Friday, April 12, 2024

Arteta found not guilty following misconduct charge

Mikel Arteta will face no punishment for his comments about the officiating during Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle.

The Spaniard was nothing short of livid in his post-game interviews and press conference after the home side were awarded a controversial goal despite VAR checking for three separate offences before Anthony Gordon put the ball in the net.

Amongst other things, Arteta said: “It’s not a goal. For many reasons, it’s not a goal. For more than one reason at least, it’s not a goal. And there’s too much at stake here. We put so much effort in.

“It’s so difficult to compete at this level. And it’s an absolute disgrace. I feel embarrassed. I’ve been more than 20 years in this country and this is nowhere near the level to describe this as the best league in the world. I am sorry.”

After reviewing the footage on Sky Sports programme “Match Officials Mic’d Up”, the PGMOL, fronted by Howard Webb, supported both the VAR and the on-field referee in their decision to award the goal.

Arteta was charged on 16 November, nearly a month ago, and it was alleged that his comments constituted misconduct in that they were insulting towards match officials and/or detrimental to the game and/or brought the game into disrepute.

Most people assumed he’d be given a touchline ban but a three-person independent Regulatory Commission has not been able to prove the charge against him.

Focusing on specific highlighted lines in three separate post-game interviews, they deemed the Spaniard hadn’t targeted the officials concluding:

a) Did not insult the Match Officials (or Premier League match officials generally). Nothing was said by MA in any of the Interviews that implies incompetence on their part, whether in relation to the Goal or more generally;

b) Did not bring the game into disrepute;

c) Were not detrimental to the best interests of the game.

So that’s that. We can draw a line under this matter and move on.

Arteta will be back in the dugout on Sunday having served a one-game suspension for picking up a third booking of the season for celebrating Declan Rice’s late winner at Luton.

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They got what they wanted anyway. Look at his responses post Villa.
He’s been gagged. So much for accountability eh PGMOL?


Fuck the PGMOL you’re right. But that would have been a soft as fuck penalty on Jesus and once the Havertz one goes to VAR it has to be given as a handball. The one that pissed me off was the red card. Studs up and dangerous. But would we have got the goals to win the game after that, who knows. The truth is we conceded a shit goal early on and then didn’t put our chances away. We can’t always blame the ref.


The exact same foul happened in the palace vs pool game and var gave a penalty , so whether you think it’s soft or not var have shown that challenege should be a penalty


this. consistency is key in officiating and when something is a foul one week and not the next, it leads to confusion, frustration, and anger. officials are bringing the verbal abuse they receive upon themselves.


I agree that they should be consistent with refereeing but they should not be consistently bad. Neither should have been penalties.

Dr. Gooner

I think what’s irking people is that decisions that are open to interpretation seem to go against us, and the approach/attitude is different when it comes to Arsenal compared to similar situations in games involving other teams. Everytime in the last several games when there has been a borderline decision that could have gone either way it has gone against us. Some people feel that’s not coincidental, especially after MA’s comments after the Newcastle game. I would have to agree. Referees are human, they talk to each other, and some of them are well known figures with a bit of… Read more »


I can’t remember the last time I saw two yellows like martinelli or like tomi, then kovacic gets only one- you can argue that the ref is operating within the laws of the game, but there’s been to many times the 50/50s go against us for it to be a coincidence- or maybe this is a turning point ☝️

Dr. Gooner

I’ve definitely seen other teams get shafted too, so it’s a pervasive issue for sure. I fully acknowledge as well that I don’t watch other teams nearly as closely as Arsenal, so my sense of grievance is inflated by that. BUT, the reluctance to show red cards to our opponents this season, for instance, has been a recurring theme which is difficult to explain. The reluctance to call fouls on Arsenal players in our own defensive third is another consistent scenario where they swallow their whistle. And it’s not just this season, but it’s especially acutely felt this season because… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Regarding those, you could also say that Havertz should have had 2 yellows vs Newcastle


the problem is most of the decisions their getting wrong are binary- either the ball is in or its not, either its offside or not, either its 2 hands on the back or its not, either its handball or not. these are not open to interpretation as they are explicitly mentioned in the rulebook these officials are supposed to be experts in.

Arsene Wenger's Secret Lovechild

I can’t agree with this. Ball in play – yes. Offside – in its current (awful) iteration – yes. But everything else is subjective, and perhaps the sooner we and everyone associated with this sport accepts this, the more rational we can be about decisions and the decision making process. And the more we can focus on how it can be improved rather than see pundits howl that something is or isn’t a penalty. I still think we’re incredibly hard done by, but it’s not all black and white. If you can see why it’s been given and it happens… Read more »


PGMOL is a Limited Company = Zero accountability & the officials are hired & retained on a self employed basis, not even employees.

Steggy 85

I’m sure they’re all well within the Off Pay-Roll regulations and HMRC can sleep soundly at night knowing PGMOL and its bunch of consultants, interims, or whatever refs call themselves when doing their returns are paying their dues.


Why am I now even more confused about the rules now?


They haven’t got what they wanted. What they wanted is to put him on the touchline for another critical game and gag him permanently. He’s had to watch himself while this was pending – he’s under far less pressure now that FA’s decision is a slam dunk for his right to criticize VAR with a wide latitude (disgrace = ‘desgracia’, beautiful lawyering). And by pointedly noting that the Premier League has itself found VAR wanting, even despite the club and manager’s best efforts to work with the referees, the FA has really put the PGMOL in its place. They’re on… Read more »


*put him in the stands (not on the touchline)


fuck em up, mikel


I thought that was a pig I saw out the window 😲


LOL…just walking I guess..

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

PGMOL are a bunch of clueless or corrupt twats

Emi Rates

Moonlighting in a far away dodgy oil producing nation as we speak. Raking it in for favours rendered.


Love the pic


I will tattoo this picture when we win the league with Mikel!


FA charge rejected. It’s like a trophy!

Simon Knight



FA and PGMOL tried to gang up to silence any criticism in their own interests against what’s best for the game. They are as the boss said, a disgrace

Heavy Gunner

Maybe some of ‘the powers that be’ are a bit spooked by the whole officiating nightmare scenario? After R. Hodgson has also had his say, although in a different tone, and a few of the other gaffers having a go at the PGMOL/ VAR shit circus, maybe the odds are to negatively heavy. I’ll not refer to any of the shyster punditry that’s being going on around the whole affair- the majority seem only focussed on self promotion! Arsenal in my blood, but sympathy for other teams done over by this cesspit officiating..

A Different George

I think Hodgson had a big effect. First, because of who he is and his long experience in the English game. He’s not exactly a hothead, is he? Second, the substance–especially, for me, officials “screaming” at his coaches because they dare to be the second man into the technical area. How can anyone who knows anything about football think that is important? How can anyone not see the pettiness of POGMOL and its toy dictators?


honestly if the pgmol aren’t talking to hodgson about a consultancy role when he retires (again, lol) they haven’t learned diddly. he could teach them an awful lot about conduct and respect.


Holy crap. This is a pleasant surprise.

Mikel Artera

I think the charge was not Clear and obvious


didn’t check camera placement before the match




Makes Walton look even more of a mug.


Arsenal beating an FA charge?

It’s like a trophy!


So, is this not the FA admitting that they have brought the charge against Mikel Arteta, because he is Mikel Arteta??

“38) “The FA contended that MA’s status was relevant to the substance of the Charge – in other words, that words spoken or conduct committed by an individual such as MA could breach FA Rule E3 even though the same words or conduct, committed by a lower profile individual, might not amount to a breach of FA Rule E3.”—written-reasons.ashx


Thanks for the link. Interesting!

Guns Up

That is what stood out most to me as well!! Simply cannot have a certain set of rules for one manager and a different set for another. Congrats to this panel for being objective and fair.

Tampa Jack

Thanks for the link. I’m relieved Arteta won’t be suspended for another match. Reading the linked decision it’s clear to me that 1) the FA’s lawyers didn’t analyze the charges they brought carefully enough before sending the charging letter. 2) Arsenal’s Lawyers > FA’s lawyers. 3) I hope the premier league lawyers prosecuting case against man city are smarter than the FA lawyers. I also suspect this Not Guilty outcome was widely expected after everyone read the charges and responses and the likely Not guilty result had made its ways around the PGMOL offices/whatsapp groups well in advance. It would… Read more »


I still can’t get over the fact that football is in a place where referees can say the ball looks out, but not overturn a goal because there isn’t a camera in place to prove him right…’s madness.


Holy shitflaps, never saw that coming,

Emi Rates

You say “holy shitflaps” but you mean “holy PGMOL”.


Be aware. Punishment can come in various forms.

Mr Dob Bobalina

Reading the written reasons for the decision, the gist of it is that a) the Commission considered MA’s comments to be about the VAR system which is widely considered to be in need of improvement (including by the FA) and b) they found no merit in the FA’s case that the tone and manner in which the comments were expressed also constituted a breach of the rules. The defence’s assertion of ambiguity about a native Spanish speaker’s use of “disgrace” was also noted. It’s striking that the commission found MA an “impressive witness” who spoke to them “thoughtfully” and “honestly”.… Read more »

A Different George

According to The Athletic, Arteta explained that he *did* mean “disgrace” in the sense it has in English. The argument that it has a different implication in Spanish (more like bad luck) was either a misunderstanding (as Arsenal now say) or–I think, pretty clearly–the Arsenal legal team trying to backtrack in a way that Arteta did not want to do.

Good for him.


It’s German, for ‘The Bart, The’.


Or there might be inconsistencies in decision making now. What? Oh.


What a bunch of twats.
We need to use top European refs in the PL who are way better and have no petty club allegiances



Or maybe hire a couple refs from south of Milton Keynes.


webb has named precisely one (1) woman and one (1) non-white referee to the group, who will take charge of games apparently over the holiday period. good news is both of them look like they’re in better shape than hooper or any of the other bald mancs.
i’m betting both these officials get used as scapegoats if webb’s crew make another mistake.


or football fans will continue to have unhinged abusive reactions to them doing their job in a way that isn’t to their satisfaction (because they’re a factor in their team not winning a game)

I think refereeing standards, and perhaps more especially rulemaking and rule interpretation, are poor and need improvement. But I thought James was superb on this whole topic on Monday’s arsecast extra. Many football fans need to have a word with themselves. And hey, if they really want to improve refereeing standards, they can always sign up to be referees.

Tricks Popsicle

Seems like you need to have a word with yourself. 🙄


PIGMOLES!!! why is there no independent panel analysing referees and VAR?
That id like to see. There needs to be an outside force that suspends pigmoles for incompetence.


I hope this emboldens MA & Other PL managers to speak out more often about the PGMOL, so long as it doesn’t cross their weird threshold


As close as we’ll ever get to them admitting they fucked it up.

Glad he’s not banned. But I’d rather have the point.


What an extraordinary day. This morning my neighbour put up a lead balloon, and I saw a lady carrying a silk purse made out of a sow’s ear. Then a flock of pigs flew overhead. And I heard the devil had to ice-skate to work this morning.

And now this. Perhaps I should buy a lottery ticket.


Get in there, MA!


If anything is bringing football into disrepute it’s the PGMOL. The game has become a complete joke because of the incompetence of the PL referees. Literally every weekend we are seeing some example of their uselessness.

And it’s funny how none of them ever get sacked or even fined when they screw up.


that even the league cannot see the inconsistency and incompetence of match officials are damaging the brand and inhibiting its ability to make money is beyond me.
its time to cut out the tumor and sack everyone at pgmol, do the independent investigation, and potentially seek lifetime bans or criminal charges against officials found to be bending the rules for their local clubs.


“ and potentially seek lifetime bans or criminal charges against officials found to be bending the rules for their local clubs.”

jesus christ


The problem with sacking every referee that ever makes a mistake is that the football league will run out of referees and less football (lower down the league pyramid where the money isn’t, naturally) will be able to be played. It is a simple truism that there is a finite number of referees. Most football fans, of course, are unwilling or unable to commit to the improvement of refereeing standards by trying out refereeing for themselves, for whatever reasons.

karl g

The PGMOL already had their revenge at Aston Villa.


I love that Mikel has started just saying Clear and Obvious. It’s the perfect response. They’re unable to punish him for it, yet it’s “clear and obvious” what he’s saying.

Love it. It’s so offensive in the most passive aggressive way.

John C

The Sky Sports programme basically gave Arteta his defence as it admitted that VAR couldn’t even make an objective decision on whether the ball was in or out and was reduced to guessing.
On that basis alone he’s right to call it a disgrace.

Emi Rates

No doubt a tactical manouvre on behalf of the FA to try and avoid further accusations of bias against Arsenal. Doesn’t let the PGMOL off the hook and it doesn’t change the fact that their incompetence has altered the league table in a way it shouldn’t have.

Don’t think that this changes anything though. We still see you for the dodgy bent fuckers you are!

I see there’s a new ref being brought in for the Fulham game. I hope she is an improvement on the shower of shit that’s there at the moment. The PM sorely needs it.

Gervinho is Driving

Unfortunately, I think this may be correct — that the FA is backing down because they don’t want to amplify the “anti-Arsenal” narrative while at the same time continuing to screw up calls every weekend. The perception of incompetence plus bias is too much for them. I saw “unfortunately” because you’d like to think that disciplinary matters are fair and objective, not political. While I’m pleased with this outcome, from an Arsenal perspective, making these decisions while trying to protect the PGMOL and/or satisfy certain fan bases is not a good process.


The FA brought the charge and the regulatory commission rejected it. Nothing to do with backing down. See the extensive report linked above.

Emi Rates

I missed that. The worrying thing about that is that the FA being overruled by another authority likely means they’ll clutch at any straw to get back at Arteta now. Expect some very dirty tricks in order to put obstacles in our way in the race for this season’s PL title.


I’d say let’s hope they have learned their lesson not to f*ck with Super Mik!


My biggest worry is that the PGMOL may take on the role of a Star Chamber, and mete out their own vigilante punishment.

Emi Rates

I think you can put money on that.

Tricks Popsicle

Ain’t that the truth. But MA had to fight this charge.

Gervinho is Driving

Good process


Es a des-grase


“We can draw a line under this matter and move on.”
And PGMOL can draw two lines under it and spend ten minutes studying them from all angles before incorrectly deciding not to move on.


they already made sure we lost to villa, and now first chance they get, he’ll see red (probably at anfield).


In the words of Garth & Wayne: “schwing! Party time, excellent!”


Having him on the touchline rather than banned is like a new signing.

Lord Bendnter

What a waste of time and resources by PGMOL. Nothing new.

Cliff Bastin

“Nothing was said by MA in any of the Interviews that implies incompetence on their part”

Which part didn’t imply incompetence? Hahahahahahahaha


Well done, good process. Let’s win some more games!


Well I’ll be.
Did not see that one coming.

Credit to the commission for recognizing we got hosed by the on field call and PGMOL was just trying to salt the wounds after rightfully getting called out.

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