Wednesday, 20 May 2015

In Italy And England Matchfixing Is Orchestrated By Mafia

Italian football is besmirched by mafia, matchfixing, money laundering and linkage to transglobal crime syndicates and bookmakers...
... and so is English football.

The difference is that, in Italy, the authorities attempt to do something about these frauds, while the criminals in England laugh all the way to their offshore tax havens.

History of Recent Matchfixing in Italy

* Yesterday more than 50 people were arrested and 70 more placed under investigation over a widespread matchfixing scandal throughout Italy in Operation 'Dirty Soccer'.
Anti-mafia prosecutors in Catanzaro say more than 30 clubs in Lega Pro, Lega Pro 2 and Serie D (Italian third and fourth divisions) are involved.
Charges include criminal association aimed at sports fraud worth millions of euros, with some linked to mafia organisations – one in particular to the ’Ndrangheta organised crime syndicate.
One police officer was also involved, authorities said.

A full listing of matchfixing events is provided by Gazzetta dello Sport (1) and highlights of one fixed match between Brindisi and San Severo are also provided by the same paper (2).

* Earlier this season, there had been a whole array of matchfixing events involving AC Parma which we exposed in February (3). The club have been matchfixed and asset-stripped to virtual oblivion by rogue owners linked to Balkan, Russian and Cypriot betting operations.

* Back in 2012, then-Lecce chief prosecutor Cataldo Motta claimed that up to seven clubs in the Eccellenza (fifth Tier) Puglia were controlled by members of the Sacra Corona Unita (4).

* Since 2011, over 100 people have been arrested by Italian prosecutors in Bari, Napoli and Cremona over the separate Ultima Scommessa matchfixing scandal regarding matchfixing in Serie A and Serie B games with players being drugged as part of matchfixing operations.
Those arrested include players, bookmakers, management, owners, agents and other former players.

* In February 2011, 39 people were arrested after La Nuovo Quarto Calcio was found to have been owned by Camorra mafia leader Giuseppe Polverino

* In 2010, Rosarno were also taken over by the regional courts who wrested control from the Pesce family.

* In 2009, the southern Italian Parisi gang used an English betting firm (Paradisebet) as a front to launder money. 74 people were arrested and businesses, land and racehorses were seized (5).

* In 2006 Italian football suffered  the Calciopoli scandal in which police found six teams to have rigged matches by selecting favourable referees. Juventus were stripped of two Serie A titles and relegated to Serie B, while Fiorentina, Milan, Lazio and Reggina were sanctioned.
33 Serie A matches were declared as matchfixing events from seasons 2004/05 and 2005/06 and 13 referees were banned or suspended during season 2006/07 (6) (7).
Prosecutors in Parma are still investigating Juventus goalkeepers Gigi Buffon and Antonio Chimenti, defender Mark Iuliano and Palermo player Enzo Maresca.

Later developments in April 2007 saw La Repubblica expose 9 referees linked to club owners via SIM cards purchased in Slovenia and Switzerland and release 200 audio files of the wiretappings (8).

At the time of Calciopoli, our analyses showed that AC Milan were, if anything, more guilty of matchfixing yet, after initially being barred fro 2006/07 Champions League, they were reinstated and won the tournament.
In 2011, inquiries by FIGC chief investigator, Stefano Palazzi, showed Inter, AC Milan and Livorno should have been relegated but, due to statute of limitations (Berlusconi's Law), the proceedings could not be reopened.

Calciopoli first came to light when GEA World, a football agents under control of  Alessandro Moggi, was investigated by prosecutors and transcripts of recorded phone conversations appeared in Italian mainstream media. Juventus general managers Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo had conversations with several officials of Italian football to influence referee appointments.

This is exactly the same matchfixing structure involving John Colquhoun, Jonathan Moss and Keren Barratt in England that we exposed in MOBGATE (9).

* Even at amateur levels in Italy, mafiosi are in operation. In 1995 over 800 children between the ages of six and 14 played in a tournament named in honour of Fortunato Maurizio Audino, a convicted drug dealer and suspected of being a mafia capo. Indeed, in Naples, rival mafia clans are said to compete in a yearly football tournament, with the winners collecting drugs instead of a trophy.
A police informer by the name of Armando De Rosa has said that these matches have been happening since 2002 in the city’s notorious Scampia suburb. Clan bosses have even reportedly brought in semi-professional players to help their team get one over their rivals. De Rosa has further claimed that men with international arrest warrants often turn up to watch.


The Situation in England

The parallels with systemic corruptions in English football exposed on the Football is Fixed blog over the last 9 years are remarkably similar: referees owned by clubs, mafia and clubs influencing referee selection, conflicts of interest relating to club ownership and betting market companies, agents coercing players and match officials, criminalised players morphing into match commentators/summarisers after career, no whistleblowing bodies and no institutional entities of even the remotest integrity, MOBGATE is based on the Calciopoli template.

Hundreds of matches in the Premier League and the Skybet Championship are affected by this systemic matchfixing (10). We have provided fulsome evidence including the holistics, the betting patterns, the linked betting accounts and the trail of proxies to mainstream media but, as England does not have a functioning 4th Estate, the MOBGATE English Matchfixing Crisis is given no media attention.
Indeed, the Guardian and Telegraph football output would appear to be under the sociopathic control of Mr Colquhoun.
The Lower Level English Matchfixing Crisis of 2013 featuring agent and former player Delroy Facey covered matchfixing in the lower leagues and was virtually ignored by mainstream media at the time (11) and, once the case arrived in court, only the Birmingham Mail provided any coverage (due to the similarity of the corruption template to matchfixing in the Premier League).
The Birmingham Mail were 'persuaded' to drop their real-time coverage of the Facey trial due to the input of a certain football agent.

Another area where England performs as poorly as the remainder of the continent is when it comes to the bodies investigating matchfixing. Europol, Interpol, Early Warning and Federbet have hidden agendas while the International Centre for Sport Security is one of those NGO-lite bodies that arranges conferences while ignoring realities.
And, in England, the FA have launched the Sport Betting Integrity Forum.
Current members include Ladbrokes, Bet365 (bookmaker and owner of Stoke City), William Hill, Coral, Betfair (12), the Association of British Bookmakers, the Remote Gambling Association, together with several other entities of dubious countenance.
In total, 50% of members of this forum are under control of the bookmaking industry.


Camorra expert, Corrado De Rosa, states: "Ownership of the local football team adds considerably to the mobsters' social status and influence... In addition to possessing a powerful means of money laundering, being owners of a football team means credibility and being respected." 

Leading anti-mafia writer and investigative journalist, Roberto Saviano, stated in the Guardian newspaper: "Their [the mafia's] worst fear is to be under the spotlight... They want to be famous in their own territory, feared for thei power, but on a national or international level they want to be anonymous." 

We might not term it the mafia but English football at the very highest levels is under the vice-like grip of matchfixing operations and their accomplices...
... as the duplicitous Guardian newspaper is well aware.

However a primary difference between Italy and England relates to the statute of limitations - criminals in Italy avoid prison sentences via the creation of lengthy legal delays while those in England only enjoy such rewards if state-backed (think Chilcot Report or #OperationDeathEater).
Hence, in England, it becomes a race against time for systemic fraudsters and matchfixers to launder their reputations before the shit hits the fans.

Honoré de Balzac: "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."

Football is Fixed.
English Football is Fixed Absolutely.


1) Calcioscommesse: Le Partite Sotto Esame Nell'Inchiesta Del Catanzaro

2) Brindisi-San Severo, Una Papera Troppo Strana...

3) Mafia, Matchfixing, Money Laundering - The Beautiful Game - Football is Fixed

4) The Mafia and Calcio - Kevin Nolan

5) £200 Parisi Mafia Gang 'Ran Betting Operation From London' - Duncan Gardham

6) Bribesville Revisited - Football is Fixed

7) Subvert, Divide And Rule, Bribe - Football is Fixed

8) Calciopoli's Wiretappings - La Repubblica

9) MOBGATE - Football is Fixed

10) Happy Anniversary To Roy Hodgson - Football is Fixed

11) Surfing The Zeitgeist Of Corruption - Football is Fixed

12) Bet (not So Feckin') Fair After All - Football is Fixed

Monday, 11 May 2015


Roberto Saviano (Italian writer and journalist): "Their [the mafia's] worst fear is to be under the spotlight."


When the relatively minor English Matchfixing Crisis of Nov/Dec 2013 surfaced, Sir Bob Russell MP stated "English football is rotten to the core."

The events outlined below suggest an intriguing structure at the Premier League involving the Professional Game Match Official Board (pgMOB) refereeing body, one particular referee, an ex-referee, a leading football agent and a bookmaker.

The reality exposed below would happen by chance once every 93 billion years.

The universe is 13.8 billion years old.


                                                                    An Agent

We have published 8 separate posts on Football Is Fixed blog highlighting the disproportionate number of BT Sports live tv matches given to referee Jon Moss. Also mentioned on numerous Twitter feeds.

John Colquhoun, a football agent, and Moss have been "acquainted" with one another since their time together as players at Sunderland in 1992.
Mr Colquhoun also 'oversees' football output at the Guardian newspaper where an entirely inappropriate symbiotic relationship exists between the paper and himself resulting in excessively positive PR for his clients and the squashing of stories that might impinge upon his empire building - the Guardian is the only mainstream media outlet not to cover the Delroy Facey matchfixing court case in its duration - the case where an agent, players, fixers and betting bodies allegedly conspired to perform matchfixing!

Additionally, we have tweeted and blogged on several occasions about close links between Colquhoun and Alistair Campbell, a war crime apologist with close links to Burnley FC.

Keren Barratt refereed the FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday in 1993 - an appointment regarded as incredulous by many in the refereeing community. He is one of only four referees to receive such an appointment without being on the International List.


Jan 19 Published post "How To Spot Matchfixing" on Omertà blog (1). This post itemised suspicious betting patterns on two matches.

Jan 27 Tweet regarding 7 Key Sports players (Colquhoun's agency) at Middlesbrough with transfer of Adam Forshaw (2).

Feb 10 Published post "Once Dead The Good And The Bad Are Covered By The Same Moss" on Football Is Fixed blog. Published on the following day on Omertà blog (3). This post showed highly suspicious betting patterns positively correlated with in-match decisions in Premier League matches officiated by Moss. Furthermore, the post also revealed statistically significant tilts in decision-making by Moss in favour of West Bromwich Albion, a team whose unofficial club agent is Colquhoun of Key Sports.

Feb 16 Keren Barratt, the  pgMOB official with sole responsibility for selection of Premier League referees, makes appointments for weekend of Jan 21/22 - Moss is given live BT Sport event between Tottenham and West Ham.

Feb 22 Spurs draw 2-2 with the Hammers with a penalty 6 minutes into injury time which was described by BBC Sport as follows: "The striker [Kane]went down in the box under the slightest pressure from Song" (4).

Feb 23 Barratt appoints officials for Jan 28/29 and the following midweek. Moss is given Burnley v Swansea at the weekend and Aston Villa v West Brom in the midweek.

Feb 28 The suspicious betting pattern structure itemised on Feb 10 post existed on the Burnley v Swansea game but was offset by insider money surfacing elsewhere in the market. We warned our Twitter followers of this manipulated structure via a tweet pre-match (5). The pattern that historically was 100% robust was inversed as the visitors won by that very rare occurrence - a double own goal.

Mar 2 Barratt releases appointments for March 7/8. For the first time in season 2014/15, Moss is given an appointment outside of the Premier League. By fluke, the match that he is given is Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough in the Championship.

Mar 3 Moss referees Villa v WBA and, for the first time in 18 occasions that he has refereed the Baggies, he gives a penalty/sending off against the Albion. We have been told that some media people at BT Sport were privately trading on this outcome. The delirium in the tv studio post-match appears to confirm this reality - Villa won with an injury time penalty after a bizarre collection of refereeing decisions in the game. We tweeted this reality immediately after the game finished (6).

Mar 5 We published the post "Farcical Absurdity" on Omertà detailing the strange officiating by Moss in the West Midlands derby on Tuesday (7).

Mar 7 We warned followers on Twitter about the insider trading on Nottingham Forest v Boro and published "Mocking The Zeitgeist" on Omertà blog detailing the structures (8) (9).

Mar 9 Moss is given Leicester v Hull in the latest set of Premier League appointments.

Mar 14 Moss erroneously (according to unanimous assessment by Sky Sports' Gillette Soccer Saturday pundits) sends off Tom Huddlestone for an alleged foul on Key Sports' client Jamie Vardy.

Mar 18 Keren Barratt, the pgMOB administrator who has chosen Select Group officials throughout referee chief Mike Riley's reign, is removed from his post without warning and prior to the end of his contract. He is replaced by Howard Webb.

Mar 19 We tweeted a mocking message on Twitter regarding our exposure of the shenanigans that led to this sacking of Barratt and published "The Sting" on Football Is Fixed blog (10) (11).

Mar 24 Published "Making A Long Nose On The Sly" on the Football Is Fixed blog (12). In this post, we detailed further history behind this chain of events by itemising a fixed Premier League match between Fulham and Wigan in 2008 - a game exposed on Football Is Fixed blog at the time (13) - and the resultant threats received that were traced back to the offices of Mr Colquhoun. We reported these threats to police and lodged our evidence for posterity.

Mar 30 I sent a letter to Colquhoun offering my "kind regards" and asking for details of his lawyers. No reply was received.

Apr 1 Published "Whistleblow While You Work" a lulzly mocking of the whole affair on the Football Is Fixed blog (14).

Apr 10 Published a blog post entitled "800 Billion To One" on Football Is Fixed blog detailing the incredibly unlikely probability that the above scenario could have happened entirely by chance - such a reality would occur naturally once every 90 billion years. The universe is 13.8 billion years old! We removed this post to archive to make way for the post that you are now reading.

Apr 12 We publish "Bet (Not So Feckin') Fair After All" questioning why Betfair both allow insider trading and why such inside activity is not exposed to the authorities by the market maker (15).

Apr 15 We contacted Colquhoun again asking for a face to face or telephone meeting (as he obviously didn't want his lawyers involved). No reply.

Apr 19 We publish the first part of "pgMOBGATE" on Football Is Fixed blog where we reveal the Timeline, the Statistics and the References relating to this affair. The Betting Patterns and Other Inputs are redacted until a later date.

Multiple Dates

In the first six rounds of Select Group appointments under the selection stewardship of Howard Webb, Moss is given the live tv match between Chelsea and Stoke in the first round, is 4th official for both West Brom v Leicester (where Jamie Vardy scores winning goal in a suspicious betting market) and the live tv match between Man Utd and Man City in the second round of matches, and is referee for Crystal Palace v West Brom in the third round of matches, and a BT Sport live match between Southampton and Spurs in fourth round of games (statistics relating to this are excluded from below as we wish to focus on the Colquhoun/ Moss/ Barratt triumvirate). In the 5th round of matches, Moss gets a Burnley game followed by 4th Official on live tv match between Chelsea and Liverpool in the 6th round of matches together with being referee for Middlesboro's Championship Play Off 1st Leg against Brentford.
And, in what is obviously going to become a theme, yet another tv match next weekend.

Having said that, five tv games and two more WBA games, a Burnley event and a second 'Boro game (his only two non-EPL selections have been Middlesbrough games) is revealing as to the tilts of the new entity in the early days of new regime.

The probability of Jon Moss getting just two non-EPL games all season, both refereeing Middlesboro is entertaining.  
The Championship Play-Offs are massively rewarding if promotion achieved both due to EPL monies and betting incomes (see below).

And, in an act of considerable chutzpah, Webb has given this year's FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Aston Villa to...
... Mr Jonathan Moss (16)

Additionally, it has become worthy of note that, in the first 37 Premier Leagues under Webb's watch, 17 have had their outcome in the market pre-match (17). 

The continuation of this pattern in the following weeks confirms our analyses that suggests a grouping of EPL teams work together as a fragmented cartel to undertake matchfixing in the underground betting markets.
Four of these teams have British ownership (the other is absentee US-owned) - the fraudulent fragmented cartel has been in existence for several seasons now and, in that 25% of the EPL is involved, we have a systemic corruption template in the Premier League.

Webb was referee for the fixed match between Fulham and Wigan (13) and a further massively suspicious match involving Fulham - their last day of season victory at Portsmouth that saw Reading relegated from Premier League instead of Fulham.
We have no evidence that Webb had any inappropriate part to play in these two match outcomes.


Time to introduce the primary tier betting patterns on a couple of events.
We are not able to disclose non-public market patterns in this place.

To be able to understand the market in the two matches addressed below, we need to explain features of the visual representation.
The Price/Time andVolume/Time charts are from Betfair. 
The two primary charts display Price (upper chart) and Volume (lower chart) - the smaller charts at the top of the screenshot are replications of the lower ones.
The Price and Volume are split into red, blue and green for home team, away team and draw.
The solid green block along the x-axis indicates when the match went in-play.
The Volume is measured in pounds sterling.

The Price as a percentage of a 100% book.

Manchester United 2 Crystal Palace 0 (Sep 14th 2013) - Referee: Jon Moss

Manchester United won this match via a fake penalty where the foul took place yards outside the penalty area and where the resultant sending off was fallacious. Prior to these decisions, the match was even and competitive.

53 minutes prior to kick off there had been a significant market breakpoint on Man Utd followed by another trade of £536,000 20 minutes later. These trades totalled £840,000 and represented 30% of the total volume traded on Man Utd up to that point at Betfair (the next highest trade on the day of the match had been just £70K).


Manchester City 4 Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Oct 18th 2014) - Referee: Jon Moss

The Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham this season was only the second match in the EPL era that has had 4 penalties and a sending off in the game - 3 of the penalties and the sending off were in favour of the Mancunians.
Additionally, Frank Lampard was offside for the opening City goal and the first City penalty was fallacious too.

In the charts below, the large lower graph represents Total Volume/Time on Man City from KO-85m to KO-25m while the large upper chart shows Price changes over the same window (the upper micro charts display Price and Volume v Time over the entire day with the shading representing the highlighted areas of the market).

In the period from KO-60m to KO-40m, 10 bets between £10K and £50K resulted in over £350,000 being traded on Man City at Betfair (over 27% of the total book at the time).

Everton 3 Chelsea 6 (Aug 30th 2014) - Referee: Jon Moss

Betting patterns below show the window from 12:20 to half-time in this 17:30 kick off.

A bizarre theatrical match more akin to WWE than EPL - there was an outcome within the stageplay.
The Chelsea price shortened 3% in 9 minutes from 16:36.

Many more patterns ahead...


Betting Patterns On Premier League Matches Officiated By Jon Moss

To the thresholds outlined above, Moss had refereed 41 EPL games in 2013/14 and 2014/15.
There had been suspicious betting patterns in the same time window at the same bookmaker in 11 of these matches.
All these insider trading patterns were winners and major decisions in game were 11 penalties/sendings off in support of the market activity and one against - the one against was a penalty given to Spurs in a match where Man City were given three penalties plus the sending off of a Spurs player and an offside goal.
The Burnley v Swansea match was the first occasion in 42 matches where this structure was invalid and inversed. 

Decision Making On West Bromwich Albion Games Officiated By Jon Moss

In his career as a professional referee, Moss had officiated WBA on 18 occasions.
In these matches he had given 11 converted penalties or sendings off in favour of Albion and no sendings off and no converted penalties against - some of these decisions were laughably dubious.
In the two promotion seasons for WBA in the Championship, Moss refereed Albion 5 times.
This resulted in 5 wins with 7 sendings off or penalties in favour of the West Midlands club and, obviously, none against.
The Aston Villa v West Brom game was the first occasion in 19 matches where a penalty was converted or sending off applied against WBA. 

Selection Of Referees For BT Sport Live Matches

There are 21 referees used for Premier League games.
Given equal selection, each official has a 1 in 21 chance of being chosen for BT Sport live matches.
In the aftermath of our reporting, Moss was given two of the next three BT Sport live matches (Spurs v West Ham and Villa v Albion) - he couldn't have been given the third as it was on the following night to the latter game.
There was a 1 in 21 chance of Moss getting either of these games.

Selection Of Moss For Championship Game Between Nottingham Forest And Middlesbrough

Post-threshold of our exposure, Moss was given his first non-EPL appointment of the season in the 36th round of Football League games.
The match was one of 36 Championship and Football League matches occurring in that round of games.
There was a 1 in 36 chance of Moss refereeing outside the Premier League in this round of matches and a 1 in 36 chance of the match chosen featuring Middlesbrough.

Selection Of Moss For Burnley And West Brom Game Following Our Exposé 

Moss was chosen for WBA and Burnley Premier League matches in the two rounds of games after our blog posts.
There was a 1 in 5 chance of Moss getting Burnley or WBA for first round of games and a 1 in 9 chance of him getting WBA in the next round of matches. 

Match Outcomes 

The market likelihood of Burnley, West Brom and Middlesbrough all losing were 26.9%, 28.7% and 30.0%. 

Statistical Likelihood Of These Events Happening By Chance 

The probability of these selections and inversions coming to pass entirely by chance is 885 Billion to One.

These events occurred in a 14 day window covering 4 rounds of games following our exposés.
There are 38 rounds of games each season in the EPL so the chance of this structure happening in any one season is One in 93 Billion i.e. these realities would occur by chance once every 93 Billion Years.

Our universe is 13.8 billion years old.


So if our universe were seven times older than it actually is and if human beings had existed on our planet from the point of the Big Bang until now and if football was the very first thing that these humans invented and if such invention led to the immediate onset of the Premier League, pgMOBGATE would have happened just once.

The fact that it happened after our exposé is worthy of note! 

And, what is more, the probability is based solely on the selection and inversion in reponse to our prompts.
What led to those initial patterns is another story for another day.


1) "How To Spot Matchfixing" blog post

2) 7 Key Sports players at Middlesbrough tweet - "With the arrival of Adam Forshaw, there are now 7 Key Sports-represented players at #Middlesborough!"

3) "Once Dead The Good And The Bad Are Covered By The Same Moss" blog post

4) BBC Sports report on Tottenham v West Ham

5) Tweet warning of inversion on Burnley v Swansea - "@JohnboyMaclean The outcome will be a defeat for the integrity of #PremierLeague football. But beware, market structure is not obvious."

6) Tweet on the inverse in Aston Villa v West Brom - "Jon Moss - 18 matches reffing #WBA 11 Pens/S Offs in favour
0 against …
Next game, Moss gives inj time pen against #WBA"

7) "Farcical Absurdity" blog post

8) Tweet warning about Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough - "If you are considering betting on, attending or otherwise taking an interest in #NFFC v #Boro
READ: … …"

9) "Mocking The Zeitgeist" blog post

10) Tweet mocking the systemic nature of the operation and Barratt's sacking - "We mocked a #matchfixing operation.
They mocked us back.
We saw through their mockery and re-mocked.
A job is lost.
… …"

11) "The Sting" blog post

12) "Making A Long Nose On The Sly" blog post

13)  "Happy Anniversary To Roy Hodgson" blog post

14) "Whistleblow While You Work" blog post

15) "Bet (Not So Feckin') Fair After All" blog post

16) Mark Halsey @RefereeHalsey  

17) "Premier League Football Is Fixed" blog post

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed