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Thread: Football is Fixed

  1. #51


    This thread has now returned to the subject at hand - Football is Fixed.

    Silly me, but I have never quite placed together the obvious crookedness of Barclays bank and the fact it is the sponsor of the Barclays Premier League which has been remiss of me.

    The Ongoing Takeover Of British Football By The New Global Financial Capitalist Elite

    One of the most striking features of football in recent times has been the takeover of leading clubs by investors who would not appear, on the surface, to have any real interest in the business of football.

    Consequently, the wave of American takeovers of clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Sunderland and Aston Villa is the subject of this post.

    In the eyes of this particular new breed of owners, it is no longer necessary to win titles and trophies.
    The creation of short term cash is everything.
    If competitions can be won as well then this is fine and dandy but club performance on the field is always secondary to financial achievement off of it.
    This puts such owners at odds with the fans.

    Dr Jack Rasmus: "The [global financial capitalist] elite are deepening their control of non-financial companies and are increasingly directing those companies toward profits growth from financial manipulation as the primary corporate activity... Instead of making profits by making real things that require real investment and employ real people, the focus of global capitalism is increasingly toward more financial asset investment."

    Thus real profit is being surpassed by generating forms of money capital as profit.

    It is the US that is behind the majority of this activity.

    Financial gains may be 'created' by manipulation of the US tax code through the utilisation of 'inversion' capitalism and, additionally, shadow bankers and their financial speculators also markedly gain from the structure.
    Even greater gains come from financial speculation that benefit other investors, major shareholders and senior management.
    Rasmus: "Lower taxes for the US corporation from the inversion means more retained corporate cash on hand, and the prospect of more future earnings as well, all of which in turn drives up the company’s stock price. That makes the company even more attractive to investors like hedge funds and equity firms, which buy up big blocks of both the purchasing and purchased companies’ stock. Banks and shadow bankers that jump into the process at the outset, buying up company stock in the process, also provide original funding for the company’s purchase. Others jump into the stock as the acquisition deal proceeds. Once concluded, early and latecomers both then reap a nice capital gain from the eventual stock price appreciation that almost always follows the deal... So all levels of financial speculators benefit from these ‘inversion’ deals—shadow bank investors, hedge fund managers, big stockholders, and top corporate managers with significant stock holdings and compensation—all realise big capital gains from stock price manipulation that is at the core of tax inversion deals. Again, it is not just about tax avoidance; it is about stock price manipulation and huge capital gains."

    Taking Manchester United as our primary example.
    The leveraged buyout by the Glazers imposed significant annual interest repayments on the club.
    This outflow of tens of millions of pounds annually prevents significant reinvestment in the transfer market with the club being restricted to players in the £20-35m strata as opposed to the level of players being purchased by Real Madrid or Barcelona, for example.
    Ronaldo out...
    ... Fellaini in!

    Additionally transfer activity is delayed in a brinksmanship fashion to produce the maximum benefit to short term cash flow. Last season this resulted in the majority of transfer targets failing by end of transfer window and there is now pressure on Ed Woodward to make the necessary purchases this season.
    Many of these targets will not arrive as the selling club will price their assets according to Man Utd's 'need'.

    But, to the Glazers, Manchester United's failure to purchase star players, land the title, win any trophies, qualify for Champions League or Europa League is entirely trumped by the £750m 10 year Adidas deal that produces lots and lots of cash.

    Other takeovers are of even more questionable integrity due to the owners' interests in betting markets.
    In these cases, the generation of cash by match manipulation frequently competes with integrity on the pitch.

    Inversion capitalism is the lovechild of private equity where short term profits were generated by taking over a company, asset stripping its value and selling on the shell at a significant profit.
    Indeed, inversion deals are merely a slightly longer term version of private equity on a global stage.

    And there are now copycat structures popping up all over the British game.

    If you apply the above template to Celtic, for example, many of the same bullet points appear.

    • The selling of players at significant profit (Wanyama, Forster, Hooper, McGeady, Ki, Ledley, Wilson and Watt bringing in £40m gain to the club) without the necessary reinvestment or the strategy of bringing in numerous players on loan without any capital outlay (or future profits). Or club loyalty.
    • Refusal to invest for Champions League progression as the financial returns of such investment are uncertain.
    • Satisfaction with winning SPL ad finitum rather than strategic planning towards the future European Super League as these potential profits are too far into the future for short-termist thinkers.
    • The scheduling of pointless pre-season friendlies all around Europe for financial gains rather than developing a sense of 'home' at Murrayfield during period that Parkhead was hired out for profit. If Legia Warszawa hadn't messed up, this season would be over already in a footballing sense.
    • Low wage, minimum wage, living wage issues at the bottom of the club hierarchy.
    • The linkage to criminalised agents of highly questionable integrity both with regard to transfer markets and betting markets.

    There are numerous other modular structures to serve the same or similar ends - the Abramovich Trophy Club Model, the Carson Yeung/ Thaksin Shinawatra Asian Betting Market Model, the Dubai/Mumbai Betting Market Model, the Abu Dhabi Global Franchise Model, the Real Madrid/Gestifute Model, the ADO Den Haag/United Vansen Model, the Leeds United Model MkI, II and III, the Bet365/Stoke City Model, the Stellar Agents Model, the John Colquhoun/Jonathan Moss Model as well as varieties of Sevco Self-Harming Models.

    None of these capitalist matrices have the interests of the particular club at heart.
    All are geared to the short term financial gains of a criminalised global finance capitalist elite.

    But, what the hell do we care?

    For many more itemised angles on corruption follow us on Twitter @FootballIsFixed

    © Football is Fixed 2006-2013
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  2. #52


    Part 1 of a 3 parter from Football Is Fixed:

    He's taken some interesting steps over the years to stay off grid...

    Tuesday, 30 December 2014

    The Art Of Whistleblowing

    Slavoj Žižek: "A market economy thrives on inequality so self-interest will always triumph over the public good."
    Hence, for the integrity of the system, whistleblowers are essential.

    This is the first of three posts addressing whistleblowing both in football and across a broader systemic base.

    In football, matchfixing is rife - in Europe, 60% of associations have experienced scandals in the last two years and yet there is effectively no sports governance and there are no reliable bodies analysing such corruptions as all have inappropriate relationships to the various loci of criminalities.
    Moreover, there is a culture of omertà within the loop where matchfixing is accepted and serves as an illicit currency within the game.

    In parallel, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) together with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) give corporations the power to trump national sovereignty and individual rights.
    Such abuses may only be addressed by bottom up whistleblowing and hacktivism.
    Otherwise the outcome will be a totalitarianism founded on corrupted institutions and a world order devised by and for a global corporate elite.
    Globalised markets need globalised regulation.

    Whistleblowers should not exist.
    Their work should be undertaken by regulators, police, governments and investigative journalists within the Fourth Estate.
    But the recent exponential and global growth of whistleblowers across all economic sectors suggests that these entities are a part of the problem rather than the cure.

    As there can be no dependence on the law, whistleblowers need to develop skills so that they are able to be more effective in bringing about change by taking the issues to a wider audience.
    And this needs to be achieved whilst surfing the zeitgeist of corruption (together with the insider and public perceptions of such corruption) so that personal security profiles may be maintained robustly.
    And there is very limited support within the system for whistleblowers - indeed there are very lucrative merry-go-rounds involving institutions, market makers, regulators and even some whistleblowing bodies/charities (eg Public Concern at Work or the FA's Sports Betting Integrity Unit or Federbet).

    Corruption forensics and sousveillance are at the core of all whistleblowing and whistleblowers oscillate between black, grey and white markets in their detection work. The reality to be modelled is neo-Bayesian, complex and in a constant state of chaotic flux with the resultant holographic entity needing to be updated in real-time. There are strategic choices that need to be made in order to achieve the best outcomes - in some cases direct action and Fifth Estate activism and, in other cases, realpolitik and incrementalism via the Fourth Estate.
    It all depends on the maturity and solidity of the corrupt mechanism being addressed.

    Security is paramount as is the ability to operate invisibly off the radar of the system - I spent over a decade with no bank accounts, no mortgages, disguised rentals, mobile offices across three countries, no utility provision, no telecommunications contracts, numerous PAYG mobiles, no earnings, no tax, numerous parallel internet networks (some encrypted and undertaking creative hacktivism), complex travel arrangements etc.

    Protection is paramount all along the continuum from sources to whistleblowers to campaigners, journalists and publishers as any weakness results in a lowest common denominator quantum leap in risk.

    We operate via a global cellular network of individuals and well-connected action groups with shared aims and layered security based on the strategies of single issue direct action groups like the Animal Liberation Front.
    Face to face security is embedded by selective choice of meetings (we have pulled out of meetings with bodies on numerous occasions through our assessment of their hidden agendas and liaisons) and all meetings are recorded and undertaken with attendant security on hand. Negotiations and the sharing of knowledge are filtered via isolationist boundaries and an assessment of the vertically integrated hierarchies involved. And all meetings are approached with an array of potential strategies both to achieve our goals and to destabilise inappropriate behaviours from other parties at the table.

    Creative whistleblowing requires enhanced anonymity with enhanced strategy and protection.

    Corruption in football directly mirrors that in the global financial system and much modelling of these infrastructures share similarities.
    But there is a time lag.
    So, whereas insider trading was made illegal in financial markets in Britain half a century ago, it is at the very root of the issue of integrity in football.
    Furthermore, the same techniques exist for the hiding of fraudulent behaviour (both with regard to matchfixing and abuses of the transfer market).
    Money is laundered via very particular Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs) using a small network of morally illegitimate onshore/offshore legal entities (in Britain, Panama and elsewhere).

    The money sloshing around this shadow system does not yield any tax benefits to the remainder of the planet but merely serves as a sociopathic power grab.
    And the figures are colossal.
    According to the Tax Justice Network $21 trillion to $32 trillion of private financial wealth is held offshore. $1 trillion is syphoned off from developing countries per annum while the detection rate for tax evasion is just 1% (about the same as the declared instances of matchfixing at 0.7%).
    As over 60% of international trade takes place within multinationals, the options for abusive inversion capitalism are considerable as there are no obstacles to the financialisation of the companies nor the creative tax evasion undertaken across different tax environments.
    Meanwhile, over 50% of the world's adults lack bank accounts.

    The global turnover on football betting markets is estimated at £3.4 trillion per year.
    This cashflow is outside any system - third party ownership and suitcases of money with regard to transfer market corruptions and the stealing of monies off other market players and operators with regard to matchfixing.
    This is inversion capitalism in extremis, football has merely become a poker table for psychopathic corruptions involving vast amounts of money.

    The solutions are not rocket science.
    In football, just six core areas need to be addressed to markedly reduce matchfixing (

    The key changes will be incremental in any future reality but the changes will still have impact - the adjustment of corruption from being a rigged certainty to a probabilistic outcome will peripheralise the gains that might be achieved via matchfixing.

    In the wider global economy, we need openness on corporate ownership and all secrecy jurisdictions, unitary taxation, no tax havens, no unpublished accounts or limited tax disclosures, no use of consolidated financial statements to disguise offshore transactions, no nominees, the banning of offshore trusts, an end to banking secrecy and proper reasons for miscreants to think twice.

    When a whistleblower (Jeremy Hammond) faces a 10 year jail sentence for disclosing the inappropriate behaviours of US geopolitical intelligence giant Stratfor while Stratfor is immune to prosecution, what message does this send out to future whistleblowers?
    And surely it does not help that the husband of the judge in this case (Loretta Preska) works with Stratfor clients!
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  3. #53


    I always have enjoyed Kipling's poem (if not his cakes)...

    Thursday, 8 January 2015


    If referees in the Premier League earn a couple of grand per week while officiating on matches with global betting volumes of £5 billion,
    If referees for all Premier League games are selected by just one individual;
    If referees work with agents to promote the agents' clients on the field of play,
    If referees are at the root of most matchfixing crises:

    If bookmakers accept insider trading merely treating it as competitive advantage in the marketplace,
    If bookmakers trade such knowledge at dark pool poker tables of corruption;
    If bookmakers own football clubs and, on occasions, coerce players to perform appropriately,
    If bookmakers create spot markets to corrupt the minutiae of in-play actions:

    If agents are non-regulated and are the primary lubrication of criminalities in the sport,
    If agents work together in a fragmented cartel to pool ownership of players to solicit matchfixing;
    If agents are engaging in third party ownership and the trafficking of children from developing countries,
    If agents pay backhanders to managers to pick certain players for mutual benefit:

    If institutional bodies decide on winners and losers according to private agendas of power and marketing,
    If institutional bodies incorporate systemic corruptions at top levels of the game;
    If institutional bodies established to monitor insider trading and matchfixing are infrastructurally compromised,
    If there are no global, EU or governmental actions to confront these corruptions:

    If clubs, owners, managers, referees, agents, administrators and players bet on the outcomes of games,
    If clubs exert power over lesser clubs in the same leagues with agreed outcomes being the norm;
    If clubs focus more on unearthing lucrative marketing deals than on winning trophies,
    If clubs built on debt can only survive by matchfixing their games:

    If coercion, threats, menaces, violence and murders are the primary modes of controlling non-acquiescent individuals,
    If transnational organised crime and global mafiosi are actively involved at all levels of corruption;
    If suitcases of cash and offshore illicit money flows are the norm in financial transactions,
    If there are administrators who facilitate these corruptions based on laissez faire capitalism:

    If the Fit-and-Proper-Person Test results in clubs being owned by entirely unfit and entirely improper individuals,
    If owners take over clubs to asset strip and to monetise the debris via inversion capitalism;
    If money laundering, fraud, utilisation of offshore financial centres and beneficial ownership is the norm,
    If clubs are held offshore for tax and/or regulatory avoidance to the benefit of the owners:

    If spurious and fake arguments are repeatedly made against the use of video technology in the sport,
    If there are no laws against insider trading and no Commitment of Traders' reports;
    If there is widespread use of performance enhancing substances and their related masking agents,
    If the market capitalisation of major clubs is dwarfed by global betting turnover on any of their matches:

    If fans and the public are kept in the dark about all these machinations due to a blackout by the mainstream media,
    If there is nowhere for whistleblowers to go with information about corruptions;
    If the reward for being a criminalised player is a lifelong role as a media analyst or commentator,
    If huge fortunes are being made while meritocracy is always trumped by the performativity of corrupt practices:

    Then FOOTBALL IS FIXED as is everything within it,
    And - what is more - there are very few men of integrity, my son.

    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  4. #54


    The latest from Ojo del Toro. I'm a big fan of this guy's knowledge, insight and ability to translate a complex subject into layman's terms.

    Football is fixed and no one, but no one, wants to publicly talk about it - as almost everyone inside benefits from the riches on offer.

    football is fixed


    Thursday, 12 February 2015

    The Impact Of Extreme Financial Distortions On The Integrity Of British Football


    Britain's Annual GDP = £1.77 trillion.

    Estimated Annual Global Betting Turnover on Football = £1 trillion.

    New Premier League TV deal covering three seasons = £5.1 billion.

    Average Global Betting Turnover on a Big 4 Premier League game = £5.0 billion.

    Manchester United Market Capitalisation = £2.8 billion.

    Premier League Annual Agents' Fees = £115 million.

    Maximum Trade allowed in Asian Underground Markets = £25 million.

    Wayne Rooney's Annual Earnings = £12 million.

    Richard Scudamore's Annual Earnings = £2 million.

    Premier League Referee Annual Earnings = £100,000.

    Annual Minimum Wage Employees at Premier League Clubs = £12,000.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________

    In late capitalism, financial distortions within a sector define the corruptions available...
    ... and, unfortunately, everybody has a price.
    For example, the fact that the new Premier League tv deal (covering 1140 games) is worth the equivalent of the total global trading volume on just one major Premier League game is indicative of absolute betting market control of the sector.
    Or, the fact that the very lightly regulated global betting market has turnover equivalent to 56% of Britain's GDP is suggestive of the pressing need for far more onerous regulation.

    Or, the fact that most bookmaking entities are linked to Offshore Financial Centres guarantees tax evasion and money laundering.
    Or, the fact that referees on £2,000 per week are determining match outcomes on £5 billion markets is an absolute guarantee of matchfixing.
    Or, if the market capitalisation of a club is exceeded by the betting turnover on just one of their matches then are we dealing with a football club or an inversion capital market medium?
    __________________________________________________ _________________________________

    When such financial structures exist, the outcomes are warped beyond recognition and bear no resemblance to the reality underpinning the corrupted marketplaces - we are dealing with a hyperreality.

    Take horseracing.
    My thesis in the mid-nineties was entitled "The Impact of Conspicuous Money on Outcome in British Horserace Betting Markets".
    Here we had 'sporting' events with prize money of £3,000 and betting turnover of £10 million - the distorted incentives produced extensive corruption and the fixing of races to the benefit of ALL insiders (bookies, owners, trainers, jockeys etc).

    The corruption was orchestrated from the very top of the industry sector.

    While at the Centre for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming, I had discussions with Rodney Brack, the chief executive of the British Horseracing Levy Board (BHLB), where we openly discussed the mechanics of fixing a horserace - from non-trying jockeys to selected watering of courses etc etc etc.
    Brack had no problem with these corruptions.

    But horseracing is an internalised corrupted market of limited turnover whereas matchfixing in football is a truly transnational global affair.
    This leads to an exponential increase in the levels of corruption.

    The population at large has a real problem with corruption. There is a propensity to either assume that corruption exists but is acted upon by only a few bad apples or that everything is corrupt and that the only way to determine reality is by conspiracy theories.
    Both are wrong.
    Corruption in sport is extensive but not absolute.

    And, the information and knowledge is out there if one cares to look.

    Richard Murphy (Tax Justice Network) and Ian Fraser both knew about HSBC and tax avoidance/evasion in 2010 or earlier but there was minimal media interest and no action.
    Or Phil Mac Giolla Bhain exposed the financial shenanigans at Glasgow Rangers years before the mainstream media eventually decided to pick up on the extensive corruptions and tax avoidance/evasion at the club.
    Entertainingly for the zeitgeist, income inequalities not only produce fraud, money laundering and tax evasion but also a far greater incentive for whistleblowers to confront and expose the criminalities at play.
    Joseph Stiglitz claims that, in extremis, these wealth distortions create revolutionary paradigms partially due to the disconnect between the hyperrealities of the 1% and the' real' realities of the 99%.

    And so it is in football.

    We are largely unemployable in British football due to our 8 year whistleblowing campaign against corruption, matchfixing and fraud in the sport - no entity wants transparency.
    But aside from the likes of ourselves, there are other individuals who are within the millionaire's paradise who feel thoroughly disenfranchised from the rewards on offer.
    And there are others who, aware of the distortions in the sector, have a price where they will sell out on the corruption for personal gain.

    The fulsome exposure of matchfixing, corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and fraud in British football is merely a matter of time.
    And then everyone will say "why wasn't this exposed by mainstream media, regulators, institutions and government before now?"
    Just as we are all now asking that same question about HSBC, PwC, Barclays, RBS, the Murdochracy, Lehman Brothers, Enron etc etc etc ad nauseum.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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