In the most obvious outcome possible from a gathering of the Premier League clubs to vote on certain motions, yesterday we found out that Arsenal and 18 other clubs voted to keep VAR yesterday, as Wolves lost their motion to have it scrapped, with no real surprises that everyone else wanted to keep it. I get it from Wolves’ perspective; they have been punished ever more deeply last season than any club with some shocking decisions going against them last season and so they got to a point where they had had enough. But the horse had already bolted with the introduction of VAR; you can’t close Pandora’s box and now what we need to do is find a way to make it more workable, which the Premier League have admitted, which includes:

  • Semi-automated offside technology
  • In-stadium announcements
  • Big-screen replays of VAR intervention in the stadium
  • More robust training for officials

All of this is welcome to be fair; as somebody who goes to most of the home games the match day experience has been terrible whenever VAR happens. We just stand/sit and wait whilst knowing nothing that goes on, as the PGMOL ignore the example set by sports like rugby by not allowing us any insight in to what is happening. At least they’re looking at that now. But the bottom bullet is the one I am most sceptical on. My view is that they just need to start weeding out the current collective of inept officials and start bringing in new blood who are more au fait with the technology. We need to be promoting younger referees and fast tracking ones from different geographies and ethnicities so that we can bring more diversity in to the PGMOL. In business it is well documented that organisations that have diverse backgrounds of employees are more productive and deliver better results and if we had a group of referees who can all learn more from each other and come from different backgrounds, then we will 100% see an improvement on the standards of refereeing, in my opinion. Until we get ourselves out of the current ‘old boys network’, or ‘cartel’ of existing referees, then we’re not going to advance very far in my opinion.

And I use that word ‘cartel’ deliberately for my next segue, which I have found quite amusing over the last few days, because it seems that is the latest credulous angle from Man City fans – and weirdly some fans from other clubs – to describe the general disdain for which the media has rounded on Man City’s attempt at changing the rules by suing the Premier League, is to talk about some kind of ‘red cartel’ that is stopping them from doing what they want in terms of spending what they like.

The ‘red cartel’, as it is amusingly called, includes Liverpool, Arsenal and Man United and apparently these three teams are the reason behind the fact that Man City can’t spend more and that other clubs can’t play ‘catch up’.

Let’s remind ourselves of some ‘facts’ here, shall we:

  • Man City and Chelsea have spent more than any club in England over the last 10 years. In fact, if you look at this article and scroll down on the table, you can see just how much more. But yeah, it’s definitely the ‘red cartel’ who are the ones who are stopping others from competing. Definitely…
  • Man City have won the league six out of the last seven times. But yeah, it’s DEFINITELY’ the ‘red cartel’ who are stopping this league from being competitive…
  • The Premier League has been won by teams in red six times in the last 20 years. Chelsea, City and Leicester have all won it during that time, a total of 14 times. But it’s DEFINITELY a ‘red cartel’ who are responsible for the current situation of voting for these spending rules.
  • The rules on spending and the current spending cap rules have been agreed by the majority of the Premier League clubs. In fact, Man City have claimed themselves that it is the ‘tyranny of the majority’ that is the reason why they cannot spend what they like. Last time I checked, three out of 20 was not a majority…
  • The English media has pretty much roundly criticised Man City’s attempt at trying to change the rules by their approach in trying to sue the Premier League – here is a page which shows some of the views of these journalists. But these journalists have DEFINITELY been put up to it by the ‘red cartel’ who are all paying them, or have these journalists supporting them. Because these guys have NEVER criticised those ‘red cartel’ members of anything ever. Nope, definitely not, never…
  • Man City have been charged 115 times for rule breaking and as a result the Premier League has charged them and immediately referred them to an INDEPENDENT COMMISSION. But yeah, it’s DEFINITELY the ‘red cartel’ who are the ones behind this. They definitely are the ones that are behind this. Oh and also behind the Everton and Forest points deductions, as well as the sanctions that could be imposed on Leicester too. Yeah, definitely, for sure…

I think I could go on and on about reasons as to why this ‘red cartel’ stuff is nonsense. But I’ll keep today’s post to under 2,000 words, I think!

I’ve seen some City fans talking about the fact that Arsenal, Liverpool and Man United spent fortunes IN THE 90s and that is the reason that nobody else can reach the same levels as them. So stuff that happened 30 years ago is supposed to be impacting today? I’ll remind you again of bullet point two and three. The rules have been in place for this whole time and City have had no problem at all with the rules. But when it was found out that they were deliberately breaking the rules and then admitting the way in which they were trying to break those rules and circumnavigate them in the leaked emails from Der Spiegel surfaced. This ‘red cartel nonsense is nothing more than Man City and, in some sense some weird Newcastle and Villa fans, who are trying to talk themselves in to the fact that what City are doing is good for the game. Their self-interest is understandable, but the lack of self-awareness on what damage this stuff could do is quite staggering indeed.

I’m going to probably stop talking about this sort of stuff and just focus on us from tomorrow, as it’s clearly just a bit of mental online internet weirdos being weird in trying to justify what is obviously wrong. I’ve said my piece, I’m done, then it’s back to who we should be thinking about signing over the summer from tomorrow.

Have a good one peeps!