Sunday, 1 March 2015

The IFAB Four


"In effect, the English Premier League and the Scottish Premier League, via their respective control of the Football Association and the Scottish FA, are able to block all and any changes to the Laws of the Game with the support of just one other IFAB member." 

Yesterday, nicely buried away on a busy sporting Saturday, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) ruled out video technology in football until season 2018/19 at the earliest.
This is despite a very successful trial run by the Dutch FA (KNVB) at 24 Eredivisie matches last season and the support of Germany, the USA and certain elements at the FA in England.

The outcome simply means that we are guaranteed 3 and a half more years of rampant corruption without redress or regulation and we will argue that this decision is the death knell for the integrity (and success) of the game.
___________________________________________________________________________________

IFAB

IFAB is an anachronism. Composed of 4 members from the FA's of England, Scotland, the North of Ireland and Wales plus a further four individuals selected from the other 205 associations, the body behaves like an old City of London club. To discuss and decide upon proposed alterations to the Laws of the Game requires 75% agreement which, in effect, means that the United Kingdom controls the rules of global football.
Furthermore, since 2003, Angel Maria Villar Llona, the Spanish FIFA vice-President and Chairman of the Referees' Committee, has been involved in IFAB meetings. It is surely of relevance to the whole discussion that Javier Tebas, the Spanish La Liga president, believes that some bodies wish to hide the reality of matchfixing. Speaking last October, Tebas said: "... there are also some important institutions that want to hide the problem. Our integrity department in La Liga, for example, last weekend detected match-fixing activity in the third division. We detected the problem and communicated it to the responsible authority, but they chose to hide it, probably because they don't want to recognise that this problem exists, even in the lower division."

It is surely worthy of note that certain representatives (or a majority thereof) can block any change at any time to any private agenda.

Dutch Experiment and Institutional Response

The Dutch trial involved a video referee addressing match decisions at 24 top flight games in 2013/14. The results were hugely encouraging resulting in gross chameleon Sepp Blatter changing his mind to be in favour of video technology on the eve of the 2014 World Cup Finals.
A colleague in Holland has stated that the referral system could be implemented within 15 seconds and would have removed all controversy from the matches trialled. The match outcome was real.
Other sports also successfully implement video technology without the fabric of the competitive event being blown apart - tennis, rugby league, rugby union, horseracing, athletics, cricket etc.
So why not football?
Which members of IFAB voted against the proposal?
Who stands to lose and gain from the delay?

Well, this last question is a suitable starting point.
The entities that gain from lack of video technology are, in no particular order of merit - UEFA, FIFA, the Premier League, corrupt referees, corrupt bookmakers, insider gamblers, underground criminalised betting markets, global mafiosi groups, corrupt football agents, dodgy committee men...
... while the losers are the fans, the integrity of the game, those within the sport outside the corrupt inner loops and, interestingly, the broadcasters who overpay for tv rights (see below).

UEFA president, Michel Platini, performed a U-turn on video technology due to the European body utilising grey corruption via match officials to offset the criminalities of matchfixing operations targeting UEFA events, the power base of the allegedly disbanded G14 group, the successful marketing of tournament spectacles and the critical nature of television money.
The latter two points also apply to FIFA although the inaction at the global body is more closely linked to the interests of those involved in matchfixing.

The Specifics of the Integrity Issue in English Premier League

The Premier League (EPL) and Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB) do not want video technology in English football. Furthermore, they do not support the elements of the FA that are calling for the implementation.The EPL have been undermining the role of the national association since inception and reached a nadir when buffoon Sir Dave Richards performed as Scudamore's rottweiler destabiliser at the FA.

PGMOB referees earn around two grand a week for officiating on matches that can have global betting turnover of £5bn. The core group of PGMOB comprises just 15 individuals who officiate at nearly 95% of EPL matches (including all the high betting volume tv events) and are frequently present as 4th officials at other games. This structure is primed for corruption.
Additionally, one individual who hides in the shadows selects referees for all EPL games. One man!

Former leading refs Graham Poll and Keith Hackett have lacerated the current standard of PGMOB refs with the latter wanting Mike Riley removed from leadership of body and 5 officials stood down.
Hackett stated: "If [a manager] is at the bottom of the league then his job is at risk. At this moment in time he [Riley] is more than bottom. I am seeing a regression. The performances of the referees are not acceptable. He must carry the responsibility."

And the reaction to criticism of referees is Stalinist. Most managers (with honourable exceptions of Jose Mourinho and Steve Bruce) have learnt that it is preferable not to articulate concerns over refereeing integrity as the body politic merely dumps more negative controversy on managers who step out of the Stalin line.
Chelsea would have won the EPL last season if it had not been for the ludicrous spectacles at Villa Park and at home to Sunderland. The abuses have continued on into 2014/15 with even the most anti-Mourinho clone perceiving the injustices perpetrated against the London team.

The Stalinism continues with media silence, no interviews, hush money paid at end of referee's careers, no public ratings from internal assessments and generally no punishment for miscreants.
Additionally, since the beginning of season 2013/14, all match officials have been miked up to a secretive network which we will term the EPL Match Centre. All kick offs are coincident and referees are aided (or abetted) by other officials with access to tv replays. This results in numerous match decisions being delayed while a decision is made.

Three points.
Firstly, this is illegal under the Laws of the Game.
Secondly, to what template are the decisions being made if made under such secrecy?
Thirdly, the outcome is disastrous for the brand. The EPL is descending into fraudulent farce.

In a desperate attempt to keep fans on message, the mainstream media entirely ignores matchfixing in England despite journalists getting some of their leaks/stories from individuals who are orchestrating the matchfixing.
The tv pundits are worse!
Lee Dixon, Mark Lawrensen and Robbie Savage work for bookmakers, Danny Murphy is close to a matchfixing agent, Michael Owen used to be bookie for the England team (linked to Goldchip private bookmakers), Steve McManaman was a business associate of money laundering fraudster Carson Yeung and David James is, well, David James.

Impact of IFAB Decision on EPL Broadcasting Deals

The EPL tv deal for 2016/19 realised £5.1bn for British rights but as lawyer Daniel Geey points out the global broadcasting rights could be worth another £8bn.

These figures represent a financial market bubble - Sky is paying £11m per match in this window.
The price is being ratcheted up via the antisocial auction strategies of Sky Sports and BT Sports as they outbid one another to mutual oblivion. The inevitable increase in subscription prices will undermine the business model - in a 4 week window in January, BT Sport offered just one EPL game (Hull v Newcastle). This is absolutely not value for money particularly in a time of austerity.

Bubbles are dangerous when they form in an instant - so Manchester United received less (£60.8m) for winning EPL in 2012/13 than Cardiff City got for being relegated the following season (£62.1m).
Bubbles are even more dangerous when future rights' issues are being bid on the back of an already inflated bubble - a double bubble means double trouble.

As the performance of EPL teams in Champions League and Europa League shows, the bloated brand is bigger than the fundamental value by some marked distance.

Furthermore, the matchfixing in the EPL is the elephant in the room. When we speak to managers, chief execs, agents, administrators, the discussion always centres around matchfixing. The reality is bound to break at some point and then the value of the brand plummets as the IPL cricket monstrosity discovered.
And this is before one even considers the impact of the eventual European Super League for the G14+.

Conclusion

Who voted against video technology at IFAB meeting?
Why?

An interesting impact of the Dutch experiment last season was that the volatility of outcome would have diminished markedly if the video ref had been able to overrule the match referee. Think about that. The price set by the global marketplace on a game is more accurate once integrity is reintroduced via taking power away from the referee. We are preparing a research paper on this point as it is significant.

Meanwhile Jérôme Valcke, FIFA's secretary general, blurts "Is there a risk the referee will not be as strong as he is today?"

You know what, mate, nobody cares about a referee's sense of personal power.
What we demand is integrity in the sport we love.

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed

Friday, 27 February 2015

The Offshore Game


One of the more startling developments in recent years has been the takeover of football clubs by owners who would not, on the surface, have any interests in the sport.

We are not specifically concerned here with private equity companies, bookmakers and offshore beneficial ownership schemes but rather with ownership emanating from specific industry sectors e.g. the oil industry.

We are also interested in the territorial, business and black market cooperations between these new breed of owners and a global network of competing criminal enterprises, gangs and syndicates.

Recently, an oil company chief executive with links to the underground betting markets has been assessing the purchase of a leading Premier League club. As the oil price has plummeted, this CEO (wearing his oilman's hat) seeks oil market sector consolidation. But the gambling side of this future operation is entirely unaffected by the current market conditions for oil. The two sectors are not correlated in any manner whatsoever.

This is a primary reason why numerous mainstream sectors seek out football club ownership - global financial returns move in lockstep holistically but football leagues are something else entirely.
A secondary reason for the ties being established is that football matches are linked to very liquid global betting markets that are hyperreal in their structure i.e. insiders and matchfixing consortia are able to fix match outcomes to warp the global markets for significant proprietary gain.
The third reason for the takeover of football clubs is inversion capitalism and the financialisation of what were community-based football clubs into entities to promote efficient yet illicit flows of monies via Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs).
The fourth reason for the presence of oil companies is diversification. If Peak Oil is real then oil companies must think outside the box regarding future flows and profits.
The fifth advantage for oil companies is creative hedging of risk - many football markets share parallels with futures and options markets and strategies may easily be transferred. Additionally, the very liquid global betting markets are voluminous enough to accommodate the hedging of mature sector entities.

When clubs as diverse as Hartlepool United, Hamilton Accies and AFC Bournemouth are owned by or sponsored by oil executives/companies, there is evidently a pattern to be found in the data.

The oil industry is conversant with many of the infrastructures that have developed around the football industry in the last two decades - monopolies, cartels, fragmented cartels, black market operations etc.
The leap from price-fixing to matchfixing is but a small bound - once one has sold out to antisocial speculation, the move to abusive market control is always likely to be more tempting.

Additionally, the modes of powerplay and market abuses associated with a competitive oil market price established by a fragmented cartel are very similar structurally to the setting of market prices in football matches where global underground and Dark Pool operations establish the prices on offer based on key parameters that are absolutely not in the public eye (or interest).

Historically, as market sectors aged, they matured towards monopolistic/duopolistic/fragmented cartel structures e.g. the Big 4 accountancy firms but inversion capital is leading to a wider consolidation not only within a sector but also between loosely associated sectors. The integration and dovetailing of these operations is accommodated by the similarity in structure and form.

There is an absolute parallel between strategies in mature oil sector and in the maturing football sector.

Over the last quarter century (and even longer in South Asia), numerous global underground groups have exerted malicious control over the integrity of sporting events.

The Dawood Company (cricket matchfixing globally from their base in Dubai) and football operations like Sun Yee On (China), Ah Kong (Singapore), Luen Group (Hong Kong), Ghao Pho (Thailand) and Kuratong Baleleng (Philippines) have incorporated gambling operations into criminalised entities of far greater stature. The full range of illegalities (murder, smuggling, bribery, corruption, drug trafficking, extortion, film finance, gunrunning, contract killing, money laundering, counterfeiting and even terrorism in certain cases) run alongside allegedly legitimate businesses like real estate and bank overhaul transactions.

These underground operations have since morphed into real betting businesses located in selected OFCs with structures that are entirely akin to the Dark Pool/Public Markets model that exists in more legitimate bookmaking operations.
The consolidation then continues with linkages developed between the public entities of variable background (for instance the one between Victor Chandler International in Gibraltar and Thai bookmaker 138.com - Chandler were the first European bookie to enter Thailand in the mid-nineties under control of current Brighton and Hove Albion owner, Tony Bloom).

The complete graphic dynamic of the consolidated sector is highly complex.

a) Asian bookmakers matchfixing in both underground and legitimate markets and hiding their illicit gains via proxy OFCs globally (Chinese bookies utilise British Virgin Isles, for example).
b) European bookmakers matchfixing in both Dark Pool and legitimate markets and utilising a different set of OFCs for money laundering.
c) Club ownership structures that avoid tax via the utilisation of a variety of complex ownership arrangements in OFCs globally.
d) Football agents behave in exactly the same manner as above but choose OFCs that are suitable both culturally and financially.

Agents, as lubricants to all phases of the corruption process, provide us with another aspect of the solution.

Corrupt infrastructures are similar to water flowing down a hill. Given the various obstacles in place, there is always a preferred route for the liquid to flow. Over time, these chosen routes become river beds and exceptional circumstances (meteorological or geological) are needed to upset this status quo.

And so it is with corruption in football.

Whether football is being corrupted by matchfixing, illegitimate ownership structures or criminalised agents, the one feature that exists in each case is illicit money flows in OFCs.

The Offshore Game is a project under the auspices of the Tax Justice Network which will be launched in the near future to address these issues.
All illicit money flow participants have a preferred route of laundering and will persist with such proxy flows for a range of robust reasons.
The Offshore Game, if successful, will make incremental gains against these corruption flows making it markedly more difficult for the launderers to wash their money easily.
The Offshore Game will also improve the integrity of football by putting the matchfixers and rogue owners on the defensive.

And, although football can never be football again, it will hopefully become more than the illegitimate love child of horseracing and poker that it has become.

You can sign up to The Offshore Game at https://www.theoffshoregame.net/

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pitchsiding


There are two core inputs to the trading process - market price and market timing.
Knowledge of the former represents the 'value' on offer - the difference in price between the market and reality - while knowledge of the latter fine tunes the process for maximisation of profits.

But the latter also offers a route to proprietary profits based not on skill but on one's position in the marketplace,

In 1929, financial market traders were dependent on the ticker-tape.
In a pre-IT world, all trades were manually recorded by armies of under-privileged people.
There was no other option.

Once the operators at the top of the Ponzi scheme decided that the fake price summit had been reached, they sold across the board and extensively.
When this Crash occurred, the ticker-tape operators were unable to keep up with the tsunami of "sell" orders.
Consequently, the ticker-tape started to fall behind time.

But the ticker-tape meant that the reality was lost on the general trading population until it was too late.
Traders (and normal human beings too) were selling stock without being able to gauge the price at which they were selling their assets, as the prices were out-of-date and everybody understood that there was a run on.

This was a very early example of pitchsiding in the financial sector - insiders gaining (or losing less) at the expense of the bewildered and the befuddled who were outside the loop.

Move forward to 2015 and the same market advantage is built into modern day financial market architecture via the utilisation of High Frequency Trading (HFT) algorithms, Dark Pool operations and selective arbitrage trading.

Inevitably, these distortions of time entered the world of sport once markets were attached to events - it is termed 'pitchsiding' or 'courtsiding'.

The first occasion that I witnessed pitchsiding was at British racecourses in the 1990's.
Operatives would park up a vehicle outside the racecourse with line-of-sight link to the bookmakers trading on the rails and utilise bullet microphones to listen into these primary tier bookies. Once insider money surfaced, the operatives took advantage of the information (and the available price) to trade the inside information at a timing advantage to the remainder of the market.

These behaviours also have their origins in the Depression when illegal street bookies would offer prices on races that had already been run!

Pitchsiding spread to other sports once global markets were developed on sporting events.
There is an inevitable time delay on images being flashed around the world.
Other communication routes are instant.

So in football, there can be a 10 second delay between the action taking place on the pitch and the HDTV images hitting your screen. A lot can happen in ten seconds!

Pitchsiding is particularly profitable and far easier to facilitate when the geographical distances are greater with the result that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was always a prime target for the pitchsiders.
Hence, some good news for once.
As this report from New Zealand shows, there is a momentum within the ICC to eradicate sports corruption and the pitchsiders present at the opening World Cup match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka were removed from the ground (http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/cricket/66201423/betting-cheats-caught-at-cricket-world-cup-match).

In reality, pitchsiding might be seen as a form of virtual time travel...
... but imagine going back in time to place £25m in the Asian underground on a draw between PSG and Chelsea last evening (http://wheresthatfuckinhemlock.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/is-time-travel-logically-possible.html).

Pitchsiding is a criminal offence in parts of Australia and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Unfortunately, in the world of football, pitchsiding is merely seen as another competitive advantage for the bookmakers like insider trading and access to Dark Pools.
And, of course, no action is taken.
Market distortions to the benefit of a financial elite are never a problem. 

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Mafia, Matchfixing, Money Laundering - The Beautiful Game

We were recently in discussions with a soon-to-be-launched body that will focus on illicit money flows and money laundering in relation to the football industry.
Such tax avoidance and evasion covers the betting markets, the transfer markets as well as non-fit and non-proper club ownership structures.

Our part in this project related to the betting markets.

So, as a piece of research, we decided to list all of the global betting territories and to link these locations with both club ownership loci and offshore financial centres (particularly looking at preferred routes of corruption).

With the mainstream media suddenly deciding to conclude that the vast majority of global banks are involved in tax avoidance via illicit money flows in a systemic failure of late capitalism, the time is ripe for addressing parallel tax issues in football.

From the shenanigans at the late Glasgow Rangers (who went into administration three years ago today - Happy Administration Day!) to the Leicester City manager, Nigel Pearson, poking Leicester City 'legend' Gary Lineker regarding his tax affairs to the 'mistake' by the HMRC which led to improperly prepared paperwork allowing Harry Redknapp off tax evasion charges, the zeitgeist of public perception of football corruption is changing.

The interesting aspect of the research undertaken is the robust linkage between club ownership locations, offshore financial centres, offshore bookmaking locations and a transglobal map of primary mafiosi locations.
The interplay between these four power loci is fascinating and very revealing.

Take AC Parma.
Having fallen from historical heights due to the Parmalat Scandal, the club were serially mismanaged under stewardship of Tommaso Ghirardi and director general Pietro Leonardi resulting in the takeover in 2014 by an Albanian businessmen - Rezart Taçi (CEO of Taçi Oil) fronting for a Cypriot-Russian group.

Under Ghirardi's watch, the Italian club had been thrown out of this year's UEFA Cup after having been found guilty of paying players at other clubs to perform appropriately.

There has been an array of very vivid matchfixing events at the club throughout this season culminating in the farcical fix between Parma and Chievo on Wednesday last.
And the money traded on these events surfaces in some rather interesting locations far from Italy - Gibraltar, Thailand, Russia, Philippines and Malta.

In December 2014, the club were docked a point for non-payment of wages and with the club about to be punished again for further non-payment, Taçi was discarded and the club brought in Ermir Kodra as president on January 23rd 2015 - Kodra worked at BKT Bank of Tirana and was director of marketing at the ARMO, the largest oil refinery in Albania.

He lasted just 17 days being replaced last Monday by Giampietro Manenti who has vowed to pay the wages and clean up the operation.
The fact that the Parma/Chievo fix occurred two days into Manenti's regime does not bode well.

Albanian mafia have been actively distorting outcomes in the Austrian Bundesliga over the last 12 months while Cyprus is a prime location for Russian money laundering and related matchfixing (particularly involving Cypriot clubs and those from the former Soviet diaspora). The threats of violence and actual violence with regard to referees has become endemic with the most recent issue seeing a bomb left outside home of the mother of referee Thomas Mouskoss.

This season saw a whole array of questionable matchfixing events in the Qualifying Phases of both the Champions League and the UEFA Cup related to this Russia-Cyprus axis.

AEL Limassol v Zenit St Petersburg, Budocnost Podgorica v Omonia Nicosia, Metalurg Skopje v Omonia Nicosia, Dinamo Moscow v Omonia Nicosia and Apollon Nicosia v Lokomotiv Moscow.

Of course, a question that needs to be asked is how so many Russian diaspora v Cypriot matches could 'randomly' be pulled out of the UEFA hat when the draws were made!

With the Cypriot-Russian group having sold their control earlier this month, it is only to be hoped that the new regime straightens things out.
The worrying aspect is that the investment group that are the new owners are anonymous.
___________________________________________________________________________________

Below (and for our cellular network only), we draw our assessments of the illicit money flows relating to AC Parma, their ownership, the global betting markets and their related offshore financial centres.

##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################
##############################################################################

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed

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 54 nation states have an annual GDP less than the new Premier League tv deal - Richard Scudamore runs a small country.

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 guaranteeing tax evasion and money laundering.

Or, the fact that referees on £2,000 per week are determining match outcomes on £5 billion markets resulting in an absolute certainty 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, HMRC, PwC, Barclays, RBS, the Murdochracy, Lehman Brothers, Enron etc etc etc ad nauseum.

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Once Dead The Good And The Bad Are Covered By The Same Moss


In a previous post (http://trichotomoustriptychities.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/how-to-spot-matchfixing_19.html), we looked at what betting patterns might look like on suspicious matchfixing events.
We also demonstrated that the first statistical link to be sought out in the detection of corrupt events is the one between market activities and on-field behaviours.

In this post we are going to be taking a look at the suspicious patterns on Premier League games refereed by Jonathan Moss together with his potential club bias in favour of West Bromwich Albion which stretches back nearly a decade.


____________________________________________________________________________________

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.

Just another bad day at the office for Mr Moss then?

In the Betfair chart below, the major lower graph represents Total Volume/Time on Man City from KO-85m to KO-25m while the major 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).



This chart might be compared with £840,000 volume between KO-53m and KO-33m on the Manchester United v Crystal Palace game mentioned in the above post which represented 30% of the volume traded at Betfair at that time.
This match was also officiated by Mr Moss.

Moss has officiated at 41 Premier League matches in the last two seasons.

We would like to focus on 11 of these events which have experienced particularly suspect betting patterns that positively correlate with match biases/decisions during the game (the table below displays match, percentage dynamics in window, the window in minutes measured from the kick off, key match decisions and the outcome).

Man Utd v C Palace  +2.1% KO-50-30m +1xPen/+1xSOff 2-0W
Norwich v West Ham  +2.1% KO-45-30m +1xPen 3-1W
Stoke v Chelsea  +2.5% KO-45-40m 3-2W
Spurs v Liverpool  -2.1% KO-55-45m +1xSOff 0-5W
Hull v Arsenal  -1.7% KO-50-35m 0-3W
Arsenal v C Palace  +2.0% KO-50-40m +1xSOff 2-1W
Hull v Stoke  -1.4% KO-60-40m +1xSOff 1-1W
Everton v Chelsea  -3.0% KO-55-45m 3-6W
Swansea v Southampton  -1.5% KO-55-35m +1xSOff 0-1W
Man City v Spurs  +1.7% KO-60-45m +3xPen/+1xSOff/-1xPen 4-1W
West Ham v West Brom  -1.5% KO-60-50m 1-1W

All 11 market positions were replicated in the match outcomes.

All 11 matches showed marked volume dynamics in restricted 10-20 minute windows between KO-60mins and KO-30mins.

In the 11 matches, 11 penalties/sendings off were in favour of the market positions with just one Spurs penalty against.

There are five further events over the last two seasons that are borderline suspicious.
____________________________________________________________________________________

So, what other evidence can we find?

Mr Moss has a relationship with leading agent and professional gambler John Colquhoun which stretches back over two decades to their time together as players at Sunderland.
After relegation from the Premier League in 2005/06, Colquhoun took on the role of club agent at West Brom.

Prior to the re-establishment of themselves as a Premier League team, WBA had Jon Moss as referee on 7 occasions from 2005/06 onwards. 

West Brom won all 7 matches with 7 penalties or sendings off in their favour and none against - this stretches to 11 in favour and none against if the EPL era included. Moss is still to give a penalty or sending off against the Albion in 18 events in total since 2005/06.

IN 29 MATCHES OUTLINED ABOVE, MR JONATHAN MOSS HAS GIVEN 22 PENALTIES/SENDINGS OFF IN FAVOUR OF OUR ARGUMENT AND JUST ONE TOTTENHAM PENALTY AGAINST...
... THE FACT THAT THIS ONE PENALTY WAS OFFSET BY THREE PENALTIES, A SENDING OFF AND AN OFFSIDE GOAL IS MORE THAN ENTERTAINING. 
____________________________________________________________________________________

Some Questions That Need To Be Asked If The Premier League Still Has Any Interest In Integrity

Why aren't Betfair disclosing suspicious patterns to the relevant bodies? 

Why are Betfair simply treating such information as insider knowledge to be profited from elsewhere?

Why are the PGMOL repeatedly giving West Brom matches to a referee who has shown such a marked bias towards the club over the last decade?

Why are PGMOL giving Mr Moss so many high betting turnover tv matches?

Why is a professional gambler who is known to take an interest in EPL games allowed to trade his information without going underground?
____________________________________________________________________________________

IN THE FINAL POST IN THIS MINI-SERIES, WE WILL BE DISCLOSING HOW TO DEFINITIVELY LINK THE SUSPICIOUS BETTING PATTERNS TO THE CLIENTS WHO ATTEMPT TO DISGUISE SUCH BETS VIA THE USE OF PROXIES ETC.  

Postscript




© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed

Thursday, 8 January 2015

If


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.

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed

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 (http://footballisfixed.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/how-to-solve-match-fixing-once-and-for.html)

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!

© Football is Fixed 2006-2014 
  
Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Who Regulates The Regulators?


The Ponzi pyramid of self-justification that underpins all free market structures is always a part of the problem rather than a part of the cure.

Who guards the guardians?
Who governs the governors?
Who moderates the moderators?
Who regulates the regulators?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is not fit for purpose.
Nine out of 12 board members were simply parachuted across from the board of the disbanded Financial Services Authority (FSA) - that's the FSA that failed to suitably regulate the banks prior to and during the 2007/08 crash.
The FSA's regulatory style was so light touch as to be reiki.
Reiki regulation!

The FSA was a prime example of regulatory capture - a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating.

In response, the FCA must be seen to be regulating with the utmost integrity.
Some hope.
Bizarrely, the FCA created a false market in major insurers' shares after botching a press briefing - the share prices of major insurers plunged after the Telegraph published the story.
A 225 page report released this week goes further: "The strategy and manner in which [the media strategy] was pursued was... high risk, poorly supervised and inadequately controlled. When it went wrong, the FCA's reaction was seriously inadequate and fell short of the standards expected of those it regulates."
The regulator tilted the markets!

And the FCA response is to repay some executive bonuses received in an extended window of self-justification and to immediately rush out a long delayed report into the mis-selling of annuities in a blatant display of exactly the sort of public relations and branding that regulatory bodies should not be in business of needing to undertake.

But similar structures are the norm - other recent examples include OFWAT mistakenly overestimating water companies' capital costs when setting price levels and then refusing to impose London Stock Exchange disclosure requirements on non-stock market listed companies, or PricewaterhouseCoopers selling tax avoidance on an industrial scale with the strategy only coming to public knowledge via internal leaks.

Why is it nearly always whistleblowers and (Wiki)leakers but very rarely regulatory bodies and institutional self-policing that reveal the financial miscreants?.

The big picture is one of pure Randian psychopathy - there's minimal red tape to act as an obstacle for the steady flow of sociopathic outsiders to join the psychopathic insiders as cowboy capitalism races to the bottom of its barrel...
... but in the world of football, the situation is worse - neo-Randian!.

Nothing is regulated on any primary level of operation and there are supportive and corrupted flow networks integrated globally to prevent any hope of integrity rearing its head.

All six of the primary bodies allegedly looking into football integrity and matchfixing are compromised in their purpose via their ownership.
Indeed, in certain cases, a more motley crew of interested parties could not have been created even if one had set out explicitly with such purpose!
Fragmented cartels of corruption!

Football governance verges on the non-existent and, even at best, is merely a branding and self-justification process.

Certain entities and structures are systemically corrupt...
... in fact, I'll rewrite that sentence - there are very few bodies and networks in global football that are not systemically corrupt!
Regulation is invisible or malleable self-regulation that equates to no regulation at all - agents, dark pools, betting markets, insider trading, matchfixing, money laundering, third party ownership, mainstream media compliance in a restricted narrative while, once again, whistleblowers and (Wiki)leakers expose, bottom-up, what any decent system would implement top-down.

Inversion capitalism - asset stripping and financial profiteering from the monetising of a brand, tax avoidance and evasion, antisocial competition practices with minimal regulation (for self-justification), alongside state punishment for 5th Estate types who get in the way - the Obama administration has started more prosecutions against whistleblowers than all presidents combined over the last century.
20 whistleblowers have been murdered in India in the last five years.

And the corrupt operations in the distorted infrastructures attract disproportionate investment as investors understand that increased returns are gained by psychopathic control in a lightly regulated marketplace, compounding up the cycles of corruption over time.

FIFA, the FCA, UEFA, PwC, the Premier League, Barclays, the Glazers, the FA Sports Betting Integrity Unit, Gestifute, Goldman Sachs, all these oil companies from interesting geopolitical locations that are buying up British football teams, private equity, dark pools, the control of whistleblowing bodies by those who should be whistleblown, derivatives markets, offshore financial centres and markets, NGO-lite structures etc - pure neo-Bayesian corruption entities beyond the reach of any economic theory as such theory may only be reactive to this juggernaut of inversion free-marketry where there are no rules.

Who regulates the regulators?

And why don't regulators regulate?

© Football is Fixed 2006-2014   

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed  

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Omertà


The two women who acted as whistleblowers over the multiple corruptions within FIFA have been publicly traduced by Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.
Bonita Mersiades and Phaedra Almajid both now live in fear for their families and themselves.
These FIFA corruptions have effectively been whitewashed in a secret report at the expense of the lives of two women (Almajid now has FBI protection).

This will no doubt discourage any future moral and ethical stances over the utter lack of integrity in global football just as the treatments of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange would tend to make any political whistleblower think twice.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the FIFA Affair (Qatargate) is that it is a clear indication of how the locus of football criminality has shifted towards the blackest of markets in recent years. In the current scenario, Michael Garcia is being painted as a white knight riding to the rescue against the smoke-filled backroom deals and payments of bribes and other enhancing consumerisms of FIFA.

We discussed this in a previous article when Garcia was appointed to this role: "A parallel example of murkiness is at FIFA where the Secretary General of Interpol, Ronald Noble, supported the appointment of Michael Garcia as FIFA chief investigator of corruption when Garcia's review of the FIFA/ISL scandal is seen as a cover up by Reform consultant Michael Pieth and FIFA judge Hans-Joachim Eckert."

Manus manum lavat.

So we have a standard Italian structure being the cover up of choice - football needs a mani pulite (clean hands) approach to dealing with corruption.

But the cover ups spread further.
There are four primary bodies addressing matchfixing in world football - Interpol, Europol, Early Warning and Federbet.
None are fit for purpose and all have private hidden agendas.
If an individual chooses to whistleblow a corrupted match to any of these bodies, the most likely action is inaction.

And the national associations and leagues are no better.
We would not dream of disclosing our evidences of matchfixing in the Premier League to Richard Scudamore or the FA.
And, higher up the feeding chain Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga, understands that presenting evidence of matchfixing in Spain results in absolutely no reaction.

And over the last two days in London, the FA has launched the Sports Betting Integrity Forum with inputs from all the main British/Gibraltan bodies who are only concerned about matchfixing when they are outside the loop of insider trading.
All five bookmakers involved either accept insider money and/or actively orchestrate criminalities.

On the bases established by these whitewashes, the foundations of future corruptions are built.

Yesterday, Narayanaswami Srinivasan was laughably cleared of orchestrating matchfixing and spotfixing in IPL cricket matches in 2013 despite the evidence of taped conversations and his close alliances with the underground bookmaking world.
Earlier this year, he had remarkably been appointed as chairman of the International Cricket Council despite the scandals swirling around him.
What message does this send to the participants in the new IPL football expansion (and, by the way, it is surely not totally surprising that the three main English participants in this competition are Michael Chopra, Peter Reid and that undischarged bankrupt of dubious integrity, David James)?

These sporting corruptions parallel clearly with the world of mainstream capitalism and offshore financial centres.
For example, Grace Perez-Navarro of the OECD thinks that money laundering will be a historical anomaly by 2018.
It won't.
Lack of staff, lack of backing, lack of expertise, lack of regulation, lack of political will and yet to be created distortions of integrity will see to that.

Similarly amusing is the hyperreality that the UK police are to utilise the expertise of the Royal Bank of Scotland to address financial fraud in markets...
... that would be the same Royal Bank of Scotland that has just been found guilty of currency benchmark manipulations!

Manus manum lavat.

Global corruption requires global action and global regulation, not internalised double-teaming.

© Football is Fixed 2006-2014    

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed 

Monday, 22 September 2014

State Of The (Football) Nation


Matchfixing corrupts.
Absolute matchfixing corrupts absolutely.

From the mid-nineties onwards, the Asian underground markets exercised total control over English football.
In the last four years, that control has been grasped by a cartel of inappropriates from the UK and its offshore territories.
Neither of these structures is to the benefit of football.
Both create corruption.

  • There are referees working with bookmakers and agents to manufacture match outcomes to the financial benefit of their insider trading.
  • There are titles and trophies determined entirely by corruption.
  • There are managers taking backhanders from agents to pick their clients to mutual benefit.
  • There are bookmakers who own football clubs and who utilise this control to fix matches.
  • There are individuals within the PGMOL who liaise with criminals and matchfixers in the selection of referees.
  • There are individuals passing the fit and proper persons test that are entirely unfit and entirely improper.
  • There are crime syndicates and mafia groups who takeover football clubs for fraud, money laundering and matchfixing.
  • There are fragmented cartels of football agents who pool their players on the pitch to land huge insider gambles.
  • There are broadsheet, tabloid and tv journalists who lubricate these corruptions via public relations abuses posing as journalism.
  • There are bookmakers who accept insider trading and matchfixing as such knowledge is regarded as preferential information in the corrupted marketplace.
  • There are numerous individuals throughout the game who utilise threats, menaces and coercion as standard business practice.
  • There are betting patterns that link these corruptions with their perpetrators.
  • There are administrators who facilitate these corruptions in support of their belief in laissez faire capitalism,
  • There are many bookmakers who refuse to pay out winnings.
  • There are rewards for historical matchfixing and corruptions with a career in media providing disinformation to fans.
  • There are rampant abuses of third party ownership by agents which frequently borders on a slave trade.
  • There are widespread abuses of performance enhancing substances (and their related masking agents).
  • There are a whole array of under the table payments where tax is avoided (either by bungs or the selling of inside information etc).
  • There are networks of individuals illegally hacking IT systems in search of valuable information.
  • There are numerous examples of referees (and other peripherals) whose wealth is not explained by their legitimate earnings.
  • There are a cabal of mainstream television media who accommodate matchfixing and corruption.
  • There are more criminalised goalkeepers in English football than any other primary territory in Europe. 
  • There are no regulations or governmental action preventing these corruptions.
  • There are fortunes being made at the expense of the integrity of the game.

English football is systemically corrupt...
... and extensively corrupt in the particular.

We have access via our consultancies to the betting patterns on these events.
And for many dubious penalties/sendings off, for example, there are equivalent betting sources and patterns ensuring profits for the criminals.

Think on this the next time you witness refereeing, goalkeeping, media or bookmaker inputs that appear at odds with the integrity of the game.

Oh, and here is a photo of John Colquhoun.



For many more itemised angles on corruption follow us on Twitter @FootballIsFixed or check out our new blog Omertà on the criminalities underpinning the Premier League and the Scottish Premier League - http://trichotomoustriptychities.blogspot.co.uk/

© Football is Fixed 2006-2014 


Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed   

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

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 2006-2014

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Insider Trading Is Not Necessarily Match Fixing


Last night was an incredibly depressing defeat.
It was a humiliating and, most likely, an immensely costly loss.
But it wasn't match fixing and it wasn't corruption and it wasn't illegal.

Anyone watching the match could see that things weren't right - a woeful defence, some astonishingly poor performances, a total lack of fitness, a referee with a liking for our friends from Ajax, key players absolutely drained after World Cup exertions, Scott Brown's absence, the negative impact of playing a meaningless friendly against St Pauli instead of resting up for a match that might define Celtic's season...

These are not conspiracies or criminalities, they are real fundamental facts affecting the outcome of a football match.

An insider might choose to bet and profit from a combination of this public and private knowledge plus any extra nuggets he might possess.
This isn't illegal.
It doesn't even mean that the insider isn't professionally focused on the club.
It simply means that he wishes to benefit financially from his privileged position.
And it does not mean the match is bent...
... but it does mean that the game is.

Some stuff...

  • Some English Premier League matches have global betting turnover in the billions of pounds. You can get millions of pounds accepted by brokers in Asia on such games without them even blinking. Referees earn less than £2K per week. Referees are a major feature in virtually all corruption episodes around the world. Match fixing results.
  • Players have lifelong allegiances to their agents that surpasses any club loyalty (with some honourable exceptions).Some agents also bet professionally. In some games, all of a defence will be represented by one or two agents or more than 50% of the players on the pitch will be represented by four agents, for example. Some agents work very closely together in a cartel fashion. Match fixing results.
  • The brands demand certain outcomes. Brazil winning the opening match of the World Cup, say, or the existence of certain referees past and present in the SPL, or UEFA wishing for G14 powerhouse Juventus to be eased past Celtic in the Champions League courtesy of Undiano Mallenco. This results in match fixing.
  • It would be easier to list the teams in the English Premier League and Championship that don't have very active betting activities associated with them than those that are legitimate. Imagine the scenario where a team is playing an end of season match of no consequence and the owner of the club is a bookmaker who has significant (and ethically awkward) betting market liabilities on the game. For the bottom line of the club, the less ethical route is much more financially rewarding. This is match fixing and it isn't illegal.
  • Bookmakers, brokers, market makers, dark pool traders, market professionals, regulators, the police, UEFA and FIFA all recognise that match fixing is massively widespread. But there is no global regulation against insider trading (whether match fixing or just taking profit from insider knowledge). Market platforms seek the trades of insiders as it improves their market knowledge and hence their financial returns. They actively trade this 'knowledge' elsewhere in the market. This isn't illegal. It is just high stakes poker. No bookie wants to be left with the liability when the game kicks off.
  • In horseracing, there is no incentive to throw the Derby or the Grand National due to the kudos and cash that results. However, the 3:15 at Catterick on a Tuesday afternoon when a leading bookmaker has massive liabilities on the 4/7 favourite is a different affair. This is fixing in another sport but the structure is identical to modern football. Except that the rewards in football are far far greater.
  • In financial markets, insider trading used to be legal in Britain until around 50 years ago. A broker could have lunch with an executive and short sell the executive's company based on private information from this encounter. This was market fixing and it wasn't illegal. But it is now. Football needs global regulation to tackle match fixing, corruption, money laundering and the tax avoidance associated with these practices. FIFA should be taking on this role rather than awarding World Cups to countries who (allegedly) shoot down passenger planes and those who murder their immigrant workforce via medieval employment practices in tropical heat.

We form part of a global cellular grouping of individuals from all areas of the game who are not satisfied with the manner in which money people are taking over the game.
We have developed proprietary software for monitoring and analysing financial and betting markets.
We explore the dark net for underground and dark pool operations.
We are frequently appalled by what we find but, historically, there have been few global bodies willing to stand up to the rampant corruption.
We also undertake consultancies - last season I worked for a German team and I'm now working with a body monitoring match fixing in football.
We do nothing illegal.
We just try to undermine corruption in football.

There is a much more determined effort by the likes of Interpol to address match fixing (see last blog post).
But match fixing is not just a problem in the Asian underground.
It is everywhere.

Of course, whether you accept that the above structures are demolishing the game is up to you.
We merely put some stuff in front of you and you can make up your own minds - Glaswegians (both Celtic and Sevco) have enough nous to understand match fixing and corruption when they see it.

But remember.
Nobody did anything illegal prior to the defeat in Warszawa.
Nothing to see there...
... apart from an inept performance, poorly planned, strategically stunted, financially disastrous and interestingly refereed.

http://footballisfixed.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/how-to-solve-match-fixing-once-and-for.html

http://footballisfixed.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/football-markets-are-not-only-markets.html

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

© Football is Fixed 2006-2013

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed  

Friday, 20 June 2014

Did You Not Like That?


Roy Hodgson only became England manager by virtue of not being Harry Redknapp.

After England were all but eliminated by a country with a population a third the size of Greater London, Roy Hodgson is "adamant" that he will not resign in the wake of the country's worst ever World Cup performance.
But it is an outrage that Hodgson was ever appointed in the first place.
The man has only won one league title (the Danish) in a quarter of a century and, with England eliminated at the group stage for the first time since 1958, he should have the decency to step down post-tournament.

But with £3.5m per annum plus fringe benefits and perks, Roy is not going to resign!

There were 72 support staff for the England World Cup debacle...
... if you give 72 monkies a typewriter, they don't produce Macbeth.

But surely we could expect something more than Noddy?

We detail why this was a project doomed to failure.

Roy Hodgson 

"I don't think we let the country down" - Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson appears to have far too great an affinity with a few agents - Stellar and Base represent the goalkeeper and the entire defence (that would be the defence that has just been responsible for losing the first two tournament games for the first time in England's history).
Hodgson himself is represented by Base.
Meanwhile, remember the two outlier selections for Euro 2012 - Kelly and Butland - they too were both Stellar clients at the time.
Key Sports' players gain special privileges too.

Non-meritocratic selection from an already limited pool of players is not a strong strategy.

Furthermore, in a fair world, Fulham would have been relegated when Hodgson was manager there but were saved by a match of highly questionable integrity that resulted in Reading being demoted in their stead.

Without making any allegations of shenanigans, the very fact that Hart, Johnson, Jagielka (Stellar) and Baines, Cahill, Hodgson (Base) are effectively in control of the entire global betting market on England World Cup games (and these markets have been colossally liquid in Brasil) should be a cause for concern.
Everybody has a price.

Joe Hart 

In the two games to date, Joe Hart has been the weakest performer via ratings and the primary reason for the underachievement of the England team.

Versus Italy, there were six shots on target - two goals, two shots hit the woodwork with Hart nowhere to be seen, another shot was cleared off the line by Jagielka and Hart dangerously fumbled the only other effort.

Versus Uruguay, 2 shots, 2 goals.
There was no spring in his step in attempting to save the first goal and he appeared the antithesis of Peter Schmeichel as he made himself as small a target as possible for the second goal.

Perhaps if the man focused on football rather than on the financial lubrications of Head & Shoulders, Gillette and Doritos, a more professional performance might be achieved.

Incidentally, and once again not intending any suggestions of anything, the turnover on these England World Cup matches has been in the billions.
At some point, a manager/agent/defence triumvirate (or an agent/goalkeeper one) is going to exploit that opportunity for excessively astronomical levels of profit.

Dr Steve Peters 

The appointment of a psychologist to help the team prepare for the World Cup was a good idea...
... thinking that Dr Peters was the right man to do that job was myopic.

He was chosen for his work at Liverpool.
But Liverpool won nothing last season despite the benefit of no Champions League matches and a bizarre tilt in refereeing decisions.

The key disastrous strategy took place in the game last night.

England players (including his Liverpool colleagues) were instructed to ignore Luis Suarez in the tunnel prior to the game in the mistaken belief that this would undermine the Uruguayan's sense of self.

There could not have been a more self-harming strategy.
You don't wind up a highly talented street-fighter who knows your weaknesses.
Suarez was energised by the collective slur.
England gave the South Americans a goal start!

After Peters monitored Suarez from close quarters throughout a season, how could he fail to diagnose the Uruguayan's psychological state?

Of course, in a corrupted future, such psychologist input could be a benefit to the short-selling of one's nation for proprietary profit. But only in a corrupted future...

Strategic Own Goals 

The list of strategic errors is endless...

Dyke offering the cutthroat gesture at the World Cup draw.
Hodgson dissing the good people of Manaus turning the game into an away match.
Dyke saying Blatter should resign on the eve of the tournament and Triesmann joining in for good measure.
Dyke refusing to offer Hodgson job security pre-tournament.
Not man-marking Pirlo.
Winding up Suarez and then marking him with a player who is repeatedly devastated by the Uruguayan in Merseyside derbies.
Not playing for a draw after equalising against Uruguay.
Hodgson hadn't even done the sums on qualification thinking that England were out of the cup after last night's defeat when, in fact, they could be backed to qualify at around 17/2.
Australia have somehow managed to cover 26km more than England in their two matches. Why wasn't more fitness work undertaken.

Did nobody want England to succeed? Why would that be?

The Gravy Train 

Alongside the underperformance of the team and their management and accomplices, English football has sent over a whole squad of undesirables to leech off the game that they are happily destroying.

The potential choice of punditry is extensive.
So how have BBC and ITV ended up with two representatives of leading bookies, a former Ladbrokes ambassador, a player who defended his brother when the latter was convicted of matchfixing charges, a player charged with illegal betting in the Premier League earlier this season, a manager who utilises PESs, two individuals with knowledge of matchfixing in England and Alan Shearer?

The disinformation from the bookies' representatives has been extensive to the detriment of the viewer who has no idea of the corruptions at play. Viewers have been repeatedly fed incorrect inputs that result in financial loss if acted upon.

There is a charming circularity here in that the footballer (Danny Murphy) who scored the goal that kept Fulham in the Premier League in the corrupted match which sent Reading down is now on the BBC team misinforming us about the World Cup!

These people are hijacking English football for proprietary and non-meritocratic benefit...
... or perhaps something still worse.

In the words of Stuart Pearce: “Other countries must look at us and laugh at times, they really must.”

Sack the lot of them!

Football is Fixed!

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

© Football is Fixed 2006-2014

Friday, 6 June 2014

How Ed Woodward Cost Manchester United £30 Million


Précis

Being a football man or, for that matter, a businessman is no longer enough for a team to reach its full potential due to the levels of corruption in the game.
Top teams need to instigate corrupt practices to exploit their power and to compete with other top sides who are employing similar tactics while lesser teams need to undertake defensive strategies to offset the corruptions perpetrated against their interests.
The strategic knowledge, the ability to create complex scenario analyses, the necessary contacts and market analytical skills (to assess the insider trading that is always linked to corruption) are required to optimise the performance of any serious football club in the postmodern game.

The Background 

Manchester United were available at 100/1 to qualify for the Champions League prior to their match at Everton on April 20th 2014...
... and yet if Ed Woodward and David Moyes had possessed an ounce of strategic planning between them, the club would have been guaranteed fourth place.

Richard Scudamore had announced that it was bad for the Premier League brand for Man Utd to be failing.
UEFA wanted United in the Champions League as there is a necessity for the second biggest global brand to be in the competition.
No other G14 top tier team had ever failed to qualify for the Champions League.
The Glazers understood that their leveraged buyout would be financially insecure with loss of income, deterioration in player value and inability to attract suitable players in future.
It was also understood within the club that they could not fall any further behind Manchester City.
Additionally, British and offshore bookmakers desired United qualification for turnover/profit reasons.
The systemic structure existed.

The Sting 

Manchester United needed to win all five remaining fixtures in their easy run-in while Arsenal achieved no more than 5 points from their final four games and Everton no more than six.
All three sides had to play Hull City (managed by former Red, Steve Bruce).
David Moyes was even sat next to Bruce in the Directors' area for the Aston Villa v Southampton match on April 19th.

If this were Spain, discussions would have taken place regarding maletins being exchanged to ensure suitable performances from Hull City.

With Hull on board, the strategy would have began in earnest.

If the Premier League want for something to occur with their brand, they can facilitate such realities through their control of the 18 PGMOL referees - a combination of Marriner, Atkinson, Webb, Taylor, Clattenburg and Moss as refs/4th officials would have done the trick (Moss and Clattenburg had already been selected for Hull v Arsenal and Everton v Man Utd while Marriner had overseen Everton's defeat by Palace earlier in the week).
As all referee appointments are made via just one individual, Keren Barratt, this offers a closed matrix of manipulation which is very easy to activate.

With Hull and the referees on board, the odds are no longer 100/1!

Approaches would then have been made to two leading firms of agents ####### and ######### who are both willing to 'persuade' their clients to underperform accordingly when requested.
These two firms would have delivered very key individuals in both the Arsenal and Everton teams to allow the maletins to be opened.
Once the corruption was in motion, the frail psychologies of failure relating to both Arsenal and Everton would have been engendered.

With Hull, the match officials, control of two key players in competitor sides and negative psychologies on board, United would have been certain of qualification and the £20 million that would have gone with it.

Instead, Woodward lost both this money and the £10 million it took to pay off David Moyes.

The amount that the corruption would have cost would have been a fraction of these totals and, obviously, significant inroads could have been made into the costs by trading on the fraudulent events in the Dark Pool and Asian Underground Betting Markets.

If you think that this scenario sounds incredible, I can assure you that similar corruptions occur every single season in the Champions League, Serie A and La Liga.

Football is Fixed!

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

© Football is Fixed 2006-2014