England soccer team manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the
media outside his home in Bolton, England Wednesday Sept.
28, 2016. Even by English soccer's standards, the latest
embarrassment is a new low after Sam Allardyce was forced
out in disgrace after one game in charge of the national
England — When lecturing FIFA on ethics, English soccer leaders
look like the moral arbiters of the game.
It's an attitude
that gives the English Football Association little wiggle room
when problems land on its own doorstep.
So once the
England team manager's integrity was damaged by unguarded comments
to undercover reporters about illegal transfer practices, while
attempting to cash in on his prestigious job, Sam Allardyce's
position was untenable. Allardyce's contract was terminated after
67 days and one game in charge.
"If we are
going to be opinionated on how people behave in football in
England and internationally we have to live the high standards
ourselves," FA chairman Greg Clarke said. "A problem
came. We dealt with it quickly."
But the problems
aren't going away. Far from it, with further allegations of
wrongdoing emerging and pressure to act from the government.
Telegraph also filmed an agent accusing 10 managers, which it did
not name, of taking bribes linked to player transfers.
installment of the months-long investigation, which was published
late Wednesday, led to second-tier club Barnsley suspending its
assistant manager. Tommy Wright was filmed apparently accepting an
envelope which the newspaper said contained 5,000 pounds ($6,500)
from a fake Asian firm to help place players at the northern club.
Bribes linked to
transfers have long been suspected in England, which hosts the
world's richest domestic soccer competition in the Premier League.
number of Premier League transfers, loans and contract
renegotiations involving large sums of money, combined with the
greed of those involved in the deals, give rise to
corruption," Liz Ellen, head of sports at law firm Mishcon de
Reya, told The Associated Press.
There is one
should be a separation of powers," Ellen said. "Managers
and players should not have the same agents as this creates
conflicts of interests and appearances of bias or conflict which
are difficult to overcome."
Managers Association said it is taking the allegations of bribery
"very seriously as they are obviously damaging to the
Rangers said it had "every confidence" in manager Jimmy
Floyd Hasselbaink while launching an investigation after he was
filmed appearing to seek a fee of 55,000 pounds ($71,600) to work
for a fake Far Eastern firm suggested selling players to the
second-tier London club. Hasselbaink denied any wrongdoing, saying
he was only offered a fee to make a speech in Singapore and did
not ask QPR to sign players said to have been represented by the
Allardyce is the
highest-profile scalp from the investigators.
A video published
on Monday showed Allardyce appearing to offer advice to fictitious
businessmen on how to sidestep an outlawed player transfer
practice and also negotiating a 400,000-pound ($519,000)
public-speaking contract to top up an annual England salary of 3
million pounds ($4 million).
recording showed Allardyce mocking predecessor Roy Hodgson, who
was fired after England's humiliating loss to tiny Iceland at the
European Championship in June, questioning the FA's financial
strategy, and talking dismissively about the organization's
president, Prince William.
reflection it was a silly thing to do," Allardyce said
outside his home near the northern English city of Manchester on
Wednesday. "Unfortunately, it was an error of judgment on my
behalf and I've paid the consequences."
heading for the airport to escape England and to reflect on
becoming the shortest-serving manager of the team.
Before getting in
his car, Allardyce had a message for the investigative
has won on this occasion," the former Sunderland and West Ham
manager said, "and I have to accept that."
investigations were also at the heart of wrongdoing around FIFA
being exposed, although U.S. authorities instigated the case that
led to dozens of soccer officials being indicted.
soccer, a newspaper is leading the charge through covert
of expose is a good tonic to the issue of corruption in football
because it adds a fear factor," said Ellen, the London-based
lawyer. "When club officials and agents see what could happen
when they are exposed, then the fear of getting caught could be a
bigger motivating factor than the desire to act properly in the
received backing from an earlier occupant of the England job who
was fired over bad results rather than any off-field conduct.
innocently has paid the price," said Steve McClaren, whose
reputation is defined by his miserable spell with England in 2006
and 2007. "It could have happened to any of us in
high-profile sports positions."
When asked later
by the AP if he was aware of being caught up in the Telegraph
investigation, McClaren said: "No comment."
Earlier at the
SoccerEx global convention, McClaren complained that as a manager:
"Privacy can only really be found in the four walls of your
If Allardyce had
a greater awareness of his responsibilities as England manager
when being wooed by fake businessmen, he would not have lost the
job he chased for more than a decade.
And now the
British government wants action.
"We will be
discussing the matter with the football authorities," sports
minister Tracey Crouch said. "All the evidence presented to
them must be investigated fully and we stand ready to assist in
any way we can."
The FA and
England's leagues responded, saying in a joint statement that the
allegations from the newspaper stings will be investigated and any
evidence of criminality would be handed to authorities.