The Football Association is reeling following the sacking of England manager Sam Allardyce resulting from revelations about his conduct in relation to player transfer practices.
Undercover reporters from The Telegraph recorded the former Sunderland manager revealing details on how to circumvent transfer regulations, and when news broke the FA promptly sacked Allardyce, making him the shortest reigning England manager in FA history.
Now, as if things couldn’t get any worse or embarrassing for English football, further revelations have been published by The Telegraph which implicate up to eight Premier League and two Championship managers in a rapidly growing scandal.
According to the report, managers have routinely received ‘bungs’, or unofficial payments, in order to facilitate the transfer of players between clubs. Undercover reporters now have a dossier of recordings that reveal the names and actions of numerous managers, agents and officials. This has now been made available to the Football Association and also the police.
Much of the information gathered by reporters has come from the unlicensed football agent Pino Pagliara, a man who back in 2005 was banned from football for five years for match-fixing.
Along with two other agents, he divulged that ‘corruption is widespread’ and that ‘everything is under the table’. Asked by the undercover reporters if he was referring to the English game, Pagliara reveals:
“Here it’s even worse… I thought the Italians were corrupt.”
He elaborated further, speaking of specific Premier League managers and how they received payments in relation to player transfers.
The wide-ranging report suggests that corruption in the beautiful game is endemic. While allegations made in the report are currently just that, it is expected that an investigation by the FA and police will lead to further revelations in the coming days and weeks.
What started out as a major embarrassment for Sam Allardyce now looks likely to spread swiftly to encompass the Football Association and the Premier League with more serious ramifications to English football as a whole.
With the revelations only emerging at this time, how far this will go remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure however, England’s dismal performance at the European Championships appears to be the very least of the FA’s worries.
Stay tuned for more.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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