not happening … maybe six games isn’t enough. If you give them 10 games, they take the wrath of their football club.”

The Times: “Jonny Evans is not that kind of guy,” Paul Scholes, a former team-mate of the Ulsterman, said. “What Papiss Cissé did afterwards is unforgivable.”

Unforgivable. A life ban it is, then.

(Cisse has accepted a seven-match ban. Evans is holding out.)


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Is any of it a big deal? Maybe spitting is as much a part of the game as the leg-breaking tackle, verbals, biting or the headbutt? Maybe one day they’ll just make a statue or fountain to spitting, like this tribute to Zinedine Zidane, whose World Cup final red-card earning butt was immortalised in bronze:


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Posted: 5th, March 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Revealed: What Manchester United will do to win the Premier League

Football Balls loves those space-filling lists. The Daily Mail delivers news on Manchester United. Mike Keegan lists “10 things Louis van Gaal must fix before next season”.

Here, Sportsmail looks at what Van Gaal needs to do to ensure it is mission accomplished at Old Trafford.

Mission accomplished at Old Trafford is not like George Bush’s famous ‘Mission Accomplished’ in Iraq, where a swift defeat of the less well-armed enemy is followed by grandiose statements, trebles all round and chaos. Manchester United need to win the Premier League and then conquer Europe to accomplish any mission. Anything less for such a rich, free-spending club is failure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 5th, March 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United fans use Sikhs to abuse Chelsea and all other racists

'A round of applause for out ethnic minority fans. Stand up and take a bow, guys"

‘A round of applause for out ethnic minority fans. Stand up and take a bow, guys”


Sky News has been discussing racism. And that always means racism in football, the obvious stuff when white, working class people in man-made fibres are filmed ranting and raving about a soft target.

Eamonn Holmes, the Sky News anchor, was chairing the debate, which quickly turned to Chelsea fans (club owner: Jewish Russian; supstar striker: black African), a few of whom had been filmed behaving badly on the Paris Metro.

Holmes, a Manchester United fan, puffed up, sat up straight and told viewers that things were rosy at Old Trafford, because sat close to the manager’s dug-out are a few obvious ethnic fans. Said Holmes:

“The group of guys in turbans at Manchester United sends out a lovely message.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 4th, March 2015 | In: Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Paul Pogba gives Arsenal the eyes

Transfer Balls: Is Paul Pogba heading to Arsenal? Is Paul Pogna, the Juventus and France star, going to pull on the Arsenal strip after an £80m transfer?

Wriing in the Metro, Lee Hurley is disbelieving:

Spending £80million is a lot for a player, any player, even one as good as Paul Pogba. In fact, I roll my eyes every time I see Arsenal linked with him as I think about Arsene Wenger saying to himself ‘I could buy one-fifth of a new stadium for that!’

Yeah, it does sound like utter balls. And good on the Metro’s man in the know to call it. But where could he had read such utter drivel?



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Over to you, Jamie Sanderson…

Posted: 3rd, March 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Adam Johnson: What is the Sunderland footballer’s ‘mansion’ worth?

As the Press loads the argument against Adam Johnson – guilty of being a Premier League footballer but presumed innocent to sex crimes against a 15-year-old girl – we wondered what his home is worth. It’s a key fact. appearing in every news story on the Sunderland player arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with an underage girl.

The Daily Mirror began the valuations, saying that the property was worth £1.5m.


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Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 3rd, March 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal: Daily Mail sticks the boot into Brooklyn Beckham and his brothers

Any child of David and Victoria Beckham will want for nothing save talent. You can fake it in the world of fashion and pop music, but in sport, there is no auto-tune or PR-wrangling to make the mundane appear masterful.

And the media is watching their every move.

On February 20, the Daily Mail told us just how fantastic the Beckham boys are doing in the Arsenal youth teams:

Brooklyn Beckham is a hot prospect for the Arsenal academy, but brothers Romeo and Cruz could be even better


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And Cruz, age 10, must be brilliant because Brooklyn is ace. As Sami Mokbel told readers:

The teenager has caused quite a stir at Arsenal’s youth HQ over the past few months. At the age of 15, he was named on the bench for last weekend’s Under-18 clash against Leicester, raising hopes that he may well have the substance to back up his name.

A mere five days later, Sami Mokbel had more news:

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He wrote:

However, Sportsmail can reveal that Beckham was one of only a few Under 16 and Under 17 players still at the club’s Hale End academy that weekend as the rest travelled to the Al Kass youth tournament in Qatar.

Having ‘revealed’ that Beckham had been called up on merit, the Mail then ‘reveals’ that young Beckham was called up to make up the numbers.

Anyone sane might realise that a teenager minding his own business and doing his best knows that his mates are away on tour. It’s only the Mail that portrayed it as a major news item.
Having set Brooklyn Beckham up for a fall – Mokbel: “Beckham shirt sales at the Emirates Stadium club shop are set to go through the roof” – the Daily Star tells its readers that Romeo Beckham is “brilliant” at tennis.



No pressure, Romeo. But do we detect a touch of snark benath the Star’s photo?





“David and Victoria will be told how good their son it”

And not only by the Press. But what’s this “good” rot? In the media, the Beckhams lads must be nothing short of brilliant let they be gleefully portrayed as failures.


Posted: 3rd, March 2015 | In: Arsenal, Celebrities, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Adam Johnson: underage sex, a gun and the tabloids’ invitation to bury a footballer



Adam Johnson has been arrested for “SUSPICION OF HAVING SEX WITH A GIRL OF 15′. It’s the Sun’s big news story. It’s also the front-page story in the Daily Star, Daily Express, and Daily Mirror.

It the lead sports story on the back page of the Express and Mail:




Adam Johnson is 27. The girl he allegedly had a sexual relationship with is below the age of consent. But the key part of the story, the bit that makes it travel, is that Adam Johnson plays football for Sunderland in the Premier League. He has played for England, too, and Manchester City. So. He’s front-page news. And five – yeah, FIVE – plolice cars SWOOPED” (Sun) on his “six-bedroom mansion”.

Who do they think he is, Cliff Richard?

Sunderland have moved quickly to suspend their employee. Is that fair? Or is it just what Sunderland think will play out well with the elite and the public?

It’s worthwhile to look at the law on sex. In England and Wales, the age of sexual consent for women has been set at 16 since 1885, when campaigners fought to raise it from 13 to prevent child prostitution. Key to promoting that law change was the journalist William Thomas Stead. He wrote lurid stories about “The Violation of the Virgins” and “The Confessions of a Brothel Keeper”. Readers lapped them up. Sales of his London newspaper skyrocketed. He helped create the style that would become the tabloid way.

Make it big. Make it loud. Give them a story no-one can ignore.

In 2010, the Chartered Institute of Journalists honoured the man billed as Britain’s first investigative journalist:

William Thomas Stead was acknowledged as Britain’s leading campaigning and investigative journalist in the late 1800s, particularly for his work in exposing the white-slave trade and child sex abuse in London’s brothels by the nation’s upper classes. This resulted in the passing of the Criminal Amendment Act which raised the age of consent from 13 to 16.

As part of his campaign, Stead “bought” a chimney sweep’s 13-year-old daughter (Eliza Armstrong) for £5 which earned him a three-month prison sentence. He continued to edit the Pall Mall Gazette (which later merged into the Evening Standard) from his prison cell.

Journalism matters. Words can shape your views and get things changed. Popular journalism can be dirty, messy and gutteral. And it is powerful. And we love it. Because without the ability to stir things up, make mistakes and dig deep into everyday stories, criminals, banks and matters the elite would rather you ignored there is no freedom of speech.

But sometimes, the innocent get the tabloid treatment.

Back to sex now. But what is sex?

In England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales we have to be 16 or older to have homosexual (gay) or heterosexual (straight) sex. ‘Sex’ means penetrative sex, oral sex or masturbating together.

What happens if you have underage sex?

The law sees it as sexual assault – it’s a criminal offence. This is because in the eyes of the law we are unable to give informed consent to sex when still a child.

A boy/man who has sex with a girl under 16 is breaking the law. Even if she agrees.

If she is 13-15, the boy/man could go to prison for two years.

If she is under 13 he could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

A girl age 16 or over who has sex with a boy under 16 can be prosecuted for indecent assault.

The BBC adds:

Everyone is ready for sex at different ages but the law has to generalise. This is to protect those who are most vulnerable, from exploitation.

The law states that a boy or girl under the age of 16 cannot consent in law.

So. Adam Johnson, whose home was “raided”. Three unmarked police cars and, depending on what you read, one or two police vans were on the scene at 9am. We learn that his home is worth £1.85m. It has a games room and a gym. It is “lavish”. The Times counts four police cars and values the home at £1.6m. It also spots a “triple garage”, two acres of land and a loaded gun, legally owned by the footballer.

Adam Johnson is looking like the kind of man the tabloids and police love to get at: rich, talented and obvious.




But then we get a new fact. A “source” is quoted in the Sun:

“There is no suggestions he had full sex with her but ther was other sexual activity. The allegation included the claim that he knew she was 15.”

That this source is unnamed should make us circumspect. It is buried deep in the story, 10 paragraphs down. Its appearance could mean that we check our own prejudices. We may even decide to wait for all the facts to be known before judging Johnson.

But just as your passions cool and reason begin to take hold, the Sun adds that the maximum sentenced for “the offence” is 14 years. That seems a long times espcially when you read of other sentences, like the eight years prison handed to Peter Daly, subject of the Liverpool Echo’s headline “Merseyside paedophile jailed for paying to have children abused by their mothers”.

The Sun is cranking things up.

Worried that the Adam Johnson sex sensation is losing pace and is just a single-thread story, the Sun pads it out with dash of celebrity, telling readers that Johnson grew up in Country Durham close to where Billy Elliot was filmed. He “reportedly had a champange-fueled night out in London with actress Kym Marsh last year”.

Over in the Mirror, we hear from the mother of his girlfriend Stacey Flounders:

“He is a great lad and he has done nothing wrong… He is 100% innocent. He hasn’t been found guilty of anything..”

But is is guilty of being a well-paid footballer. So. Feel free to hate him and rush to judgement.

Some readers might worry Adam Johnson’s well-being. In its report, the Daily Express notes:

Four years ago Johsnon was left devastated when his best friend, former goalkeeper Dale Roebrts, killed himself after plunging into depair when was told his fiancee was having an affair with the brother of Chelsea defender John Terry… Said Johnson: “I’m not sure he could deal with the embarrassmment the story caused him.”

Don’t rush to condemn Adam Johnson. Back of and let the law deal with it. He’s out on police bail. And you can trust the police to be fair and thorough in an investigation into underage sex, can’t you.

Can’t you?


Posted: 3rd, March 2015 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Paddy Power’s all-white cast calls every Chelsea fan a racist

Yesterday at Wembley Chelsea defeated Spurs 2-0 to win the Capital One Cup. But more importantly there was NO race riot. No white men in manmade fibres stopped a black man from boarding the Tube nor did they brawl with the self-styled ‘Yid Army’.

Police did make five arrests on the day. But none was for racist chanting.



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To go with the police threats that they “may” arrest fans for racist chanting was Paddy Power offering football fans the opportunity to “PROVE YOU’RE NOT RACIST”.

We had hoped this was a lampooning of the police and the shrill and censorious anti-racsim outfit Kick It Out whose leader had called for Wembley to be “swamped” with moralising police officers, as if merely being a football fan made you a suspected Nazi (or vice versa).




But it was not. It really was the chance to be an un-racist, to publicly showcase that you were one of the enlightened, like David Cameron, every national newspaper editor, the Royal Family, the Metropolitan Police Force  and pretty much everywhere else where a dark face is not a stain on the cue balls but a sign of the white leader’s moral goodness.

Said Paddy Power:

Chelsea fans were invited to ‘prove they’re not prejudiced’ before today’s Capital One Cup final – by having their photo taken with a Sikh, a Muslim woman in a burka, a black man and a woman in a wheelchair. The diversity-laden Kodak moment was designed to give the majority of Chelsea fans the chance to show that they don’t have an irresistible urge to racially abuse a black man when they see one – and to encourage fellow fans to ‘prove they’re not prejudiced’.

Why not a Sikh man in a burqa, a black man in a skirt and Hassidic Jew hat, a Muslim woman dressed as a glamour model and a woman in full Nazi regalia sat in a wheelchair? Come on. If you’re going to counter stereotypes, think a little.

Having branded all Chelsea fans as racists – and it is tempting for all football fans to now sing that song heard on the Paris Metro and wave a verbal two-fingers at the anti-football bigots (Were racist, were racist, and that’s the way we like it, we like it, we like it‘) – we cast a glance at Paddy Power’s ‘bloggers’.


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The writer in the bottom right corner could be black, as could the two albinos. Two out of the 24 appear to be women. But it doesn’t look all that diverse, even if you count the man with the ‘revese burqa’ across his eyes.

A look at Paddy Power’s board of directors reveals one woman from 11 members. No brown faces. No Asian, Muslim or Jewish names. But one is French.


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And, unforgivably, none of this all-white board is hugging a black man.

And that’s racist!


Posted: 2nd, March 2015 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal sell Morata to Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool but Real Madrid want him

Transfer Balls brings you news from the murky zone where football news and football drivel collide. Today the Daily Express says Alvaro Morata is off to Arsenal. Not Liverpool. Not Manchester United. The Express backs this up zero facts.

But, then, it has brought readers a welter of Morata news.

On February 23, the Express said Morata was on his way to Liveprool.


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That followed the earlier news that Morata was heading to Real Madrid, meaning Arsenal and Liverpool and Manchester United would miss out:


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Towards the end of last year, the Express said Morata has turned down offers to play for Arsenal and Manchester United.


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Anthony Chapman’s story contained not a single word from Morata on either club. All Morata said was:

“I had offers from England, but in difficult times you have to put your faith in those you can trust. Juventus directors had literally been to my house telling me they wanted to sign me, so [moving to Juventus] was a decision made out of loyalty. I feel a kind of responsibility to do well. Not because of how much I cost, but because I came here having hardly played for Real. A lot of people advised me against this move. They told me to go to a mid-table team. I don’t think I made the wrong choice.”

So much for the “snub”.

But it would have been a shock to Daily Express readers that Morata signed for Juventus. The Express said Morata was heading to Arsenal, Manchester United and Spurs.


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And there was the stella news that Arsenal had signed Morata:


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But they never did.

Such are the facts…


Posted: 2nd, March 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Chelsea and that £1bn move for Lionel Messi

Transfer Balls: The Daily Express is the apogee of all football drivel. Today the paper links Cheslea with Lionel Messi, the Barcalona megastar. The headline declares:

You never know! Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho talks £200m Lionel Messi bid


But hold on. What did Mourinho actually say? Before we get to know, the Express tells readers:

The Argentina international was linked with a £200m switch to Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, with the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City also keen on securing his services.

Chief among news sources linking Messi to Cheslea was the Daily Express, with no fewer than four more stories on that £200m move:


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After five £200m stories – that’s a £1bn Transfer – finally, we get to hear what Mourinho said on Italian TV:

“I think it’s difficult [for Messi to leave]. I have a feeling that Messi will always be Barca. I may be wrong, in football you never know what will happen tomorrow, but I do not see a player of this size out of that club.

Such are the facts…

“But, as I say, I may be wrong.”



Posted: 1st, March 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Police remind Spurs and Chelsesa fans they are all racists-in-waiting

To Wembley Stadium for the Capital One Cup Final between Chelsea and Spurs. The once “institutionally racist” Met police have erected an electronic sign to educate the mob:


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To the polcie all Spurs and Chesla fans are racists in waiting. Unless the police, those great moralisers, are there to observe, listen, record and threaten football fans will race riot.

They “may” arrest you. Or they “may” not for saying things.

What utter self-serving, moralising, top down balls.

Spotter: @tariqpanja

Posted: 1st, March 2015 | In: Chelsea, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool balls: Steven Gerrard and the Rochdale paedo

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard apepars on the Daily Star cover. The story is is of a “troll’s sick post” about his daughter:




What did this sicko say to warrant front-page exposure?

The Rochdale youth player posted the vile remarks under an online snap of the Liverpool captain with his youngest girl Lourdes. Reds ace Gerrard captioned the Instagram picture: “My World.”

But the young footballer then wrote: “I’d bang your girl Stevie.”

Yeah. But what did the “sick troll” say? Oh, that was it.

The comment provoked uproar from fans who branded the youth – a rising star tipped for the top – a paedophile.

This youth player is a teenager. And, you know, teenagers says stupid things. They say things that they hope will cause offence. But in these offence-seeking times teenager’s quip is a police matter:

Police were also called but said they could take no action unless Gerrard reported the incident. The troll, who we cannot name for legal reasons, removed the taunt but his club are close to showing him the exit door.

Wow! Just wow!

A source at Rochdale said: “He’s landed himself in hot water as his comments have brought the club into disrepute. A fair few people were appalled and reacted angrily by ringing the club. There were calls for him to be kicked out but that hasn’t happened yet. He may escape with a suspension and a fine but he’ll be a lucky boy if he does.”

Yeah. Lucky boy. Next time just scrawl it on the toilet wall…

As for Rochdale paedos, well, the outraged might be looking in the wrong place.

Posted: 1st, March 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Church school busts 11-year-old for wearing a ‘Zlatan’ ponytail like a junkie



A spot of nominative determinism now, readers, as we spot Joe Head, 11, whose was rusticated for wearing his hair in a short ponytail in tribute to Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović. Young Head’s school, Pope Paul Catholic Primary in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, wrote to his parents. The letter called the hairstyle “unsuitable” and “associated with drug-taking”.





The letter was from the headmistress, Helen Lines.

Joe’s Mum, Mandy Head tells the media:

“I became upset that she could associate drug-taking and my son in the same letter and it became offensive. I’m not aware of any rules for hair at the school. We will discuss it with them, but they didn’t have to add drug-taking into the letter.”


zlatan ponytail letter


Joe’s error seems to have been in picking which sporting hero to emulate. If you really wants to be associated with drugs, we’d suggest cool kids eschew the blameless Zlatan and aim higher, perhaps piling their mop on top of their heads and spraying it bullet hard.




Posted: 1st, March 2015 | In: Sports, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Liverpool to sign James Milner from Manchester City with lower wages than Balotelli

Transfer balls: did you know that James Milner is desperate to join Liverpool. The Daily Express has an “exclusive”:

EXCLUSIVE: James Milner warned by Liverpool to drop wage demands to seal free transfer

James Milner, the Manchester City tyro – still wanted by perennial Premier League title contenders and super-rich club Manchester City – has been “warned” that he could miss out on playing for Liverpool?

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John Richardson tells his readers:

The 29-year-old midfielder sees his Etihad contract, worth around £120,000 a week, run down [sic] at the end of the season, making him a free agent.

Talks are at an advanced stage to allow Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, whose side face Milner’s Manchester City today, to add him to his squad next season but the Anfield club have made it clear that they won’t shatter their wage structure to accommodate the former Leeds United, Newcastle and Aston Villa man.

Shatter? This is the same Liverpool who signed Mario Balotelli for £16m and pay him £125,000-a-week:

“I think we have done a really smart piece of business here,” said Reds boss Brendan Rodgers. “This transfer represents outstanding value for the club.”

We’re sure Milner’s agents are worried sick about breaking that Liverpool wage structure. If they don’t where on erath will England internatioanl James Milner find work?

Richardson adds:

If he is prepared to take a pay cut then a deal could be sealed at the end of the season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 1st, March 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United injury balls: Robin Van Persie is out for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks

Football balls: whan a player is injured the media goes into overdrive. They love it. Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie has poorly ankle. But how long will be out for?

BBC:  Van Persie is out for up to two weeks.


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The Express says it’s at least two weeks:


Screen shot 2015-02-27 at 15.13.50



The Mail says RVP is out for 3 weeks:


Screen shot 2015-02-27 at 15.16.41



The Mirror says RVP is out for “at least a month“:


Screen shot 2015-02-27 at 15.15.42


The Sun says he’s out for “four games” , which is five weeks.

It’s as if the media take the most basic fact and spin it until the actual news is lost in the fog of sensation…


Posted: 27th, February 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

BBC pundit Robbie Savage is forced to seek refuge in his Bentley

Robbie Savage, the Match of the Day pundit – your tax pounds at work, readers – has escaped a driving ban.

Savage was recorded rocketing along the A1 in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, at 99mph.

The Sun reports:

“His lawyer Philip Morris begged for him to be spared a ban, saying: ‘When you are in the public eye and have to offer opinion on people’s football teams you are regularly accosted out in public. Someone once described him as being like Marmite — you either love him or hate him.’”



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Chris at Pies takes up the story:

According to The Sun’s report, Savage told the court that he is already regularly heckled in the street by football fans and that his Bentley is one of the few “safe havens” he has left in this world. Yes, the kind of “safe haven” that’s capable of barrelling along at 99mph without a care for anyone or anything outside it.

Anyway, the defence was miraculously successful and Savage escaped with a £600 fine and three points on his licence.

This is Savage who saw Luis Suarez nibble a Serb and opined:

“We were watching in disbelief. The red mist came down and to do that to a fellow professional is shocking and disgraceful. I’ve defended Luis Suarez at times but you cannot defend that. The evidence is conclusive…”

That was indefensible, according to Savage.

Maybe Suarez should have argued that the great unwashed made him do it.

Why do they stare, Robbie? Why?

Posted: 27th, February 2015 | In: Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0