Date:Wednesday March 19 2014
Our regular blogger, Adam Guest, gives his personal views on the racial abuse allegations.
I`m going to propose a purely hypothetical scenario.
It`s Saturday, 8th March, around 5pm. We`ve just been soundly beaten by our neighbours from down the road, and Carl Ikeme has decided that despite having two stands of the Banks`s full of Wolves fans, the best place for him and reserve keeper Aaron McCarey to celebrate the result, is right in front of the Saddlers faithful.
This did not go unnoticed of course. Richard O`Donnell took great exception to it but, more importantly, it was picked up on by the police as one very assertive looking lady officer went marching over to give the pair of them a ticking off. If this were to be included in the reports, then Wolves could have been forgiven for fearing a disrepute charge by the FA. They needed something to deflect attention from them.
Step forward Paul Franks.
For those of you fortunate enough to be unaware of who he is, he anchors the BBC football show on Radio WM. He is paid to be impartial and to report the facts about football. He does neither particularly well.
He was still being paid to be impartial and report facts when, after the above incident was raised in the post-match phone in reported "Ikeme had taken dogs abuse from the Walsall supporters all through the second half (he hadn`t), some of it racial".
Personally I was furious, I was right in the heart of the fans behind Ikeme`s goal so knew from the word go that it was nothing more than a wicked, despicable lie. Someone in the Wolves hierarchy however clearly picked up on this and thought "That`s a good idea, we`ll use that."
Now I must point out, as I stated at the start, that the above is purely hypothetical. I have no evidence that this sequence of events actually happened, or am I suggesting that it did. It is merely just one imaginative route which could have taken us from a goalkeeper inciting opposition supporters to alleging he's suffered racist abuse. It obviously wouldn't have happened exactly like that, but it`s clearly no more ridiculous than the scandalous allegations against our club and fans that followed; allegations which, naturally, have been found to be completely and utterly untrue.
Carl Ikeme, of course, is no stranger to controversy; he missed the end of last season due to breaking his hand while punching a tactics board. Tactics boards are usually white, so perhaps he thought it was racially abusing him?
I do hope today`s verdict draws as a strong response from Walsall as the initial fabrication did from our near neighbours. Defamatory allegations have been made against us by another league club, that has damaged the reputation of both the club and it`s supporters (let`s not forget that play was interrupted during a Saddlers attack in the first half due to a flare being thrown on to the pitch by a visiting supporter), a reputation that it has taken a long time to build up. They were reported as fact by Radio WM even before Wolves had come up with the idea of using racial abuse as a smokescreen for their players and fans behaviour (if you believe my hypothetical scenario above, of course), and later repeated in the Express & Star via a Matt Murray article, "Carl Ikeme was racially abused by individuals in the Walsall end at the Banks`s Stadium on Saturday."
All three organisations have brought the game into disrepute and all three owe our club a huge apology, and we should demand one. Messrs Franks and Murray should surely also be offering their resignations to their respective employers. We should also be contacting the FA, if we haven`t already, to report the events that really did happen that day. They shouldn`t go unpunished just because the perpetrators invented an unconvincing falsehood to try and cover it up.
In the meantime I look forward to Carl Ikeme`s next visit to Bescot, when this time he really will take dogs abuse.
But it certainly won`t be racist in nature.
Date:Wednesday March 19 2014
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