Leeds United Clearly Now See the Football Authorities As Corrupt – by Rob Atkinson

Leeds United to the FA: “J’accuse”

It is with weary resignation rather than any real sense of surprise that we have all learned today of the FA’s decision to hand Pontus Jansson a one match ban. The defender will miss tomorrow’s home fixture against Ipswich Town, due to his emotional but honest response to the question of a Sky Sports interviewer immediately after the last home game against Brentford.

Nobody who has followed the fortunes of Leeds United for any length of time will be greatly surprised at this latest sanction, even arising as it does out of a game in which an opposing player was caught on camera aiming a head butt at Gjanni Alioski – and got off completely unpunished. As Leeds fans, we’re sadly used to this, it’s become tiresome but par for the course. We sigh, we have a whinge via club blogs, we move on – most likely to the next injustice. We’re Leeds, the Damned United, pariahs, the ones they love to hate, 51 games without a penalty and counting. It’s scandalous, but after so many years of this kind of treatment, it’s unsurprising.

The official club reaction, though, is clearly and distinctly barbed. “Leeds United accept the one match ban issued to Pontus Jansson following our game with Brentford“, says the statement from Elland Road, “purely due to the fact that the club see no value in making an appeal“. This is not the club conceding that Jansson is bang to rights and suitably punished. Anything but. Rather, it is Leeds United pointing an accusing finger at the FA, as well as their partners in crime at the Football League, and saying “We know we’re not going to get a fair deal from you, so we’ll just get on with it”. It’s tantamount to the declaration of a righteous war against a corrupt and decadent ruling body.

The club had, after all, submitted a statement of mitigating circumstances to the authorities, opining that a warning and/or a fine would be sufficient unto the day. Leeds United undoubtedly take a very dim view of this latest crass action on the part of the FA, and are now likely to review club policy regarding post-match interviews, insofar as this is contractually possible. Various strategies have been mooted, including players being told to make themselves available for interviews, but to confine their responses to “No comment”. It would be a football take on “pleading the Fifth” and could possibly raise the stakes in what might turn into a veritable Cold War between United and the game’s ruling mandarins.

What seems certain is that the person least affected by today’s decision will be Jansson himself. As a brand new father of a brand new daughter – and many congratulations from Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything to Pontus and Mrs Pontus – he rightly has far more important things on his mind than Ipswich Town, and the £1000 fine that goes with the one match ban is hardly going to break his heart – or even his bank account. The important reaction here is that of Leeds United Football Club, who appear to have sent a very clear message to the FA along the lines of “We know what you’re up to. Watch it”.

Leeds should be able to cope without Jansson against the rock bottom Tractor Boys tomorrow – although, of course, that remains to be seen. The practical effect of what most United fans – as well as the club, quite clearly – will see as an outrageously bent decision, should be negligible. But the broader implications, now that Leeds United has decided, rightly in my view, to call out the FA for what they are – well, those implications could be more serious and far-reaching than anybody could have predicted when Pontus saw a red mist descend after feeling robbed on the final whistle against Brentford, and told the truth.

Watch this space, folks. Leeds United finally have the war paint on after half a century of persecution; the ride could get quite bumpy from here on in.

21 responses to “Leeds United Clearly Now See the Football Authorities As Corrupt – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Gerald Hobbs

    Bang on as always Rob
    Gerrycwmbran w


  2. i have never heard of a player being banned one day before a game. the obvious disruption to team plans that have now undoubtedly ensued. no chance ro train with amended personnel.. i am not aware of any cases of bans for behaviour outside of a game. there again, this is the erstwhile efl we are talking about.
    thanks for bringing their latent hatred of us to the fore rob..


    • It happened to Lee Bowyer if I recall correctly, very shortly before a Champions League semi final first leg against Valencia. That was UEFA, of course. But they’re even more bent than the FA.


    • It’s consistent corruption and contempt from the FA towards Leeds, but hopefully the ban, as unwelcome as it is, will have come at a reasonably opportune time.
      Pontus only returned to training yesterday, so wasn’t a cert to start against Ipswich. The ban now ensures that’s the case, but I’m sure the team must have been working without Pontus and against Ipswich I would hope he won’t be missed.


  3. Have you tried to get a comment from the FA or the FL? It would be interesting to hear how they try to justify their decisions.


  4. That was my immediate take, too; the “no value” comment was telling.

    The bias is obvious to anyone who looks and would make a fascinating expose if anyone in the news was truly interested in bringing it to light.


  5. Stephen beaumont

    When ever Leeds United are wrongly accused by the FA or either the team or a individgual player given a ban of some kind, we should use it as a incentive to play even better and win more games to show the FA or the Football League that Leeds United will overcome anything they throw at us.
    We are Leeds, Marching on Together.


  6. Well said Rob. The FA will not react to how the club or the fans feel because they do not give a damn. In fact , the more angry, the more upset we are will just fuel their utter contempt. Seems to me the only way we can respond to this, the only way we can take all this unadulterated crap and stick it where it came from us by playing our hearts out, by releasing all our anger and frustration on the pitch and taking this league by storm. We need to shout louder, we need to sing from the rooftops, we need our guys to boss that ball around and show these arrogant cretins that we are bigger than this. The premiere league is praying for us to get back amongst the elite because we will pull the crowds in and every game will be massive.
    We are Leeds United and they do not come any bigger


  7. Steve Trebert

    The FA Predictable as always whereLeeds are concerned. Why am I am no longer surprised. Now is the time to fight back. Let the football do the talking. MOT


  8. Steve Trebert

    Pontus only went and said what I expect all Leeds fans and other fair minded people thought. I remember hearing this live on tv and thought well done. That was exactly how it was and summed things up perfectly


  9. Another swamp badly in need of draining.


  10. The white shirt

    Alan Hardaker, Bob Lord, Ted Croker, Bert Millichip. At least in the 60s and 70s (and later) we knew the names of those who had a vendetta against us. Who are the faceless to**ers who are carrying on this campaign to this day. Harvey and Co?


  11. Kevin Mcgarrigle

    Hi Rob,

    I still feel the “no comment” reaction is the only way to go.
    A protest of saying nothing is as loud as you can get.


  12. The club are absolutely right to respond in this way as we have put up with this disgraceful treatment for far too long. What worries me now is what our punishment will be for the missiles thrown at Maupay especially as he’s not been looked at for incitement!!
    I’m still feeling like this fallout from the Brentford game is just a bad dream.


  13. Reality Cheque

    Well said Rob as always, and I sincerely hope that the club’s “review of post match interviews” adopts the completely repetitive “no comment” response to EVERY question whether we win lose or draw which I proposed in an earlier post. Failing that EVERY post match interview should be held with non-English speaking Saiz, (who will just repeat “no comment” in Spanish), with the exception of tonight when the nominated player should be Pontus so they would need to fly out to Sweden for his “no comment” (in Swedish), interview. Do you get my drift Rob? After all what do Sky Sports pay us in order to become prosecution witnesses on behalf of the FA at every opportunity?


  14. king sniffer

    And now, to add more fuel to the fire, the Norwich defender said the “f” word, so let’s see what hell and damnation this brings from Harvey and his motley crew. Sweet FA will be the consequences of this, and the justification will be that Pontus wasn’t banned for swearing, but for accusing the ref of robbery. Therefore, I suggest the opening of every Leeds interview from now should start: “firstly, I would just like to say what a wonderful performance the referee put in today….”; tongue firmly in cheek! MOT


  15. Mr p fisher

    Well said.


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