Back in January, Arsene Wenger was handed a four-match touchline ban for an altercation with fourth official, Anthony Taylor, during Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Burnley in which the media reported the manager had called Taylor a “f**king cheat”; unsurprisingly, this wasn’t the case at all.
The FA has released Taylor’s report, which reveals that although Wenger did tell him to “f**k off” twice and referred to his as “dishonest”, the work “cheat”, which most papers reported the following day, wasn’t used at all.
“Following the award of a penalty kick against his team in approx. 92nd min, Mr Wenger left his technical area to confront me in disagreement at the decision,” claimed Taylor.
“Before he said anything I said: ‘Think carefully before you say anything.’
“He responded by saying ‘you are dishonest to your federation.’ I considered this to be questioning both mine and the referee, Jon Moss’s integrity and impartiality. I stated to Mr. Wenger that such a comment was not acceptable and he told me to “f*** off” on two separate occasions.”
At the time, Wenger was dragged through the mud for apparently calling the match official a “f**king cheat”, with the likes of Dave Kidd of The Sun calling the Frenchman a “disgrace” over it.
The word “cheat” was in almost every headline and appeared to be the main reason the press were so riled up – not the swearing, as you might expect.
Even the outlets who didn’t lead with the headline that Wenger had branded Taylor a cheat, mentioned it in their article, despite is actually being completely incorrect.
This is a prime example of how one paper can either receive wrong information or straight-up lie and everyone else will run with it.
Wenger has now served his four-match ban, regardless of what was said, so now it’s time to move on.