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Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

By: Ted Fred Franky, Refuting misinformation, February 9, 2024  4 months ago

An insight into one of our rivals….

Sun Tzu’s book, The Art of War is consider by some to be a classic. For anyone who is good at board games such as Chess, Backgammon, Risk or Monopoly it really is a case of stating the obvious! If you’re not any good at these games, reading it might tell you why.

Amazon describes it as follows:

Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2
Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA 2

“Still a source of inspiration for soldiers on the battlefield and managers in the boardroom 2000 years after it was written, Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War is the most influential book of strategy in the world”
“For more than two thousand years, Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War has provided leaders with profound insights into the use of skill, tactics, psychology and discipline to outwit opponents. Said to have inspired Napoleon, and used by Mao Zedong and General Douglas MacArthur, as well as many famous business gurus, politicians and sports stars, its ancient words of wisdom provide a touchstone for today’s managers and executives fighting their boardroom battles. This best-selling book offers ancient wisdom on how to use skill, cunning, tactics and discipline to outwit your opponent.”

Personally, I do not find it that profound! It is simply a list of things you ought to do when drawing up your strategy and tactics in a war or battle. It has gems in it but many obvious things:-

  • “When they act against common sense, this means where they situate is on level ground, this indicates they have a possible advantage.”
  • “Invasion: As soon as the adversary has a breach, swiftly infiltrate”
  • “The enemy’s defeat: Occupy first what they care about”

If any of this inspires you to read the book, go ahead and buy it off Amazon here and I might get a commission of about 50p to help pay for the hosting of this site! In fact I have this site littered with merchandise sold by City on Amazon for that very purpose! Hence the pictures of scarves everywhere.

Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA3
Official Manchester City Scarf – PUMA3

Liverpool FC and The Art of War

Having read a book I rarely forget what it is about. So when certain things started happening at Liverpool I started to wonder. I have known for years that in the corporate world in the USA, pretty much anything and everything goes if it can be used to turn a coin. So never underestimate their intentions whenever you are dealing with American businessmen.

Obviously, Liverpool are owned by Americans – John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group. So they fit the bill. the following are the things I have noticed that tie in with this book, the conspiracy starts here……

1 The Arsenal Headed Letter

This letter sent by Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs was the first element of trying to get the Premier League to ban owners from covering operating losses.

It is quite clear that in doing so, should Manchester City breach UEFA’s FFP rules and get banned from Europe, the intention of adopting these rules is to punish Manchester City in the Premier League as well.

It’s a subtle attack, because most people would note that if you comply with the rules you have nothing to worry about. However, if you breach them, the intention is that you will get punished twice. The hoped effect is that it weakens Manchester City’s ability to buy the best players.

Manchester City MCFC Scarf
Manchester City MCFC Scarf

How does this tie in with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War?

Take advantage of enemy vulnerability, attack and be certain of occupation by attacking what they cannot defend.”

2 Hacking into City’s Scouting System

The next thing was the 2013 hacking by Liverpool staff into Manchester City’s scouting system. Hacking is a criminal offence and also a serious breach under the Premier League rules:

“each club shall behave towards each other club and the league with the utmost good faith.”

Man City Nero Scarf - Sky/Navy - One Size
Man City Nero Scarf - Sky/Navy - One Size

Ironically in the current Premier League case against City this is one of the key rules breaches alleged against City. According to the Standard

“Sporting director Michael Edwards and two former City employees, Julian Ward (head of recruitment) and Dave Fallows, (scouting manager in Spain / Portugal) were named in the subsequent settlement.”

This is very serious, a director of Liverpool FC has been implicated in criminal activity. All director’s must comply with their Fiduciary Duties under the Companies Act 2006:

  • “Fiduciaries are required to act openly and honestly”
  • “Guided solely by the interests of the company”
  • “Operate within the law”

In theory if this matter went to court Michael Edwards could be struck off and banned from being a director. This matter was settled out of court with Liverpool agreeing a £1m settlement with Manchester City.

As the Athletic points out

“City could have called in the football authorities at the time. They might even have notified the police bearing in mind the allegation was not just of sporting misconduct but also potential criminality. They chose to do neither. City opted to take the money and, without overlooking the fact they are the complainants in this case, it is not easy to understand why a club with their financial power would feel that was the best course of action.”

You can read more about it here:-

IMHO, I believe that City were very cunning in agreeing this out of court settlement. Firstly, no one doubt’s Liverpool actually did this, regardless of the fact that the settlement admitted no wrongdoing on their behalf. Secondly, it is a criminal case, and if “further evidence comes to light” City could pursue a criminal case against Liverpool. The Premier League would then be obliged to punish Liverpool severely. One of the key areas where City may have key evidence is the signing of Mo Salah, and it may be that once he leaves Liverpool a full assessment can be made of the impact of the hack and then a formal criminal case be launched.

How does this tie in with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War?

“On Surveying the enemy and the achievement of victory: Weaken the enemy the excercise of unconventional means, by hiding ones capability and hiding ones means”

3 Klopp “Give them a Hostile Reception”

In 2018, Klopp was starting to grabbed media attention by claiming that Liverpool would prevent City going unbeaten in 2017 2018 campaign. This was the season where City set a record of 100pts to win the Premier League. At the time City were unbeaten having won 19 / 20 matches so far, only dropping points to Everton. City had thrashed Liverpool 5-0 at the Etihad in September. His prophecy came true aided by some dodgy refereeing decisions as Liverpool ran out 4-3 winners.

More was to come, when they faced each other in the Champions League Quarter Final. Klopp raised the bar effectively urging Liverpool supporters to give City a hostile reception. As a result of his deliberate incitement, Liverpool supporters duly responded by smashing up the City player’s bus on its way to Anfield. Klopp went on to condemn the supporters who acted with such criminality after the match, pretending he never meant that they should do this. However it is so clear this was his intention, because he used the term “hostile reception” in numerous interviews. He never once tied this in with the atmosphere at Anfield, this was all about violence.

You can see the result of Klopp’s actions here:

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Liverpool were fined 20,000 Euros by UEFA despite £60,000 worth of damage being caused to the City bus.

It was later revelaed that City had contacted Liverpool FC and Merseyside police to complain about Jurgen Klopp’s behaviour. City also raised concerns about the safey of City supporters attending the match and the team getting to the stadium. As a result, an alternative route was planned for the bus. However a professionally produced PDF detailing the new route was distributed amongst Liverpool supporters and the opportunity was taken to attack the bus, with social media posts highlighting where and when to attack the bus discussing taking “pints and pyro” and to “scare em back to Mancland”

As the MEN reports:

City are understood to be unhappy with policing arrangements.

Pep Guardiola was filmed sarcastically “thanking” Anfield security staff for their help after the battered coach arrived at the ground.

The Blues will seek answers from Merseyside Police via their regular liason officers from the Greater Manchester force.

They are expected ti make the point that the Merseyside force knew what was going to happen, where it would happen, and when – yet failed to prevent it from happening. That would seem to be a basic policing failure.

To date little or no effort has been made by Merseyside Police to find and arrest those responsible.

At the end of the day with this act of hooliganism by Liverpool supporters was incited by Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match comments and he should have been prosecuted for it. He knew exactly what he was doing.

So how does this tie in with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War?

On Surveying the enemy and the achievement of victory: Issue a decisive attack, strike enemy inferiorities in their minds – emerge to their surprise

4 Mobilizing Liverpool Supporters in the Media to deride Manchester City

BBC Head Sport Journalist Dan Road is a prime example. His twitter account constantly publishes anti City rhetoric. When criticised over it he just blocks everyone who does so. He is despised in Manchester City circles for what he writes about City. This is what he wrote about Manchester City after they were cleared of all wrongdoing by CAS:

Manchester City showed ‘blatant disregard’ in Uefa FFP case, but didn’t breach FFP says Cas

In tis article he writes the phrase “Blatant Disregard” three times. When the article was originally published he wrote the phrase 7 times! I complained to the BBC about it on two grounds:

  1. CAS did not say City had blatantly disregarded UEFA in the CAS report. UEFA stated this in their evidence submitted to hearing. Therefore this line of reporting was false and deliberately misleading.
  2. It was pathetic to write “blatantly disregarded” so many times when it wasn’t true!

The BBC ignored my complaint and the article was subsequently re-written reducing the number of times “Blatant Disregard” was included.

What is particularly sad about Dan Roan’s false claim, is that in a report with 348 itemised sections this is the only thing he can point out that dosn’t seem right. His total lack of ability to pick holes in the report demonstraates that the report reflects a fair and reasonable process was conducted by CAS, despite all his blithering nonsense. In other words CAS came to the correct decision.

How does this tie in with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War?

“Espionage, hidden provocation agents, when a sham is constructed externally, then apprise our agents of it and disseminate it among the enemy.”

5 Hateful 8 Letter

Nine clubs wrote to CAS requesting that they do not stay Manchetser City’s ban from Europe until the outcome of the appeal.

However since City hadn’t made such an appeal to stay the penalty it was considered moot.

Wolverhampton Wanderers pulled out of this requst when they realised it might come back to bite them, leaving 8 which Pep Gaudiola dubbed The Hateful Eight after the Quentin Tarantino film.

But guess who is there again, yes Liverpool FC!

How does this tie in with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War?

“Superiority & Inferiority, maniplate the enemy through actions, when enemies are at ease be eable to exhaust them, be able to starve them”

6 Mobilising Liverpool Supporters to Hate Manchester City

You can read numerous things on Liverpool supporters blogs:

It shows how ill informed these people are. The second article helps promote the Fake News outlined below.

Who has mobilised them? This is what Jurgen Klopp has had to say about City being cleared by CAS accroding to the Mirror: “I don’t think it was a good day for football yesterday, to be honest.”

and he has continued criticising City regarding the 115 Charges.

How does this tie in with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War?

Combat power in battle is but the exercise of regular and irregular actions, variations of which can never be limited .”

6 Producing Professional Fake News

This video BRITAIN’S BIGGEST FOOTBALL SCANDAL which I detail in anothe post has been professionally produced at great expense, and is littered with factually incorrect claims. Such an obviosuly stilted false narrative is difficult to take seriously.

However someone has spent a lot of money producing this video. The post production, mastering etc that has been applied to make it almost TV broadcast quality suggests a budget of between £50,000-£100,000. This is a phenominal amount of money to spend on a YouTube video. It has had 2m views and it has probably made the producers about £20k-£40k in revenue. Hardly worthwhile from a commercial perspective. So a large amount of money has been spent to delibertely mis-inform.

How does this tie in with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War?

Act beyond enemy understanding, so against those sophisticated at attack, enemies will be unsure of how to defend.”

As Manchester City have claimed on their website, this is part of a deliberate attempt to tarnish the Club’s reputation. As can be seen above the constant thread in all of this is Liverpool FC. You do not get the same sort of rhetoric off Manchester United supporters and you certainly do not hear managers of Arsenal or Manchester United ever comneitng on this in such a deliberate and provocative manner.