Leeds Hero Pontus Jansson to be Punished for Telling the Truth? – by Rob Atkinson


Pontus, giving Sky the unvarnished truth

They say that the first casualty of war is truth, and history tells us that there’s a lot of merit in those telling words. Certainly, in the war that the football authorities appear to have been waging against Leeds United for well over half a century now, the truth seems to be rather less than welcome as far as the aggressors are concerned.

This is most recently evidenced by the fact that the Football League and the good old sweet FA have not reacted well to a spontaneous outburst of truth from United colossus Pontus Jansson straight after the Brentford game. In a match full of incidents that arguably merited further examination and possible punishment, the guardians of the game have made what might be termed an odd choice in order to assert their own powers of judgement.

Many who watched the Brentford match – and this includes myriad fans of other clubs who were at pains to point out that they normally had no time for the Whites – were up in arms about what was an appalling display of rank bad refereeing. Quite what the Sky interviewer, who collared Pontus straight after the final whistle, expected to hear from him must be open to question. What he got was the man’s sincere gut reaction, delivered in Anglo-Saxon idiom; a blunt expression of what so many were thinking, namely that the ref had had a ‘mare and that Leeds had been robbed blind.

The most surprising thing to me about the post-match interview was Jansson’s rigid self-control. To be buttonholed directly after a game, with the frustration of losing two points still raw and the adrenaline still pumping, must be a difficult experience to say the least. When the Sky guy patronisingly warned Pontus to watch his language, like some pettifogging lackey to Mary Whitehouse, I honestly feared for his safety. I thought perhaps the forehead of Jansson, well renowned for its ability to head bricks away, might make a sudden and calamitous impact upon the interviewer’s nose. After all, the afternoon’s other example of the art of the nut was destined to go unpunished. But no. Pontus kept his cool and confined himself to a withering criticism of an awful referee who deserved no better. It was a masterpiece of self-restraint.

Leeds United fans are wise in the ways of the football mandarins’ dealings with their beloved club. Despite the fact that the Pontus incident would normally pale into insignificance beside the butting of Alioski or the swallow dive that “earned” Brentford their penalty, Whites devotees were soon expressing their opinions that the Brentford sinners would get off scot free, while Pontus would have the book chucked at him, with a warning not to head it back. And so, seemingly, it has now come to pass, with the FA announcing today that Jansson is to be charged.

In the administration of a game where a club, with tricky forwards who have plenty of touches in the opposition box, somehow fails to be awarded a penalty kick in FIFTY consecutive matches, something is far wrong. When that same club concedes NINE penalties over the same period, with some really dodgy ones in there like the joke decisions against Stoke and Brentford, something clearly stinks. And when the only disciplinary action taken, after a game including a head-butt and a laughable dive, is to level a charge at a man who merely told the truth in the heat of the moment, then you’re suddenly all too aware of what that stink actually is. It’s the stench of corruption, of a governing body rotten to the core who have made no secret over fifty-plus years that they absolutely hate, loathe and detest Leeds United.

People are suggesting that Pontus might cop for a fine. I saw a particularly attractive idea on Twitter; that Leeds fans should subscribe to a fund to pay the fine, and that United owner Andrea Radrizzani, on behalf of the club, should match the amount raised and donate it to the treatment fund for young Toby Nye. Pressure could then be applied to the FA to donate Jansson’s fine to the same worthy cause. I think this would be extremely fitting.

Mind you, it’ll probably be a ban, because those be-suited buffoons rarely miss a chance to deal a blow to Leeds United. What we really need right now is the fostering of a siege complex, so that the players know it’s us against the world, and react accordingly. We are all well aware that, whoever was the identifiable villain of the piece in the United v Brentford game, it was not Pontus Jansson. But this will cut no ice with the FL or the FA, so we’ll just have to get on with it – in the growing hope that our final position at season’s end can deliver an emphatic middle finger salute to those enemies of the truth who now seek to hang our Pontus out to dry.

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24 responses to “Leeds Hero Pontus Jansson to be Punished for Telling the Truth? – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Rob, I hope the FL, FA, and every news desk is copied into this piece. Well said!

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  2. first team to have a stand closed, first team to be made to play away in the fa cup when drawn at home, first to have points deducted when not in the governing rule book, first to be made to play 2 days after a cup final… there is more, much more. always first to be made an example of. this is what corruption smell like.

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  3. Linda Carrigan

    Send email complaining to Ministery of culture,media and sport stating concerns over football league’s decisions could be biased as Leeds get different decisions compared to others. I asked for the whole Football League to be reviewed. I got email to say they’ll get back to me in 20 days. Tet

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  4. If he’d nutted him would he have got off?

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  5. Robert Parr

    Rob, I can’t add much to your excellent article other than to wonder how long Mr Bielsa can keep shtum, before he understands exactly what he’s up against!
    MOT.

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    • Thanks Robert. I bet Bielsa already knows but is too canny to let on. Thomas Christiansen twigged it early, I saw him almost in tears of rage and frustration at a post match presser after one particularly bent refereeing display.

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  6. Sadly Rob this is nothing less than we have all come to expect & I’m still gob smacked about the Canos head butt!!
    We are very lucky having a manager of Marcelo’s experience to maintain some dignity in the media but who I’m sure behind the scenes will be building a kind of siege mentality which has served us so well in the past & is the Leeds way! Fingers crossed it’s just a fine and not some contrived suspension but nothing would surprise me!

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  7. Life is LUFC

    Hit the nail on the head there Rob (should have been the ref).
    Come on lads we are all behind you, do the job this year just to spite that flipping lot in the FL and FA.
    We, the fans are fed up with FL and FA with their bias, blatant bullying and discriminating actions against Leeds United. If there is no other body that these very real actions can be taken to then why can we not bring a case against the FL and FA to the footballers union and hence to court. In the normal work place these types of actions are not allowed and can be and indeed are acted upon. (Been there and done it and won).
    For us, the fans the match is termed as entertainment. However that football stadium is a workplace for the players. They should be entitled to have these actions heard by a transparent and non-corrupt body of officials. The FL and FA cannot have that description attributed to them because they are the most corrupt body of officials I have ever come across.
    Rant over but I hope the FL and FA read your blog and all these replies and just for once realise there is truth in what we are saying. YOU ARE CORRUPT AND YOU ARE BIAS.

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  8. David Rowley

    Spot on Rob, sadly as ever with us, it’s just all so predictable. As you said however, a prevailing siege mentality is the only way we can gain anything positive, from at best ongoing total incompetence and in every likelihood, blatant hatred of our beloved club. As you know better than most, Leeds fans have always fed off injustice, I think this group of talented and genuine players with Bielsas wisdom and guidance, will do likewise. Nearly 8000 on Saturday, illustrate the point perfectly, they’ll never break us, we just get stronger, louder and more determined !! MOT.

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  9. Reality Cheque

    Totally agree Rob and I think that all our players should immediately be firmly instructed, by the club, to say “no comment” to every single question put to them by Sky Sports interviewers whether we win, draw or lose for the remainder of the season, (especially including when they are asked why they are refusing to answer any questions!). Mr Bielsa is indeed too canny and due to requiring an interpreter has plenty of time to calmly reflect on any provocative or devious line of questioning. The FA, FL and Sky cannot have it both ways, if they insist on bringing charges against any Leeds United player at every opportunity then the club has a duty to protect its players. Players have the right to remain silent to protect themselves and in order to avoid suspensions thereby keeping their focus on winning matches for Leeds United and getting out of this damn league. I understand that it is probably a contractual obligation for players to be interviewed by Sky, but Sky are paying our club peanuts and constantly causing as much disruption and additional financial pressures as possible on travelling Leeds United fans with jobs, families and caring commitments so its time to take every possible step to protect our players, (and club), from fines and suspensions with immediate effect. Surely Mr Radrizzani and Mr Kinnear ought to take the responsibility of protecting the players/club from potential fines/suspensions and, in order to do so legally, consult the club’s legal team with a view to giving the player’s/coaching staff clear legal guidance on their contractual obligations, (if any), to actually answer questions posed by Sky Sports interviewers?

    Finally, Rob, will the “independent” arbitration panel “passing immediate sentence” on Pontus, whoops sorry I meant to say “carefully considering all the mitigating circumstances and injustice of the charge” levelled against Pontus, consist of the exact same visually impaired members who deemed the “head butt incident” to warrant no further action by the FA/FL?

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    • I think you’ve come up with the perfect solution with your “no comment” idea – it would send out a message, frustrate those ranged against us, AND forge an even stronger and deeper team spirit. Great call, MOT

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    • Life is LUFC

      Totally support your “No comment”. Now to get the team, staff and owners to buy into this fantastic idea.

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  10. Uncle Dave

    Can somebody print some shirts with ” When i think about the F.A, I feel like S*** ” for everyone to wear at our many televised games. All proceeds to pay for Janssons fine?

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  11. Sky as normal are the patronising agitators, and as a club we should stop giving them pre, post, in fact any interviews at all, and that should be players, management, admin and us supporters too. Or indeed Reality Cheques more thoughtful suggestion. “Come the Revolution”, something more imaginative by way of public execution could be devised for the FA perhaps….

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  12. Wetherby White

    yep its a long history of bias, from the 1960s onwards. To think that the weasel Sean Harvey may have a say in it just about sums up the situation. Was watching some utube footage of euro semi in 75 against Barcelona..remember Reaneys text book tackle on Cryff, a masterclass in defending. Not to the out of sight middle aged ref who awarded a free kick and they scored off it. Sniffer won the day for us but worse was to follow in Paris. The bias against LUFC wasn’t just confined to the UK though it was probarly more to do with “bungs” in Europe, rather than the ingrained hatred of the football authorities at home. Lets hope a siege mentality will help us to promotion.

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  13. Even better to stand there and stare the sky fool out who asks qs. Maybe then they’ll get the message! We must stand up to the gangsters who run the EFL and FL. How much more do we take? I agree best response is a siege mentality, hammer this crappy league and get to PL. EFL will be crying in their accounts without our massive drawing power, sweet revenge! It’s time for AR to show some balls and stop us being pushed around. Great article again Rob a true Whites heart showing there.

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  14. Pingback: Leeds Hero Pontus Jansson to be Punished for Telling the Truth? – by Rob Atkinson | Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything

  15. Steve Trebert

    On a side note, how come Birmingham are allowed to pay a transfer fee of 2m when they have an embargo in place and get away with it. All there fixtures should be nul & void for fielding the player. Just another example of rules for one and not for others!

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  16. If Pontus has lied and said the ref had a great game, how would the FA have viewed that?
    That Pontus was being sarcastic, as they knew the ref had a crap game?
    Makes you think?

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  17. Never understood it. Never will. A professional player/manager is inetreviewed directly after a game, where emotions may be running high. He\ she gives an honest account as they see it and is punished for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’ or whatever. Yet an ex-pro/pundit can say any old shi*e and the FA etc couldn’t, care less.
    Let’s just get out of this sh*t house league .The bias against Leeds won’t change but the quality of the bias might! MOT

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  18. Uncle Dave

    Hi Rob. Love your posts and always look for them. Just a suggestion? nothing more. A reply to posts by people who are actively reading and trying to converse about our club to someone like yourself, who has great knowledge and passion for Leeds United, beyond doubt! Just a little recognition that you have heard what we are all saying. Sorry to point it out, but after a well written post by yourself (and 20 or 30 replies after reading?) its often only that you only comment on a hand full? the rest of us ( who want to be involved in a topic that you have started ) feel that our contribution, has not been involved or even recognised? im not expecting a pen pal but a ‘like’ or a’ dislike’ would be better than silence. At least we would feel that we are United and are in touch with like minded Leeds fans .

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    • This something that does bother me. The fact is that I simply don’t have time due to other commitments, to respond to every comment, much as I would like to. I like to think that readers are aware of home much I appreciate their input; I’d hope it goes without saying. There is the option, of course, of not responding to any comments, but there are times when something is called for. I wish I could do more, but a lot of my time is taken up with earning a bob or two and, from that point of view, the blog is really a labour of love. It’d be nice if it were otherwise but, sadly, it’s not.

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