Der Spiegel Football Leaks revelations

Johnny J

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That's precisely the point - it's a question of scale. What City have done is knock the scale completely out of whack. Even Abramovich's buying of titles wasn't on the scale of Man City.

Plus there are other non-football, socio-economic factors at work, namely the fact that those with resources now have far more than previously. Whereas a Jack Walker only spent tens of millions to buy his title, now the billionaires are spending 100s of millions. Alan Shearer cost Blackburn £3.3 million in 1992 and that was a British transfer record. Here's the noodle-baker: adjusted for inflation, that comes to £6.74 million in today's money. When they again broke the transfer record two years later, they spent £5 million on Chris Sutton. Inflation adjusted price: £9.69 million. City have spent nearly half a billion pounds on players. That's more than the nominal GDP of six of the world's countries.

And they feed the explosion of prices in players, which then damages competition because it makes the other teams unable to compete unless they spend similar amounts. What if those teams don't have billionaires willing to fund them? It's that principle that prompted UEFA into setting up FFP in the first place (nominally, at least). What was Man City's response? Did they try and remain within the rules laid down to ensure that there was fair and open competition? No. They circumvented the rules so they could continue BUYING titles.

And far beyond all that, as @Marty rightly says, the money is blood-money. The UAE is amongst the most horrific states in the world and Man City's owner is the deputy Prime Minister. Their 'kafala' system turns hundreds of thousands of migrant workers into slaves. And this isn't some First World drudgery we're talking about. They have no protection. A migrant worker can be beaten by their employer (and often are). Now, you'd think that if they were abused, then they'd just up and leave, right? Nope. In order to leave their employer, they have to get permission from the employer. And if they run away, the authorities actively hunt them down. And when caught, guess where they're sent: back to their employers. Most have to surrender their passports to their employers at the beginning of their 'employment' and so they can't even return to their homelands. Employers routinely refuse to pay them, deny them any time off, any kind of medical care. And do you know what the real cherry on the cake is? The UAE supposedly 'abolished' slavery in 1963.

Some of the other treasures available in the UAE:
  • Flogging and stoning are still used as a form of punishment;
  • You can be executed for being an apostate from Islam;
  • Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslim men - the other way round is absolutely fine, of course, because the women are usually forced to convert to Islam, even though Islam directly forbids compelled conversion - gotta love that ol' time hypocrisy!
  • Homosexuality is illegal and is punishable by flogging, chemical castration or death. Castration, ffs!
  • During the Arab Spring, more than a hundred activists were jailed and tortured for seeking reform; torture methods included electrocution;
  • Amnesty International reported in 2016 that dozens, if not hundreds, of people, both Emirati and non-, have been forcibly disappeared for months without trial;
  • A UAE court ruled that a husband was allowed to beat his wife as long as he left no physical marks. What a wonderfully enlightened attitude! Because it's the bloodletting that makes wife-beating wrong;
  • Guess what happens to women who get raped: they get charged with committing adultery! These people take victim-blaming to a whole new level.
We may not like the Abramoviches, the Glazers or the Kroenkes of this world, we may quite rightly condemn them for their less than palatable business practises, but they are nothing, nothing compared to the absolute scum that oozes out of the oil-sheikhdoms* of which Al-Nahyan is one of the most egregious examples (although that's a bit like saying he's the smelliest turd)

What Al Nahyan wants to do is sportswash his and his family's abhorrent, repulsive, barbaric, suppurating pus-filled boil of a regime in the eyes of the world. And if football is even more corrupted along the way, then who cares, right? Cause there's always been money in football, right?

*Just for the record, my screed is directed at the ruling elites of these nations, not the general populations.
Good post and I entirely agree with your criticism of the regime. Ultimately it's all just money, but I do agree that the source in City's case is problematic, to massively understate things.
 

Lilbaz

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I'm sure that is part of it, but I honestly don't think he would have got the same media treatment if he was white. I'm not saying it's all deliberate, conscious racism. But I certainly detect latent bias.
Possibly not. But i also think we have to be careful of calling the media racist for how they've treated him. The whole bit about buying a house was on the back of him turning down £100k a week from liverpool to go to city and that was the image the media went with him, that he was greedy. The media create narratives to sell stories. It is unfair and a lot of the time distorted.

Would they have done the same if the player was white? Dunno.

Really don't know why other fans single him out and do feel for him and think he was right to highlight it. Hope they get off his back now.
 

rez9000

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Possibly not. But i also think we have to be careful of calling the media racist for how they've treated him. The whole bit about buying a house was on the back of him turning down £100k a week from liverpool to go to city and that was the image the media went with him, that he was greedy. The media create narratives to sell stories. It is unfair and a lot of the time distorted.

Would they have done the same if the player was white? Dunno.

Really don't know why other fans single him out and do feel for him and think he was right to highlight it. Hope they get off his back now.
You're demonstrating what so much of the media reportage and the commentary has missed, Baz - nuance.

There only seems to be two sides shouting loudest in the Sterling furore - that it's either totally racist or not at all racist. The truth is that there'll probably be both in there somewhere. There will be racist motivations, but Sterling himself also makes himself a target.

It's a bit like Scumbell. He makes every adversity he faces about race, ignoring his self-aggrandisement, his colossal ego and his sublime lack of ability to connect with other human beings.

Sterling may be a victim of those who can't stand to see the 'uppity black guy' getting paid. At the same time, he can justifiably be targeted for his greed and his ostentatious spending. And there will be lots of footballers of other skin colours who will also be guilty of that; for instance, the recent Daily Mail screed against Arse players partying included the likes of Guendouzi, Mkhitarian and Ozil (although must be said also included Aubameyang...).

It simply isn't as simple as one or the other.
 

Shadydan

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You're demonstrating what so much of the media reportage and the commentary has missed, Baz - nuance.

There only seems to be two sides shouting loudest in the Sterling furore - that it's either totally racist or not at all racist. The truth is that there'll probably be both in there somewhere. There will be racist motivations, but Sterling himself also makes himself a target.

It's a bit like Scumbell. He makes every adversity he faces about race, ignoring his self-aggrandisement, his colossal ego and his sublime lack of ability to connect with other human beings.

Sterling may be a victim of those who can't stand to see the 'uppity black guy' getting paid. At the same time, he can justifiably be targeted for his greed and his ostentatious spending. And there will be lots of footballers of other skin colours who will also be guilty of that; for instance, the recent Daily Mail screed against Arse players partying included the likes of Guendouzi, Mkhitarian and Ozil (although must be said also included Aubameyang...).

It simply isn't as simple as one or the other.
A lot of footballers can be accused of greed and spending money on flashy things so why single out Sterling?
 

allatsea

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A lot of footballers can be accused of greed and spending money on flashy things so why single out Sterling?
Jealousy has a lot to do with it and at the time support for Liverpool over Man City. But imo it is also racist but as been said perhaps unknowingly.
 

spursfan77

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Possibly not. But i also think we have to be careful of calling the media racist for how they've treated him. The whole bit about buying a house was on the back of him turning down £100k a week from liverpool to go to city and that was the image the media went with him, that he was greedy. The media create narratives to sell stories. It is unfair and a lot of the time distorted.

Would they have done the same if the player was white? Dunno.

Really don't know why other fans single him out and do feel for him and think he was right to highlight it. Hope they get off his back now.
He was a complete twat when we played them at Wembley this season. Moaning, falling over, standing in front of the ball so we couldn’t take freekicks. Generally being a bellend. I can see why opposition fans don’t like him. I certainly had no opinion of him until the Wembley game this season.
 

rez9000

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I'm asking you why is he the only one constantly targeted if others are guilty of the same thing?
Well, as I said, he's an easy target. And he makes himself an easy target. He comes across as greedy and a little obnoxious. That's grist for the mill for a journalist looking to generate headlines, even without a racial motivation. For those who do have a racial motivation, it presents a the perfect opportunity.

The thing to bear in mind is that he's not the only black player in the league. Why are there no stories about Dele's lifestyle? Or Sissoko, or Lukaku? Why are there not stories about a hundred others? Because they don't act large with their fortunes or positions.

And there have been plenty of stories about white players. What about John Terry screwing Wayne Bridge's girlfriend? Or Ryan Giggs' superinjunction? Or the Sam Allardyce sting? Or the Jamie Carragher spitting incident? Or the intermittent speculation about Gazza?
 

'O Zio

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That's precisely the point - it's a question of scale. What City have done is knock the scale completely out of whack. Even Abramovich's buying of titles wasn't on the scale of Man City.
Exactly. What City have done isn't just off the scale, it's like they've bought the scale and replaced it with a rigged scale of their own. It's just a whole new level that blows everyone else out of the water.
 

Shadydan

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Well, as I said, he's an easy target. And he makes himself an easy target. He comes across as greedy and a little obnoxious. That's grist for the mill for a journalist looking to generate headlines, even without a racial motivation. For those who do have a racial motivation, it presents a the perfect opportunity.

The thing to bear in mind is that he's not the only black player in the league. Why are there no stories about Dele's lifestyle? Or Sissoko, or Lukaku? Why are there not stories about a hundred others? Because they don't act large with their fortunes or positions.

And there have been plenty of stories about white players. What about John Terry screwing Wayne Bridge's girlfriend? Or Ryan Giggs' superinjunction? Or the Sam Allardyce sting? Or the Jamie Carragher spitting incident? Or the intermittent speculation about Gazza?
Do you have any evidence of him coming across greedy and obnoxious, I'm really interested to know where this comes from?

Give me an example of Sterling acting 'large' with his money?

Yes there have been plenty of stories about white players as well but that's not the point is it? We're talking about a barrage of abuse Sterling has been given unwarranted by the media that have clear racial undertones. Until we see consistent baiting by the press for those same players you mentioned then I don't think we can compare:

 
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rez9000

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Do you have any evidence of him coming across greedy and obnoxious, I'm really interested to know where this comes from?
The greed part of it comes from how he left Liverpool for Man City.

The obnoxious side is stuff like being arrested, twice, for assaulting his girlfriend (although he was never charged), turning up late for England's training camp at the World Cup.

But, for me, what leaves the worst taste in my mouth is the recent one of him accusing the media of 'fuelling racism'. I don't, for one second, want to defend the sewer pipe that is our modern day media, but his statement was so lacking in nuance, so naive and downright hypocritical that it just seems like race-card-playing.

If I could speak to him directly, I'd say: "You're concerned about racism, Raheem? Really? What have you done to fight it? What have you done to educate people about it? How have you used the platform your fame brings you to highlight the problems that people of colour face in this country and around the world? Or is racism only a problem when it's directed against you and you alone? And if you're so concerned with racism, how can you bring yourself to wear the shirt of a club owned by a ruler of one of the most repressive and oppressive regimes on Earth?"
 

Johnny J

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The greed part of it comes from how he left Liverpool for Man City.

The obnoxious side is stuff like being arrested, twice, for assaulting his girlfriend (although he was never charged), turning up late for England's training camp at the World Cup.

But, for me, what leaves the worst taste in my mouth is the recent one of him accusing the media of 'fuelling racism'. I don't, for one second, want to defend the sewer pipe that is our modern day media, but his statement was so lacking in nuance, so naive and downright hypocritical that it just seems like race-card-playing.

If I could speak to him directly, I'd say: "You're concerned about racism, Raheem? Really? What have you done to fight it? What have you done to educate people about it? How have you used the platform your fame brings you to highlight the problems that people of colour face in this country and around the world? Or is racism only a problem when it's directed against you and you alone? And if you're so concerned with racism, how can you bring yourself to wear the shirt of a club owned by a ruler of one of the most repressive and oppressive regimes on Earth?"
As a discrimination lawyer, I actually found his statement to be very nuanced and sophisticated. The mass media absolutely does perpetuate and fuel stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes.

The idea that Sterling has somehow "made himself a target" is victim-blaming.

Just as one example, Alonso (Chelsea's) was literally responsible for getting someone killed while drink-driving, and somehow managed to money his way out of it. Can you imagine what would happen if Sterling did the same thing?

Now compare the media treatment of Sterling - someone whose "crimes" include moving to a different club and getting a tattoo - with Alonso.

And to answer your last point: it's not the job of the victimized to solve the problem of their being victimized. But he IS doing something about it by speaking up. And it's prompted a healthy discussion and not a little introspection in the mass media, which can be only a good thing.
 

rez9000

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As a discrimination lawyer, I actually found his statement to be very nuanced and sophisticated. The mass media absolutely does perpetuate and fuel stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes.

The idea that Sterling has somehow "made himself a target" is victim-blaming.

Just as one example, Alonso (Chelsea's) was literally responsible for getting someone killed while drink-driving, and somehow managed to money his way out of it. Can you imagine what would happen if Sterling did the same thing?

Now compare the media treatment of Sterling - someone whose "crimes" include moving to a different club and getting a tattoo - with Alonso.
The charge of "victim-blaming" is in the same mould as playing the race card - easy to say, difficult to defend against, because it requires no evidence and elicits an emotional response, which is exactly what Sterling has done - played the race card. Where's the evidence that he is being targeted just for being black?

As for Alonso, a double-standard does not negate the actions of any individual. Plus which, a simple Google search shows plenty of media attention at the time. And let's hypothetically say that there was no media attention, just because he wasn't scrutinised or criticised for it, does that mean that we absolve Sterling of any criticism or scrutiny? And if Alonso wasn't scrutinised or criticised, is it your contention that because Alonso wasn't scrutinised but Sterling has been, the scrutiny is automatically racially motivated? Is that the only difference between Sterling and Alonso - their skin colour?

I just did a very quick and dirty check and I counted around 170 black players in the Premier League. Why aren't they all being targeted by the media? Why aren't Sadio Mane, Moussa Sissoko, N'Golo Kante, Alex Iwobi, Marcus Rashford, Willy Boly, Idrissa Gueye, Pedro Obiang, Younes Kaboul, Tyrone Mings, Wes Morgan, Yves Bissouma, Jamaal Lascelles, Patrick van Aanholt, Sol Bamba, Ryan Bertrand, Aaron Lennon, Rajiv van La Parra, or Ryan Sessegnon constantly being dragged through the papers?

It's only victim blaming if a single constituency is denied something, but the sports pages are often filled with stories about white players' antics too as I outlined in my post above. So when a white player's antics are exposed, that's perfectly OK, but when a black player's is scrutinised it's racist? Tell me, how would a judge respond to that contention?

Also, tell me this: when the papers were full of the Jermain Defoe-Bradley Lowery stories where both he and the child were met with sympathy and warmth, was that some kind of anti-racism? What, did the media think, 'you know, maybe we've been a bit too racist the last few months, let's have a bit of anti-racism to water it down'?

Also, what about when Aaron Lennon had his struggle with his mental health? Where were the racist headlines in the sports pages about how he deserved what he was going through instead of the media doing what it's supposed to do: report it neutrally.

It's very easy to scream 'racism' and it's bandied about far too often these days. So much so, that real entrenched and engrained racism and other prejudices flourish because people with that mindset now seek each other out form echo chambers where their hatred feeds on itself. Know-nothings like Sterling shouldn't be given the oxygen of publicity for their childish simplistic views. John Barnes' take was the adult version - he is the type we should be listening to, not the likes of Sterling.
 

rez9000

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Johnny said:
And to answer your last point: it's not the job of the victimized to solve the problem of their being victimized. But he IS doing something about it by speaking up. And it's prompted a healthy discussion and not a little introspection in the mass media, which can be only a good thing.
To answer your additional statement - speaking up about something that only affects you only when it affects you is not 'doing something about it'. Show me precisely what he has done to combat racism and when he's done so when it hasn't affected him directly.
 

Shadydan

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The greed part of it comes from how he left Liverpool for Man City.
For leaving to go to a better club who will pay more? That's not greed it's human nature.

The obnoxious side is stuff like being arrested, twice, for assaulting his girlfriend (although he was never charged), turning up late for England's training camp at the World Cup.
Right...but he wasn't charged for that incident therefore he isn't a criminal so I have no idea how why this is relevant?

Oh turned up late for training at the World Cup once okay yeah so I guess that justifies the relentless media campaign and bullying of him then, bearing in mind the media BS about his private life was alive and kicking well before this incident I think we can rule this one out, just like the tattoo thing. There's been an agenda against him for a good few years now, check the Twitter thread I posted in response to your previous post.

But, for me, what leaves the worst taste in my mouth is the recent one of him accusing the media of 'fuelling racism'. I don't, for one second, want to defend the sewer pipe that is our modern day media, but his statement was so lacking in nuance, so naive and downright hypocritical that it just seems like race-card-playing.
He's accusing the media for fueling racism because the media are fueling racism. Why isn't he allowed to speak out against constant abuse that he's had to endure over the last 3 years or so. He got racially abused against Chelsea last week, not for the first time in his career and he feels that we need to tackle the root of the problem, is he not allowed to do that?

By highlighting it last week he's made everyone aware and thus we're all talking about it.

If I could speak to him directly, I'd say: "You're concerned about racism, Raheem? Really? What have you done to fight it? What have you done to educate people about it? How have you used the platform your fame brings you to highlight the problems that people of colour face in this country and around the world? Or is racism only a problem when it's directed against you and you alone? And if you're so concerned with racism, how can you bring yourself to wear the shirt of a club owned by a ruler of one of the most repressive and oppressive regimes on Earth?"
He's a footballer not a public speaker and him speaking out against his employers isn't really a realistic scenario is it?
 

rez9000

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Prove to me that they're not.
a) you can't prove a negative; and b) you made the assertion. It's not my place to disprove your assertion if you haven't provided any empirical evidence backing it up. If you're so certain, you have to be able to prove it with empirical evidence. So prove it.
 

Johnny J

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The charge of "victim-blaming" is in the same mould as playing the race card - easy to say, difficult to defend against, because it requires no evidence and elicits an emotional response, which is exactly what Sterling has done - played the race card. Where's the evidence that he is being targeted just for being black?

As for Alonso, a double-standard does not negate the actions of any individual. Plus which, a simple Google search shows plenty of media attention at the time. And let's hypothetically say that there was no media attention, just because he wasn't scrutinised or criticised for it, does that mean that we absolve Sterling of any criticism or scrutiny? And if Alonso wasn't scrutinised or criticised, is it your contention that because Alonso wasn't scrutinised but Sterling has been, the scrutiny is automatically racially motivated? Is that the only difference between Sterling and Alonso - their skin colour?

I just did a very quick and dirty check and I counted around 170 black players in the Premier League. Why aren't they all being targeted by the media? Why aren't Sadio Mane, Moussa Sissoko, N'Golo Kante, Alex Iwobi, Marcus Rashford, Willy Boly, Idrissa Gueye, Pedro Obiang, Younes Kaboul, Tyrone Mings, Wes Morgan, Yves Bissouma, Jamaal Lascelles, Patrick van Aanholt, Sol Bamba, Ryan Bertrand, Aaron Lennon, Rajiv van La Parra, or Ryan Sessegnon constantly being dragged through the papers?

It's only victim blaming if a single constituency is denied something, but the sports pages are often filled with stories about white players' antics too as I outlined in my post above. So when a white player's antics are exposed, that's perfectly OK, but when a black player's is scrutinised it's racist? Tell me, how would a judge respond to that contention?

Also, tell me this: when the papers were full of the Jermain Defoe-Bradley Lowery stories where both he and the child were met with sympathy and warmth, was that some kind of anti-racism? What, did the media think, 'you know, maybe we've been a bit too racist the last few months, let's have a bit of anti-racism to water it down'?

Also, what about when Aaron Lennon had his struggle with his mental health? Where were the racist headlines in the sports pages about how he deserved what he was going through instead of the media doing what it's supposed to do: report it neutrally.

It's very easy to scream 'racism' and it's bandied about far too often these days. So much so, that real entrenched and engrained racism and other prejudices flourish because people with that mindset now seek each other out form echo chambers where their hatred feeds on itself. Know-nothings like Sterling shouldn't be given the oxygen of publicity for their childish simplistic views. John Barnes' take was the adult version - he is the type we should be listening to, not the likes of Sterling.
I'm sure you know this, but discrimination encompasses a wide spectrum of behaviors, express and implied, conscious and subconscious.

Racist chanting at a football match is express racism. You can easily identify it, though solving it is another matter.

Often however, racism is not overt or express. In these cases, there isn't a chant or a thrown banana or whatever you can point at as evidence. It's (much) more subtle, and the evidence is indirect. I see this all the time in employment situations. Relatively few people directly discriminate on the grounds of race, in employment. Far more discriminate indirectly, and often sub consciously. The evidence is built up from the relevant circumstances, including how other people without the protected characteristic in question - here, race - are treated.

I hate the term "playing the X card", which is often used to disempower people with genuine grievances, though I am not suggesting you're doing so here. He feels he is being treated unfairly due to his race. He might be wrong, he might be right, but he is entitled to his feelings, and articulating them is his right.

The fact that you can't find evidence that certain other footballers aren't suffering racist bias from the press doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Without wanting to sound rude, you appear to have a naive and simplistic view of racism.
 
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