Monday, 3 October 2016

The Publication Of Our Book - FOOTBALL IS FIXED


Me, A Whistleblower?: Hacking A Spy Through The Maze Of Football Espionage 

Our first book will be published as an e-book in February 2017 and in hardback in August 2017.

In the meantime, we have redacted 1,388 of our historical articles leaving online only 13 posts online.

But we will be introducing a weekly Podcast in the lead up to publication and, on November 11th 2016 (the tenth anniversary of this blog), we'll make a chapter of the book FOOTBALL IS FIXED freely available as an introductory offer.

Watch this space for snippets and pre-ordering details.

Terry Steans - Former Head of Global Investigations at FIFA:

"I worked inside FIFA investigating match fixing and at the ICSS before seeing the light.

"I've watched  the growth of Sportradar ever since Chris Eaton the former head of FIFA security started to push them into football associations instead of EWS but that's another story.

"I could never reconcile how my fixing sources were telling me matches were fixed and yet Sportradar saw nothing. Moreover could not share information with us due to client confidentiality. 

"Keep going... Expose the lot of them... Fixing is not going away and the corruption just grows."

Reach us via Contact Form at Match Fixing Analytics
Cannot promise replies.
And follow us, if it becomes you, @FootballIsFixed on Twitter

© Football is Fixed 2006-2016

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

So who should be the next president of the football family that is FIFA?

The football world's governing body is enduring the worst crisis of its 111 year history and yet none of the five candidates to replace Sepp Blatter is likely to save the sport from the disaster capitalism that underpins the body.

Bribes, kickbacks, matchfixing, ticket sale scams, cash for votes, non-independence of committees, coercion, fake proxy voters, opaque accounting practices, money laundering, mafiosi realpolitik and criminal structures will continue to dominate FIFA whoever wins the election...
... particularly if the reforms to be voted upon prior to the presidential election are diluted any further than is already the case.

When businesses dissolve into corruption and criminality, they are liquidated but FIFA's bigwigs still think that they might reform their family from within.
But they have already lost the fans with 70% of global supporters saying that they no longer trust the organisation.

If you have read 'The Secret World of FIFA' or 'The Dirty Game' by Andrew Jennings, it is astonishing that this figure isn't nearer to 100%.

Jennings concluded his recent BBC Panorama programme by referring to Sepp Blatter: "I told you he was a crook."
And he is.

And yet many national football associations around the world are contacting Blatter asking him which candidate they should support as, like all former bosses of crime families, Mr Blatter possesses a lot of information about a lot of people.

First we will take a look at the inadequacies of the five candidates, then we address the limitations created by essentially all primary bosses of global football before finishing by offering some solutions and a suggestion for who should really run FIFA in the period ahead.

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa

When not starring as Dr Strangelove or identifying Bahrain pro-democracy footballers for torture, the good sheikh is robbing £1.6 million of FIFA sports development monies to fund his unsuccessful campaign to be elected onto the FIFA Executive Committee in 2009.
Sheikh Salman wants voters to ignore the views of Human Rights Watch and to turn a blind eye to his exceptionally close relationship with Sepp Blatter - he once wrote to Blatter: "Dear Sepp... rest assured, the Asian football family stands firmly behind you."
Salman has no interest in the FIFA reform process, even avoiding travelling to Malaysia to hear his own confederation promote such plans.
Salman claims, however, that he wishes to bring "moral, ethical" change to FIFA and, to this end, he has signed Amnesty International's human rights pledge, albeit after amending references to Russia, Qatar, women and LGBT groups - "we must not be selective when it concerns human rights" he blurted after this striking example of being selective when it concerns human rights.
There are strong rumours that Sheikh Salman is working in cahoots with another candidate, Gianni Infantino, to divide the roles of president and general secretary between them. As Salman is Blatter-lite and Infantino is Platini-lite, this is an interesting version of the word "change".
Salman is 4/7 favourite and most bookmakers are refusing to price him up as they perceive his election to be a certainty.

Gianni Infantino

Has worked closely alongside Platini during the Frenchmen's mismanagement of UEFA and only stood for election once his former boss was banned from the game for accepting a highly dubious payment of £1.3 million in 2011 for work undertaken for Sepp Blatter between 1999 and 2002.
There was no invoice for this 'work'.
Infantino is offering a systemic bribe to solicit votes by offering $5 million per year in development grants to all 209 national associations. FIFA's current reserves are $1.5 billion so this annual payment suggests a failure to understand the structure of FIFA finances.
Additionally, he stands accused of failing to address the matchfixing scandals in Turkey and Greece which, no doubt, has helped to gain the support of the English and Scottish FAs who also wish for their systemic matchfixing corruptions to remain hidden in perpetuity.
Journalist Sid Lowe: "Matchfixing is the ultimate crime in football. If it is not a competition, it is nothing."
To further attract voters, Infantino has suggested that the World Cup Finals be extended to 40 teams and be spread across whole regions.
Born just down the road from Sepp Blatter, Infantino has refused to rule out making Sepp Blatter an honorary life president of FIFA if his systemic bribes win the day.
This caring Swiss gentleman is 15/8 second favourite.

Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali bin Hussein and Tokyo Sexwale

Surprisingly not an underground rap band straight outta Compton but the other three candidates for the FIFA presidency.
Champagne thinks that "history will judge Sepp kindly" which is only to be expected as Champagne was one of Blatter's rottweilers beginning from his election as president in 1998.
More credibly he states that Infantino's programme "is smoke and mirrors".

Sexwale has slid from being one of the heroes of the ANC anti-apartheid movement to a monstrosity who received $210 million in kickbacks during a 2007 mining deal out of which he generously purchased himself a $45 million tropical island where, presumably, he buried the other £165 million.
Understanding that he will not win, Sexwale shouts "I am open to alliances. I am open to negotiations", before leaving his bank account details for all to see.

Prince Ali is the most reform-minded candidate and consequently has no chance of winning.
Excellently, he landed in Switzerland for the vote with 209 transparent voting boxes which he hoped would serve as both a real and a representative aid to democracy. But FIFA and the CAS, both disliking the very thought of transparency, squashed that idea and the 209 booths will stand outside the congress hall as a surreal reminder of what might have been.
Ali has also called for the presidential election to be cancelled over numerous irregularities and has asked that additional "independent scrutineers" be employed to prevent shenanigans.
This latter call was also addressed separately by Champagne who popped his cork when he discovered that 20 extra passes for "observers" from UEFA and 7 from the Asian Football Confederation will "swamp the congress hall with confederation employees able to access" voters in a "gross violation of the principle of fairness."
That's the FIFA Family!

The FIFA Holistic

Andrew Jennings has shown that FIFA essentially functions as a mafia group (much like the rest of global football).
Currently 27 FIFA executives past and present have been indicted by Swiss and US authorities and there are an indeterminate number of national association representatives who won't be attending the presidential vote for fear that they too might be arrested in dawn raids at the Baur au Lac hotel and who are sending proxies to vote in their place.
The reform process is already a shadow of that intended and the vote on Friday will make the whole kaboodle a marketing exercise promising self-regulation and self-separation of powers and other fatuous Sicilian constructs.
81% of national football associations have no publicly available accounts according to Transparency International, that is the same Transparency International who were engaged by Blatter in 2011 but who cut their ties months later when it became obvious that FIFA had no intention of implementing any reforms.
Moreover, a coalition of NGOs that wrote to all five candidates concluded that not one of them had pledged adequate steps to prevent human rights abuses and corruption.
And, just ahead of the election, Blatter and Platini, partners in crime since they stood together at Blatter's inauguration in 1998, had their 8 year bans from football reduced to 6 years by a FIFA appeal committee for their "services to football" - what "services" exactly?.
The investigating arm of the ethics committee had wanted the 8 year bans increased to life for corruption.

And the voting process itself is primed for corruption.
It would be feasible in the age of space probe travel to the Kuiper Belt at the outer extremities of the Solar System for each national association to have a pad with A, B, C, D, E upon it and for voting to be instantaneous and simultaneous.
But by creating a time delay of several hours between the voting of Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, FIFA establishes the opportunity for countries later in the alphabet to sell their vote to the highest bidder, because if anybody still believes that a mafia body engages in secrecy of voting totals then they have missed the whole point of Havelange and Blatter.

This incentive for time-based corruption is even more persuasive in a tight race as at this FIFA Extraordinary Congress.

FIFA is systemically rotten...
... but the decay spreads further down the football hierarchy.
Blatter, Platini, Webb, Warner, Teixeira, Valcke, bin Hammam, Havelange, Niersbach and Blazer might be gone but a whole host of other degenerates remain.

Take Britain.
Geoff Thomson at the very least has offered no obstruction to corruption during his time as vice president at FIFA; Greg Dyke pledged support for Platini when it was known that the Frenchman was damaged in transit before transferring his allegiance to Infantino who is similarly marred by his close linkage to Platini; Stewart Regan, who long ago lost any association with reality, has also dragged Scottish FA support behind Infantino, no doubt being concerned that UEFA knowledge of his historical mismanagements of the Scottish game might otherwise surface; there are numerous examples of England undertaking matchfixing both under the current and previous management (including matches at World Cup Finals); Roy Hodgson has been shown to show bias in selection towards certain football agents in a mutually beneficial circularity of minimal meritocracy; Lord Coe of WADA was hilariously appointed as the first chairperson of the FIFA ethics commission in 2006 before moving on to ruin athletics; while the English bleating over the integrity of World Cup bidding processes is somewhat undermined by the England bid team (fronted by David Cameron, Prince William. Lord Coe and David Beckham) considering the use of bribes to win rights to the FIFA 2018 World Cup.

So Who Should Be Elected FIFA President?

When Andrew Jennings outed the attempt by the English bid team to offer bribes to FIFA Exco members, national treasure Gary Lineker chastised him for potentially ruining England's chances.

When the Swiss and US authorities swooped on Zurich to arrest FIFA executives last May, Andrew Jennings should have been all over the British media following his two decades of bringing a global mafia family to book. But British football is absolutely corrupt and Jennings knows that it is so and instead we were presented with Greg Dyke who wouldn't understand integrity if it came over and sat on his lap.

According to Jennings, the only media in Britain that have effectively covered the FIFA crime story have been BBC Panorama and the Sunday Times.
We agree.

And spreading the net further to global football bosses, there are no safe pairs of hands to repair football from within the national associations.

So, the obvious solution is this - cancel the presidential election and place Andrew Jennings in control of FIFA with the mandate to bring in people to clean up the sport and return it to the fans.
Nobody understands the ills of the global game better than Jennings and he has stood up to threats for 20 years in order to bring these crime bosses to book.
He has shown that he is a man of the utmost integrity and who better to save football from the mob?
Furthermore, it would allow him to continue his forensic exploration of past crimes at FIFA with access to the documents that are hidden away in safes in the FIFA archives.

The other option is merely to transfer power to a new set of mafia men who will raid the coffers of the game for their own proprietary financial gain.
And, anyway, to proceed with the election in the current atmosphere is a high risk strategy as both the Swiss and the US authorities have indicated that their enquiries into past crimes are continuing.


Reach us via Contact Form at Match Fixing Analytics
Cannot promise replies.
And follow us, if it becomes you, @FootballIsFixed on Twitter

© Football is Fixed 2006-2016

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Off The Radar

                         Descending Into The Depths Of The Dark Pools Of Football Trading

Of the 10 Premier League matches this midweek, 8 are matchfixing events.

Now you might think that Sportradar (who gather 'intelligence' on suspect betting markets), the FA Sport Betting Integrity Forum, Federbet, Early Warning Systems GmbH (who claim to spot evidence of matchfixing), Europol/Interpol and members of the UK mainstream media (some of whom have first hand knowledge of these rigged events) would be disclosing this mass corruption to the fans.

Dream on.

And to understand why...
... read on.

Firstly, let's take a glance at the bodies allegedly addressing matchfixing and money laundering in world sport.

1. Federbet - set up by bookmakers for bookmakers. Their biggest scoop this season was the detection that Sporting Clube de Portugal versus Skenderbeu in the Europa League (and three other of the Albanian team's games) were fixed. As virtually every Skenderbeu match is corrupted, this hardly adds to the public's knowledge of the vice of matchfixing. This selective disclosure suggests that matchfixing higher up the food chain is only disclosed to Federbet's partners or that Federbet are entirely incompetent - either logic undermines their raison d'être.
ESSA Sports Betting Integrity (sic) are a similarly pointless grouping of European bookmakers working together to enhance market control.

2. The FA's Sport Betting Integrity Forum - the futility of this talking shop is proved by some of the membership. The British Horse Racing Authority (conspicuous money impacts on outcome in UK racing); the England and Wales Cricket Board (matchfixing in English cricket dominated by Dubai/Mumbai mafia); the FA (not fit for purpose as shown in numerous previous posts); the Tennis Integrity Unit (see Djokovic revelations below); 5 bookmakers (most of whom allow insider trading); Association British Bookmakers; Association of Chief Police Officers, Police Scotland and National Crime Agency (none of whom have disclosed any of the huge body of fixed football matches in the Barclay's Premier League, the Skybet Championship or the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League).
FASBIF makes the FCA look robust!

3. Europol/Interpol - Ronald Noble, former Secretary-General of Interpol, is exposed in Andrew Jennings' book 'The Dirty Game' as, at the very least, a facilitator of the burying of bad matchfixing news relating to FIFA. Additionally, Europol direct any enquiries regarding matchfixing back to the local police authorities, like any Albanian citizen is going to go to Tirana police to report Skenderbeu games!

4. Early Warning Systems - established by that body of colossal integrity FIFA to expose matchfixing, yet somehow have failed to spot the three World Cup matchfixing events disclosed by Jennings and the dozens of events (including 5 at World Cup Finals in Brazil 2014) disclosed by Football is Fixed.

5. Sportradar - claim to reach deep into the underground markets but merely skim the surface of the Dark Pools that dominate matchfixing globally. When Sportradar detect a suspect event, do they go to the media? No fucking chance. In effect, they sell their analyses (sic) back to the sports betting industry so that markets might be made more efficient and mugs might be mugged - the suspect markets aren't suspended but traded aggressively with patsies being unaware that their leisure punt is a certain loser. No improvement in integrity. No support for the punter.
One of Sportradar's marketing slogans is "realise opportunities - everywhere" which says it all really.

Let's take tennis as an example.

On the eve of the ITF Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne last month Novak Djokovic disclosed that he had been offered considerable money to throw a tennis game earlier in his career.
The ITF and other tennis boards quickly moved to state that there had been no suppression of evidence of historical matchfixing in tennis

But Australia's anti-doping chief Richard Ings has claimed that when he worked at the ATP tennis organisation, the body buried a report disclosing extensive matchfixing in the sport over a decade ago.

Four Corners, an Australian investigative journalist group, disclosed on ABC website yesterday that more than 40 tennis matches were flagged as matchfixing events in just three months last year
Furthermore, 350 tennis professionals are on a blacklist of matchfixers.

One of Sportradar's partners is the ITF.

So when Sportradar detect corruption, one of the following scenarios is played out:

a) Sportradar inform governing body who then take no action or,

b) Sportradar inform bookmakers who trade the information and adjust their internal markets but make no public disclosure or,

c) Sportradar inform both governing bodies and bookmakers and all enjoy privileged inside information at the public's expense with no release of the corruption to the press.

Whichever of these constructs is the reality, Sportradar are exposed as charlatans who are a problematical input to integrity in world sport.

As they scream on their website - ITF and Sportradar: A Unique Partnership.

Additionally, virtually all tennis coaches in the UK have contracts with British territory bookmakers that enables private information regarding player form, injury, psychological state, fitness to be shared for mutual gain.

Yet players themselves and family members/friends have to sign non-disclosure contracts to prevent them from utilising private information in the betting markets!

Top-down insider trading is allowed...
... bottom up trading is banned.

Which is where we come in - we copwatch.

We are trusted as purveyors of integrity which means that we are given highly privileged market information at least two levels deeper than the stratum reached by Sportradar in the Dark Pool trading platforms that dominate global betting markets.

There is also extensive chapeau blanc detection and intercept abilities in our network.

Hence the eight Premier League matches that are matchfixing events this midweek.

We know of only one other British entity that has similar access to these markets.

Yet this deeper access cannot be used as an excuse for the inaction of the bodies detailed above - although they might not witness the specific £### million trades, the market structure means that this information floats to the surface of the public markets where, with bespoke analysis, it is detectable.
Furthermore, many bookmakers operate in both the Dark Pools and in the public markets and are fully aware of the matchfixing.

Think of this when at your Premier League ground of choice tonight and tomorrow evening.

NB: We released our information relating to Dark Pool betting patterns and our other modes of extracting insider trading information 5 hours prior to the Tuesday Premier League kick-off's to engender a response in the market from the matchfixing operations. And a response is exactly what we got! If we had delayed our post to kick off (the original intention), we would not have garnered this extra information.
And the matchfixing that we exposed?
All eight matches were indeed matchfixing events.
These criminalised people are not very bright.

© Football is Fixed 2006-2016

Monday, 23 November 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then FOOTBALL IS FIXED as is everything within it,
But - no despair - for we, the fans, are legion, my son.

Reach us via Contact Form at Match Fixing Analytics
Cannot promise replies.
And follow us, if it becomes you, @FootballIsFixed on Twitter

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Piketty Paradigm - A Progressive Global Tax On Capital

Thomas Piketty: "... wealth accumulated in the past grows more rapidly than output and wages. This inequality expresses a fundamental logical contradiction. The entrepreneur inevitably tends to become a rentier, more and more dominant over those who own nothing but their labour. Once constituted, capital reproduces itself faster than output increases. The past devours the future. The consequences for the long-term dynamics of wealth distribution are potentially terrifying, especially when one adds that the size of the initial stake and that the divergence in the wealth distribution is occurring on a global scale."

While virtually all advocacy, transparency and tax avoidance entities focus on offshore financial centres, money laundering and current abuses of the template of capital, the real wealth inequalities exist on the basis of old money and all those forgotten crimes.
For privately educated individuals enhancing their existences via private income in their non-meritocratic NGOs, the critical nature of historical wealth and inheritance is carefully ignored.

Josiah Wedgwood: " Political democracies that don't democratise their economic systems are inherently unstable."

Ponzi Capitalism

Capitalism has been a Ponzi scheme throughout its history - political scientists from Marx to Piketty have understood this fact.

Since 1700, the average annual rate of growth of the global economy has been 0.8%...
... and the average annual demographic growth in global population has been 0.8%.

Growth in income is expected to fall further throughout the 21st Century as the birth rate declines in lockstep across the world whilst, in parallel, systemic issues relating to planetary climatic stability move into primary focus.

The Ponzi scheme is running towards its precipitous conclusion and all that remains is the opportunity for imposition of redistributive policies to prevent the same fools from performing the same self-harming in a world of post-capitalist bliss.

There is only one solution to the first stage of the deconstruction of late capitalism - a markedly progressive tax on the largest fortunes worldwide (targeting both capital and income) to both prevent inheritance trumping meritocracy and to enforce an efficient use of capital for global rather than proprietary benefit.
Additionally, with such a progressive tax in place, the incentive to amass huge fortunes in the first place would be undermined.

Taxing Capital Progressively

Piketty: "... most countries' taxes have (or will soon) become regressive at the top of the income hierarchy. For example, a detailed study of French taxes in 2010, which looked at all forms of taxation, found that the overall rate of taxation... broke down as follows. The bottom 50% of the income distribution pay a rate of 40-45%; the next 40% pay 45-50%; but the top 5% and even more the top 1% pay lower rates, with the top 0.1% paying only 35%."

The annual global returns on capital are conservatively estimated at 5-6% while income growth is expected to struggle above zero this century.
Piketty: "Note, too, that inequality of income from capital may be greater than inequality of capital itself, if individuals with large fortunes somehow manage to obtain a higher return than those with modest to middling fortunes... Whenever the rate of return on capital is significantly and durably higher than the growth rate of the economy, it is all but inevitable that inheritance (the fortunes accumulated in the past) predominate over savings (wealth accumulated in the present)."

"... the ideal policy for avoiding an endless inegalitarian spiral and regaining control over the dynamics of accumulation would be a progressive global tax on capital. Such a tax would also have another virtue: it would expose wealth to democratic scrutiny, which is a necessary condition for effective regulation of the banking system and international capital flows."

"There are two distinct justifications of a capital tax; a contributive justification and an incentive justification... The primary purpose of the capital tax is not to finance the social state but to regulate capitalism."

The conventional focus on taxing income and targeting money laundering is merely a part of the jigsaw of fiscal justice - much more importantly, capital needs to be progressively taxed to avoid the inefficient use of such capital, the excessive returns generated by such non-meritocratic wealth and an end to austerity-based matrices of social injustice.

The most farcical argument against progressive income and capital taxes is that the elite would simply move to more tax-friendly locations. With global tax co-operation and an end to the opacity of offshore financial centres, there would moreover be nowhere left to slink off to.
Anyway - Piketty: "The idea that all US executives would immediately flee to Canada and Mexico and nobody with the competence or motivation to run the economy would remain is not only contradicted by historical experience and by all the firm level data at our disposal; it is also devoid of common sense."

Income Inequality - The Root Of All Financial Crises

National wealth has become markedly privatised in the last four decades.

Furthermore, as Piketty states, "... given the fact that the share of the upper decile in US national income has peaked twice in the past century, once in 1928 (on the eve of the Depression of 1929) and again in 2007 (on the eve of the recession of 2008, the question [does increasing inequality cause financial crisis?] is difficult to avoid."

Currently in the US, incomes are as unequally distributed as has ever been observed anywhere anytime - the top 1% gain 35% of income while the bottom 50% of population earn just 25%.

Piketty: "Effective tax rates (expressed as a percentage of economic income) are extremely low at the top of the wealth hierarchy, which is problematic, since it accentuates the explosive dynamics of wealth inequality, especially when larger fortunes are able to garner larger returns... The goal is first to stop the indefinite increase in the inequality of wealth, and second to impose effective regulation on the financial and banking system to avoid crises."

There are only three tools for getting rid of the current levels of debt in the developed nations - taxes on capital, inflation and austerity.
Austerity isn't a prerequisite, it is an option.

The privatisation of wealth in the last 40 years has seen huge rewards for "super-managers" - such rewards are not commensurate with performance.
Piketty: "... there is no statistically significant relationship between the decrease in top marginal tax rates and the rate of productivity growth in the developed countries since 1980. Concretely, the crucial fact is that the rate of per capita GDP growth has been almost exactly the same in all the rich countries since 1980. In contrast to what many people in Britain and the United States believe, the true figures on growth ... show that Britain and the United States have not grown any more rapidly since 1980 than Germany, France, Japan, Denmark or Sweden."

Of course, the mainstream media, governments and the financial system en masse don't want any focus on private wealth with their collective attempts to get us to pay attention to immediate income rather than long-term capital wealth. But their myopia is complete in that all Ponzi's possess the seeds of their own destruction.
Piketty: "... capitalists do indeed dig their own grave: either they tear each other apart in a desperate attempt to combat the falling rate of profit..., or they force labour to accept a smaller and smaller share of national income, which ultimately leads to a proletarian revolution and general expropriation. In any event capital is undermined by its internal contradictions."
Stiglitz has made a similar point.

Meanwhile, in a parallel sociopathic world, George Osborne increased the inheritance tax threshold this month.

Piketty: "To regulate the globalised patrimonial capitalism of the twenty-first century, rethinking the twentieth-century fiscal and social model and adapting it to today's world will not be enough. To be sure, appropriate updating of the last century's social-democratic and fiscal-liberal program is essential... But if democracy is to regain control the globalised financial capitalism of this century, it must also invent new tools, adapted to today's challenges. The ideal tool would be a progressive global tax on capital, coupled with a very high level of international financial transparency. Such a tax would provide a way to avoid an endless inegalitarian spiral and to control the worrisome dynamics of global capital concentration."

© Football is Fixed 2006-2015

Follow us on Twitter @FootballisFixed

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Football For Rent

Chilean journalist Juan Cristóbal Guarello: "Interpol has arrested them [FIFA executives] for doing what they always did without reproach: behaving as a bigwig in the world of professional football. All the allegations that they face (fraud and money laundering) are everyday elements of their activity. That is to say they are an essential part of football for rent."

Global football 'elites' act as a fragmented cartel to solicit proprietary gains alongside the rape of the game.
Football is prostituted under the supervision of the institutional, bookmaking, media, agent and regulatory captures that dominate the systemic structure of the corruption. 

Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed the evolving scandal regarding Girona's promotion-securing 3-0 win at already-promoted Real Betis on the last day of Spain's Segunda Liga season, and Serie B's latest matchfixing scandal involving Catania (who allegedly avoided relegation by fixing a number of games) and Messina. These series of fraudulent events involved half of the players and both club presidents. In total 7 people have been arrested and police say further raids will be carried out in Roma, Catania, Chieti and Campobasso.
These outrages are layered on the surface of the continuing crises involving matchfixing in each country with 41 people still under investigation over the corrupting of a La Liga relegation battle and the latest lower league matchfixing scandal in Italy (explained in our post

Fortunately, Spain has Javier Tebas and Italy has a functioning judiciary (and associated arms of the state)...
... and FIFA has the Swiss and US authorities.
England has nothing.

Richard Scudamore - the well-remunerated Premier League overseer of the renting out of his product and overlooker of murk.

Bookmakers owning and sponsoring teams while accepting insider trading on fixed events and treating such market knowledge as competitive advantage.

Underground bookmakers creating hugely destabilised and unbalanced markets where referees earning less than two grand per week officiate on matches with global betting volumes of £5-10 billion.

The FA was a joke prior to the arrival of asset-stripper Dyke. Now it is beyond parody.
Skybet sponsors the Championship while the Football League's chief executive is, hilariously, Shaun Harvey.

Agents are the lubrication of the corruptions as they box far above their weight in the fragmented cartel due to their omnipresent nature.
Players are with agents for life while playing for numerous clubs.
Where do loyalties lie?
The one English matchfixing scandal that the police have acted upon involved a football agent and former player Delroy Facey.
And as FIFA have altered the regulations, it is now going to be increasingly difficult to even determine who represents a player. This opens the door to rapacious matchfixing and third (and higher orders) party ownership (

And it is this self-regulation and lack of regulation that allows this underworld to continue renting out football on the streets.

With a non-functioning 4th estate media under output capture, stories of corruption and matchfixing in England are simply opaqued away in the Omertà.
Facey's case was almost entirely ignored originally and where was the mainstream media coverage of the sacking of pgMOB administrator Keren Barratt and the disciplining of pgMOB referee Jon Moss? Or the matchfixing of numerous EPL games? We have been reliably informed that individuals at BT Sport gained financially from a fixed match covered by the channel (incidentally refereed by Mr Moss).
And the television companies target the gullible with their corrupted product whilst furnishing viewers with the output of individuals who featured heavily on the pages of early Football is Fixed blog posts (during their playing careers).

Referees need to have their power removed as they are at the root of most matchfixing crises.
English football must implement video technology (although there are structural reasons why they won't as these two articles demonstrate - and

And then there are the kickback racketeering territories of the marketing companies and their 'first world' neo-capitalist monstrosities attaching their beefburger or their credit card or their state-owned gas company to the prostituted event on the field of play.

This holistic structure demonstrates the systemic abuse of football for rent in a private universe of Omertà.

Enjoy your product...
... the game is paying for it.

© 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, 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 

Friday, 13 December 2013

How To Solve Match Fixing Once And For All

Yesterday, Liberal Democrat MP Sir Bob Russell said that English professional football is "rotten to the core" and that a Royal Commission is required to clean up football with "parasitic agents" being the major problem.

If any such Royal Commission is to work then it will need to thoroughly address the six points outlined below.
Otherwise the game is up.
Also yesterday, UEFA announced that they are drafting an 11-point plan aimed to eradicate match-fixing, labelling it their 'top priority'.

Unfortunately, skimming over the pitch put forward by the aptly named UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, we can only expect peripheral tinkering akin to that achieved by the British government's select committee who reported last summer.

On Tuesday night, there was a highly suspicious match between FC Bayern and Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League ( (

We may be polemical but there is evidently a case to be answered here.
This is a suspicious event between the Champions League holders and the richest club in the world!
And media silence.

Instead UEFA claim only 0.7% of matches are fixed and the mainstream media in Britain focuses on Whitehawk FC and DJ Campbell.

Infantino also indicated that UEFA want to strengthen the links between sports authorities and state bodies but this is a structure that can backfire dependent on who represents the state - there are many countries where state interference would only serve to increase the corruption.

We are employed by clubs as leech consultants.
We protect clubs against systemic and particular corruptions against their interests.
We analyse the zeitgeist of corruption.

To us, the most astonishing aspect of the match fixing 'crisis' is that when we have seen that government, the mainstream media, investment banking, the police, retail banks, the utilities, many other sports are all corrupted, there is this religious belief that, somehow, top level football is not tainted.
Football has taken over from religion - everybody is 'Something FC 'til I Die'.
And we don't want our New Deity to be killed off just yet.

But if football really wants to save itself from the neohyperrealities of the present systemic corruptions, it needs to implement every single one of the points below in their entirety.

No pseudo-11 point plan but an overhaul of an entirely corrupt mechanism from top to bottom.
But starting at the top.

DJ Campbell Is Innocent!

1. The Betting Markets and Insider Trading

The primary concern are the global betting markets.
There are three levels of market activity - the public markets, the Dark Pools and the illegal underground markets based largely but not exclusively in South East Asia.

With a global network of this type, there has to be global regulation with jail sentences and life bans for miscreants.
The global betting market turnover on football is thought to have reached £1 trillion.
£1 trillion is over 50% of the Britain's annual GDP!!

All markets must be public.
All trading by insiders must be registered with a Commitment of Traders body to prevent inside knowledge being exploited.
All players, referees, agents, managers should be banned from betting entirely.
All suspicious betting must be reported to forensic analysts to detect fraudulent behaviour - the current level of expertise exhibited by Early Warning, Interpol/ Europol etc is not professional enough (we are able to detect insider betting and match fixing in many more games than 0.7%!!).
All spot-markets should be banned.
All Dark Pool activity must be regulated and made public, the same with the Asian underground and the developing undergrounds in Dubai, the Caribbean, numerous British offshore territories, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Tbilisi, Nigeria, Australia, the US and Canada, Brazil, Mumbai etc.

2. Agents and the Markets

Every single football agent that I have ever met has been criminalised!

Agents are a lubricant in the game and, in addition to leeching money from the sport, they facilitate corruptions relating to both the betting markets and the transfer markets.

Ownership of goalkeepers, linkage with referees (see below), multiple ownership of players in a game, even more extensive multiple ownership via linkage with other agents in a fragmented cartel of illicit match fixing and betting market activity.
Accordingly agents not only distort, corrupt and profit from the betting markets that they exploit, they degenerate the sport and impact upon trophies being won and relegations/ promotions etc.
The careers of players are also affected by these corruptions and the fan is forced to watch events where the outcome is clearly visible in underground betting markets pre-match!

Agents corrupt Champions League games at the highest level and yet UEFA do nothing.

Agents also, as is their wont, exploit the transfer market via 3rd party ownership.

There is no regulation for agents.
And no regulation or self-regulation is pointless.
Agents distort every single aspect of the sport and often utilise business practices that border on the slave trade when it comes to footballers from Africa and certain South and Central American countries.
Coercion of players relating to the betting markets is a major issue.
Additionally, under the table payments are the norm and ownership networks are structured similarly to the Tor proxy server concept!

Agents must be regulated.

3. Club Owners

Surely it is asking for trouble if club owners double as bookmakers.

There will inevitably be occasions when the financial self-interest of Mr Bet 365 The Bookmaker will trump the interests of Mr Bet 365 The Football Club (Stoke City) - the only issue is whether such self-interest is implemented.
Additionally, this incentive to fix can result in club owners stopping their own teams from winning to the absolute detriment of the fans who are paying the wages and the integrity of the game.

All club ownership should be open rather than underground and opaque.
Fit and proper persons rulings should be robust and thoroughly implemented - the Championship in England is a veritable Hotch Potch of Inappropriates when it comes to club ownership...
... and the Premier League is only marginally better.

4. Referees

Referees are an issue.
Relatively underpaid in a millionaire's paradise, they are ripe for corruption.

Referees are chosen from too small a pool (only 18 for the Premier League - the most liquid betting market on the planet, for example) and have very long careers.
Market ownership of a referee is a big earner for both parties.
Referees are additionally 'owned' by other participants in the game - clubs, mafia, even UEFA chooses referees relating to its own annual marketing plan AND the importance of allegiance to the G14(18) power base of clubs.

If referees were selected meritocratically then corruption from this source would be harder to implement.
To this end, the ratings of referees need to be made public and the implementation of video technology (see next point) will enable 'under-achievers' to be rooted out and discarded.

5. Video Technology

It is more critical for football to have video technology than cricket, tennis or rugby yet the authorities refuse to introduce anything more than goalline technology. Why?

An incorrect wicket in cricket, line call in tennis or try in rugby is rarely match changing yet those sports guard against such occurrences by using technology ...
... in football a goal or a penalty or a sending off very frequently is a match changing event and yet we have virtually nothing.

Up to 40 wickets in a Test Match, 240 points in a tennis match, half a dozen tries in a game of rugby...
... and one goal.

Furthermore, because professional footballers are well aware of the corruptions taking place, once a referee signals his intent, there is a psychological deflation in the victim team.

The most striking aspect of watching cricket or rugby is how fan conversation always relates to the game itself due to the utilisation of video technology for virtually all contentious decisions.
This serves to produce the correct result, massively reduce corruption and act as a measurement of performance of referees and umpires.

The argument that it would slow down the game is fatuous.

It would add excitement if marketed correctly.
UEFA and the Premier League would be able to bombard us with messages from their media partners while we waited to see if it is a penalty or not!

6. Whistleblowing Hotline

When we have meetings with administrative bodies, chief executives, football managers, club owners, analysts, bookmakers, many fans, there is acceptance that football is corrupt but that nobody is going to do anything about it due to both financial self-interest and fear.

Remember Mike Newell? He soon disappeared from the game!

A global whistleblowing hotline needs to be set up to allow knowledge of match fixing to be made available to the various bodies that will need to be established for Points 1-5 to be achieved.
This must be anonymous and rewarded.

People like ourselves who receive threats and menaces due to their efforts to expose football that is "riddled with corruption" need to be protected.

The sport is flooded with mafiosi interests - at the moment, I am enjoying extensive conversations with a contact over the role of Serbian mafia in Italian and Serbian football and the role of Albanian mafia in the Austrian game.

But such groups are only able to exploit the integrity of football due to an entire lack of regulation in many areas and loopholes elsewhere.
If FIFA and UEFA eliminated these distortions, we could have betting markets on a level playing field and football would not be fixed. 

We are taking serious existential risks to disclose these neohyperrealities of modern football.



NB: Please note that myself or other members of our cellular body are available for media in this window. 
You can reach us via a Direct Message at Twitter (@footballisfixed) or via email (

© Football is Fixed 2006-2013

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Football Markets Are Not The Only Markets That Are Fecked

Eugene Fama was one of three winners of the Nobel Prize for Economics this year.

His hypothesis regarding the efficiency of financial markets is indeed elegant (which sometimes is enough for an award to be made) but it is also utterly and completely wrong.
Not particularly impressed with his Fama-French Three-Factor Model either (but more on that later).

If there were no government interferences, no psychopathies, no behavioural irrationalities, no corruptions nor criminalities and if market sectors didn't always evolve towards maturity, he would be right.
But as these inputs drive all markets, the laureate is surely wrong.

Fama's Efficient Markets Hypothesis was put forward in 1970 and formed an intellectual basis for the shock doctrine disaster neo-capitalism that the world has experienced since.
By being a part of the "intellectual" framework gathered as an neo-con edifice at the University of Chicago, Fama bears some responsibility for this sociopathic system.

So, what is Gene's hypothesis and why is it incorrect?

The Efficient Markets Hypothesis is split into three levels - strong-form, semi-strong-form and weak-form efficiency.
Strong-form suggests that market prices reflect all information, public and private, and it is not possible for anyone to earn excess returns.
In semi-stong-form, prices adjust to new information rapidly and rationally.
While in weak-form structures, prices simply follow a random walk.

Before we go any further we need to look at the architecture of markets.
The public markets are just the top of an iceberg of submerged Dark Pool markets - there are hundreds of unregulated Dark Pools where insiders trade against insiders in markets that the public only sees when an excess of over-enthusiasm occurs. It is in these markets that the big market plays are made not the public ones.

For all assessments of Fama's Hypothesis, therefore, it will need to be addressed on two levels - the public markets and the Dark Pools.

1) The most dominant input to the wrongness of Fama's Hypothesis is behaviouralism.
Work in the sixties by Daniel Kahnemann, Amos Tversky, Paul Slovic and Richard Thaler had already introduced psychology to the market and, in 1979, Kahnemann and Tversky developed Prospect Theory which represented the final psychological nail in the coffin of Efficient Markets. Investors do not behave in a rational manner in the marketplace for a whole continuum of different reasons that both exist within themselves and also interact in complex ways between themselves to produce the behaviours that we project. Market prices represent mass human psychology far more than they do unproved economic fundamentals.
So by 1979, Fama's Hypothesis should have been put to bed...
... unfortunately, it took the blinkered Chicago School until 2007 to acknowledge the impact of behaviouralism in markets, attempting to convince us in the meantime that an efficient pricing infrastructure underpinned the alleged validity of Friedmanian late capitalism..

Slavoj Žižek: "The problem is today when you have chaos or disorder, people lose their cognitive mapping."

2) All of the information is not in the market. Even if behaviouralism did not exist and we were all perfectly rational in all of our decision-making, efficient markets would be compromised on all three levels of Fama's efficiency hierarchy.
Public markets are largely inefficient being too far from the core Dark Pools to be benefiting instantaneously to the flow of real information. The public markets offer a distilled filtered form of this driving underground Dark Pool marketplace. Dark Pool trading strategies become converted into a holistic market strategy as Dark Pool liabilities are hedged in the public sphere.

What about the Dark Pools?
Are they a proof of Fama efficiencies?

Behaviouralism is a "plug in" in any market, public or Dark Pool.
Additionally, the information flow in Dark Pools is, by its very nature, opaque.
Proxy trading, algorithmic distortions, hidden players away from the table, consortia strategies, disinformational trading, cornered markets etc etc.
At any given time, the market tends to inefficiency.
As mature markets might evolve into anything the primary operators desire, the price can be anything too.

Mature markets (and these are the ones most traded in the Dark Pools) are largely under the absolute control of a small grouping of operations, think OPEC. Individual members of OPEC have their own hidden agendas over and above the shared agenda with fellow members. Even when the structure is held in place with extra robustness due to government scaffolding around the market, the major player(s) is/are still able to make the market whatever they desire whenever they desire.
In effect monopolistic corruption distorts any semblance of efficiency in the market while duopolistic or cartel behaviour offers a slightly diluted version of the same.

3) Disaster capitalism undermines any efficiency in any financial market.
The Friedmanian disaster capitalism complex thrives on chaos. When a disaster strikes or, as in the case of Chile, is created, the Chicago school Hayekians move in with their shock tactics to further destabilise an already destabilised people. As US security entities move into the vacuum, the markets are utterly chaotic. Although some efficiency and robustness is added to the marketplace ironically by the strategies of these security operations (the same template being micro-adjusted from territory to territory) the holistic performance of the markets is driven by irrationalities and the efficiencies fall off the bottom of Fama's ratings chart.

4) Private information is introduced to the market in a variety of strategies that, by their very nature, imply market inefficiencies being created for the advantage of Dark Pool operations.
Knowledge within a company, governmental or central bank policies, trading disinformation for future profits, competitive market poker play all are based around the possession of the ultimate power play for the marketplace. Just think of the variety of ways in which, say, Ben Bernanke could have utilised his absolute knowledge of the variables related to quantitative easing. An individual, with evolving strategies, could make money without the full reality hitting the market by placing trades laterally and peripherally.

Noam Chomsky would call this "cogntive regulatory capture" and it is a structure typical of late capitalism.

5) The most obvious way in which financial markets are inefficient is by their refusal to accept the cost of externalities in the price of an asset.
How on earth can a price be efficient in the holistic sense if externalities are not included in the calculation? The price can only be considered in any way efficient in short time frames as, when the true costs are included, the asset value is very different indeed. The timing of this market implosion can be an unknown variable.

Friedmanism underprices risk and ignores externalities.
The eventual impact of these externalities is infrastructurally significant.

Andrew Haldane, who should have been made governor of the Bank of England, calls this "disaster myopia".

Disaster myopia in disaster capitalism complex!

Although Dark Pools are displaced up the efficiency hierarchy due to lack of time lag and the primary element in the insider trading, the market increase in efficiency is only marginal and only due to corrupting inputs being introduced to the market price.
If all corrupt inputs in a mature market could be known and assessed both singly and in association with one another, only then might a corrupt market approach strong-form efficiency and in a non-regulated marketplace this is simply not going to occur.

Which brings us to the conclusion of yet another aspect of the fake of Friedmanism.

Fama's only other claim to fame is the Fama-French Three-Factor Model.
This attempts to replace the old Capital Asset Pricing Model (which, by the way, is also inadequate).
Needless to say the Three-Factor model doesn't work as it ignores corruption and behaviouralism.

Entertainingly, Foye, Mramor and Pahor (2013) have shown an improvement in the performance of the Fama-French model if one of the terms is replaced by a term that acts as a proxy for accounting manipulation!

These papers are amongst the first tentative steps of economics crawling towards holistically analysing the hyperreality.

Benoît Mandelbrot: "Financial economics, as a discipline, is where Chemistry was in the 16th century: a messy compendium of proven know-how, misty folk wisdom, and unexamined assumptions and grandiose speculation."

As a former pupil of Mandelbrot, Fama should know better...
... grandiose models, unexamined inputs, misty economic wisdom mixed with the status quo.

And, anyway, as economics in rather dubious fashion claims to be a science, let's address it as such...

Michel Foucault: "If one recognises in science only the linear accumulation of truths or the orthogenesis of reason, and fails to recognise in it the discursive practice that has its own levels, its own thresholds, its own various ruptures, one can describe only a single historical division, which one adopts as a model to be applied at all times for all forms of knowledge."

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

© Football is Fixed 2006-2013  

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Dirty Dozen - The Role Of Agents In The Criminalisation Of Football

How Agents Are Destroying Football

1. Many firms of agents have an interest in the global betting markets. Some firms specifically target goalkeepers, for example. A very high percentage of the sixty plus betting scandals to be currently under investigation feature agents as facilitators due to the way in which agents seemlessly lubricate the system.

2. Betting interest soon morphs into market control. preferably in-house otherwise in a fragmented cartel. There are a variety of tipping points where the critical mass of the control of a match corruption is reached. Matches are fixed via participants on behalf of their agents. Agents target both club and international matches.

3. Player loyalty to club is increasingly a rare factor in football nowadays. Players have an agent for life (pre to post career) and any number of clubs. Badge-kissing is simply marketing the brand of the self. Clubs that employ several players from the same firm of agents or from a web-like cartel of agents risk losing control of their matches although some of the better run clubs limit such exposure as a matter of strategy e.g. FC Bayern, Milan, Barcelona and Blackpool.

4. Once control of a very liquid betting market becomes the focus of agents/ cartel of agents' attention then control of those lily-livered reprobates, the referees, becomes the primary strategy. At the poker table of postmodern football, one goalkeeper + the referee is a very strong hand indeed. Referees are underpaid outliers with football envy - psychologically many referees are desperate for 'acceptance' within the game. Media silence and retirement hush money aid any shenanigans.

5. Once an agent/ cartel is seen to be influencing market outcomes, market makers and bookmakers enter stage right. Hence surface level criminalised trading migrates to the European and Asian underworlds, undergrounds and offshore financial centres. It is not surprising that a £1 trillion annual market attracts such intricate infrastructures.

6. Agents bleed the game of money that should be going to grass roots projects. For the year ending September 2013, agents took virtually £100 million from the Premier League (over £2.5 million for every round of games).This was a 25% increase and elicited no mainstream media attention in a week where the words 'agents' and 'match-fixing' kept appearing in the same sentences.

7. Due to loyalty to self/ agent rather than club, a perverse incentive means many players will perform fully only when playing in live tv matches with massively increased global exposure. Similarly, 'injuries' and choice of timing for operations etc are determined by agent not by the club.

8. Agents always boast about the black market sides of their job - the under-the-table illicit payments to drop interests in a player, the insider gamble that the bookies couldn't stop. Agents take far more than £100 million out of the English game in the grey and black market sectors.

9. Agents undertake mainstream media control for the promotion of their clients, the suppression of inappropriate news and reality leakages, the advancement of transfer strategies and, in the case of the Guardian, the 'creation' of an entirely fictitious neohyperreality in the form of the Secret Footballer. How apt that, with editorial involvement, a newspaper that robbed the secrets from Wikileaks and Snowden should create their very own imaginary secrets via a fake entity linked to a leading football agent!

10. There is no regulation of agents. Consequently, all agents eventually, if not initially, become linked to mafia - this is the only evolution feasible in Friedmanian capitalism in a sector that is entirely non-regulated. Market Maturity = Monopolistic Mafia. Although agents police themselves, a whole variety of mafia groups police the agents.

11. Third Party Agreements are not only still the norm but Fourth and Fifth Party ones exist too. Self-regulation means, in effect, no regulation as agents create the necessary infrastructure to allow them to optimise their operations.

12. Top agents have links to government in Britain (both Labour and Tory). Bizarrely, agents and (the limited) control of a hugely liquid global financial market that they bring are one of the few hyperreal growth areas in our austerity-wrecked post-imperial wasteland of a fake-service economy. Of course, government cannot boast this economic success story: "our match-fixing and market distortions are bringing jobs to Britain..."

When a former player-turned-agent Delroy Facey was named as a key operator in Invisiblegate - the English match-fixing scandal which allegedly happened last week - we expected an imminent media blackout, a separation of the Premier League from any allegations of match-fixing and a markedly legitimate weekend in the Premier League. And that is what we got. It was just like the old days. No sendings off and just one penalty (to Manchester United, of course). No controversy. We cannot find any other weekend in our databases with so little referee influence. What a remarkable fluke!

For many more itemised angles on corruption follow us on Twitter @FootballIsFixed
© Football is Fixed 2006-2013


Friday, 2 August 2013

Fractal Football And Gizan Geysers

The Pyramids of Giza serve as a graphic to help describe a simple 3-D model of corruption in football

The power pyramid on the left represents agents, betting, mafia.
The power pyramid on the right represents the ruling bodies, the national associations, major leagues.
The power pyramid in the centre represents the territory where these two other pyramids mingle - the upper part of the central pyramid is the white market, the lower half is the grey market and the underground is the underground.

Any organisation, cartel, consortia, committee, institution, and any of their tentacles of operation may undertake quantised interactions with any other entity in either of the side pyramids. These equilibria exist at various layers in the central pyramid depending upon their degree of opacity. Clusters frequently develop but swiftly disperse due to a bounty of proprietary (and often antisocial) agendas.

When we delve into the dire, diabolical, desperate, difficult, dangerous, dodgy world of the underground, one might discover that the same equilibria repeatedly develop.

Betting dominates the left hand power pyramid - that is where all the various interests choose to coincide.
Committee poisons the right hand power pyramid.
Their combination is disastrous for football.

Because the brand is everything, we are presented with a truly Orwellian world where bodies like UEFA and the EPL undertake 'white corruption' to undermine more serious forms of 'grey/black corruption'.
For UEFA, an East European team backed by gun running in Transdniestria or a dodgy penalty to the crappy French team?
For EPL, allow a mass insider cornered market on a Premier League game or take actions to challenge that criminality?

Because the brands cannot be tainted, they play with our neohyperrealities.

In the good old days of fixed football in the 90's, every so often a game would come up that was fixed - Juventus v Piacenza, say, after Gianni Agnelli's death.
Nowadays, there are very few top flight European league matches that don't have several competing power bases all believing that they have control of the event.

Total Football.
Forget that...
... what we are dealing on here, girls and boys, is Total Poker.

A number of insiders around a virtual table with Dark Pool inputs and individual operators controlling their bids. Player A looks comfortable with a midfielder and some injury information, while Player B is hoping that the 4th Official might influence the referee, but Player C owns a team and the opposing goalie and is piling on the chips.

Under Blatter, the global game has deteriorated to this gambling spectacle we witness today, as he and his cronies stuff the booty in their bags and run for cover.

The graphic structure of football betting markets is, in effect, no different to the Cornelius Castoriadis overview of capitalism: "... modern capitalism is essentially a bureaucratized society with a pyramidal, hierarchical structure. In it are not opposed, as in two clearly separate tiers, a small class of exploiters and a large class of producers. The division of society is much more complex and stratified, and no simple criterion is available to sum it up."

To their credit (limited in certain cases, very limited in others), UEFA, Europol, HMRC, Federbet and some European bookmakers and, most critically in the world of the middle pyramid, some Asian market makers are attempting to dislodge rogue consortia from the game.
All but the most sociopathic understand that the time has come to rein in the corruption - the general public are in no mood to countenance being ripped off by crowds of addicted shysters.
The EPL has finally discovered that the psychopathic template has its limitations.
The system is not accepting further destabilisation.
But the Championship appears to be the gift to the criminalised outliers...
... Richard Scudamore and his hidden backers are laying down the line: "Here, have your own league to distort and criminalise, but keep away from the EPL as that is our territory to corrupt."

This might not clean the game up in the medium term but at least we will have a classier form of fix!

But the one factor that unites all parties involved in the criminalisation of global football is this...
... no regulation.
Trust us to police ourselves.

But self-regulation = no regulation = a free playing field for the various tiers of psychopath to exploit the sport for proprietary profit.

© Football is Fixed 2006-2013

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Manipulated Markets

English Football is currently reeling from the impacts of the Stevens inquiry into the bung culture, the standard and ethics of referees and the revelation that Victor Chandler International allegedly took bets from some Premiership Managers and Players. The words “tip” and “iceberg” spring to mind.
I have traded professionally on global football betting markets for the past 15 years. In my experience, all the brokers, market makers and bookmakers that I have traded with take bets from insiders in the game. It is regarded as buying information. Undoubtedly, some of this exchange of information borders on the corrupt. The recent betting scandal in Germany and the uproar in Italy’s Serie A show that this isn’t merely a British problem.
Asian Market Makers regularly accept bets of greater than £1million without blinking (Gianluigi Buffon – the Juventus goalkeeper – was found with betting slips for several million euros in his possession during the Moggiopoli scandal). Inevitably, the liquidity of the Asian markets persuades some football people to enhance their earning capacities. To my knowledge, such individuals include players, managers, referees, bookmakers, agents and the criminal fringe. It isn’t just the Italian mafia centres of Napoli, Palermo and Reggio di Calabria that are actively involved in football markets!
To date, all attempts to clean up the game have been peripheral. In Germany, some selective sweeping under the carpet and wrist slapping went on in response to the referee Robert Hoyzer admitting that he took money to alter football match outcomes. But, I believe that there are other match officials in the Bundesliga who were merely demoted or, indeed, allowed to continue to officiate. In Italy, in the aftermath of calciocaos, two referees were suspended but the other six that were under investigation are still involved in Serie A.
Although there are many corrupt players, it is the match officials who are the key component of this crisis. Some have links to individual clubs, some to bookmakers and some to the underworld. There are also many honest people in the game who are just trying to do their jobs. However, until football cleans up its act, corruption will persist. Falling attendances in Italy and England are partially related to deficiencies in the sport on offer. Although the prawn sandwich brigade remain oblivious to anything, the true fans know when they are being short changed. The recent assertion by Graeme Souness that British football is “the most honest in Europe” is simply laughable.
Tessa Jowell, the Minister for Culture, is aiming to make Britain a clean and well regulated gambling environment. I fully support her and her Department’s efforts but such efforts must extend beyond the protection of the vulnerable and the targeting of company directors with criminal links.
The football authorities also need to take a lead in this area and not just in the betting arena. In the lead up to the last World Cup, there was a real concern within FIFA that Uzbekistan were going to make it to the finals. This would have been politically unacceptable. In the first leg of the Asian Play Off with Bahrain, the Uzbeks won 1-0 and had a penalty denied them by the Japanese official. FIFA ludicrously ordered the game to be replayed and a 1-1 draw resulted. Bahrain won through in the Second Leg on away goals – the official for that second game (obviously by chance in the light of recent occurrences) was a certain Mr Graham Poll!

© Football Is Fixed/Dietrological