29 September 2016
The Telegraph has been conducting a 10-month undercover investigation into corruption in football in the UK. It will make transcripts of the conversations available to the FA and the police.
The League Managers’ Association said that it was extremely concerned by the report. Three leading bodies of English football later released a statement saying: “English football takes the governance of the game extremely seriously with integrity being of paramount importance.” They have been telling this for decades. If they were serious they would themselves have conducted the undercover investigation to ascertain the truth.
The Telegraph alleged eight unnamed managers with Premier League experience took bribes for the transfers of players. It said that Tommy Wright, the assistant manager at Barnsley FC, accepted £5,000 cash from the undercover agent in return for arranging transfer of players to other clubs. Queens Park Rangers manager, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, was prepared to fly to the Far East to talk to investors for £55,000 a time in return for the investors to sign on his club players. Massimo Cellino, the owner of Leeds United, was willing to find a way that his club could get around Football Association rules on third-party ownership of players. Sam Allardyce lost his £3m-a-year job as England manager after giving advice on getting around FA rules, and on Premier League clubs. Sam Allardyce has admitted an “error of judgement” following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.
The Football Association, Premier League and Football League released a statement saying the game’s integrity was of “paramount importance”. The FA’s Governance Division has a dedicated Integrity Team tasked to investigate alleged breaches of FA rules. Yet, deep-rooted corruption within the sport is evident.
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said that the evidence must be “investigated fully”. Her ministry will meet up with FA authorities to set the investigation in motion. The governing body is not the appropriate institution to investigate such allegation. Investigation must be carries out by Ant-corruption Agency.
UK: Football corruption
29 September 2016