I tell you what, in the last 48 hours my club has had everything thrown at us – from all quarters.
Accusations of integrity, honesty, gamesmanship, sportsmanship, doing the right thing, lack of morality blah blah blah.
Everyone who was there on Saturday, and has seen it on the tele since, knows it was a goal but at the time nobody knew what was going on.
The fourth official told Johnson it was for a foul in the build up so why would he instruct our players to let them score?
It was the responsibility of the linesman and his totally inept referee to do their jobs properly – not ours. No wonder those two have since gone into hiding whilst allowing us to take the flak that should be coming their way instead of ours.
For all his talk, Warnock has made no mention of Paul Hartley’s second half ‘goal’ that was wrongly ruled out for off-side. If the officials had done their job properly the score would have been 2-1 to City. He and Jordan conveniently forget that, as they did with the fact they still had two thirds of the game left, with the scores level, to beat us when the controversy arrived!
Gary Johnson is a noble man. When in charge of Yeovil, he let Plymouth run through unopposed after the Glovers scored whilst trying to return a ball that the visitors kicked out so a home player could receive treatment.
Yet his name has been tarnished by the bewildering rants of Warnock and Jordan but what about all the other times this sort of thing has happened to us and the shoe’s been on our foot?
Just last year, Marvin Elliott had a perfectly good ‘goal’ ruled out in the 0-0 home draw with Swansea.
The season before, Brian Wilson hit a 30-yard rocket at Leicester that was clearly over the line. The game finished 0-0 and City lost out on promotion to the Premiership – by two points.
I could go on, but the point I’m making is that Johnson and Bristol City Football Club have conducted themselves with the upmost integrity and honesty on every occasion. Maybe Johnson’s been known to bemoan our luck from time to time but he’s never conducted himself in the manner Warnock and Jordan have in the aftermath of this.
Most people would have been charitable enough to agree that Freddy Sears’ effort was a ‘goal’ on Saturday, but the frankly rather classless and offensive way Palace through Warnock, Jordan and the London-centric media have taken to questioning our players and clubs integrity and insisting without precedent that the game should be replayed or an own-goal scored, has removed any empathy and demands an immediate response about their own integrity, honesty and manipulation of events.
This summer Palace had 1 point deducted in the history books from their total for last season for having chosen to play an ineligible player whose loan was already over, on the crucial and much scrutinised final day of the season, in a meaningful and failed promotion deciding match for their opponents.
Palace currently have a transfer embargo due to Simon Jordan and the club allegedly failing to honour contracts which they had signed and withholding pay and bonuses they had promised to players, not to mention other clubs.
In April 2001, Warnock allegedly had his assistant manager spy on an opponents half-time team talk, perhaps as direct a case of cheating as you will get in the modern game and with little or no precedent in football let alone the wider sporting world (an equivalent in the NFL by the New England Patriots resulted in millions of dollars of punishment).
Warnock is the only manager in the history of the English game to have had a match abandoned due to the indiscipline of his players (ending a match prematurely with just six of his side still on the field). At the time he was even accused of asking players to feign injury to achieve abandonment of the game.
DOING THE RIGHT THING?
In January and April 2006, Warnock was seen to contribute to trying to get Derby’s Michael Johnson and Leeds’ Gary Kelly sent off. Only Johnson was actually dismissed but both oppositions separately accused Warnock of trying to get their players sent off, conduct associated with gamesmanship and manipulation of a match outcome. Subsequently, Reading accused Warnock of the same conduct in 2007. A recurring theme it seems.
PLAYING BY THE MORALS THEY EXPECT OF OTHERS?
In 2001, the first year of Simon Jordan’s ownership, Palace were up at Stockport and just 3 minutes away from relegation to the third tier of English football. Then Palace’s David Hopkin clearly handled in his own area, visible to all players and both sets of fans and a TV audience. With Stockport players stopping to appeal to the referee for the penalty, Hopkin lumped it up to Freedman, who scored an 87th minute winner, saving Palace and relegating Huddersfield, who have never recovered from the lower leagues. Did Mr. Jordan, or the Palace fans who all saw it, petition for a rematch to solve this injustice? Or did they score an own goal at the time? Did they? Did they ****. No one could fathom why the referee missed it but Palace seemed to be happy to ride their luck. Which is what teams do.
All of which makes it unacceptable for these mugs to label Bristol City, Gary Johnson and the players with all these claims of being cheats.
Palace, Warnock and Jordan are a bunch of jokers who will talk about sportsmanship and integrity when it suits them and do nothing to promote these qualities the rest of the time.
All this stink serves to do is intensify bad blood between the two clubs, which already exists following the 2008 Play-Off’s and Palace’s reluctance to pay the remaining £250,000 they owe us for Nick Carle’s transfer, whilst slanderously tarnishing the reputation and name of my football club.
They haven’t got an ounce of credibility to talk about us as cheats and shame on national media who have all at a stroke promoted this unfounded hypocritical garbage.
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