No sympathy for the ‘divil’
The fact that Sam Allardyce is no longer the England manager in the wake of the Telegraph publication implies wrongdoing on his part. We are not privy to the exact details of the meeting held with the FA after the story broke but the official line was that he left the post “by mutual agreement”. With both parties disgraced the only viable escape route was to point Allardyce to the exit door. The reason there was no other option boils down to the standing of the English FA in society today. A role under the microscope on an almost daily basis is that of the England manager and abuse, or even minor mistreatment, of the position is enough to send shock waves a lot further afield than Western Europe. It is a role which demands integrity and respect, aside from the technical requirements, albeit any management role requires these qualities but England’s ‘gaffer’ even more so.
Big Sam is no stranger to the spotlight, garnering a lot of press over the years, both positive and negative. Sam and his son, Craig, were accused of being involved in accepting transfer bungs back in 1996 after a subsequent sting operation. Claims he vehemently denied adding he had been “the innocent victim of the greed of others on the programme.” It now looks like Allardyce’s own greed has caught up with him 20 years on. I am not too interested in the amounts of money on offer from the undercover journalists or Big Sam’s fat fingers, but what remains is the basis for investigative journalism to expose what is a serious issue in the game at the moment. Sam Allardyce is a major coup for these journalists but the greasy cord of corruption is still unraveling with this operation exposing corruption from other managers and staff within the leagues.
Everyone accepts football figures are offered sometimes grotesque fees for speeches, appearances, endorsements or whatever it may be. What cannot be tolerated is the most senior figure in English football offering advice on how to circumvent rules that govern and protect the welfare of the sport in the country. Nobody agrees the environment is pure but Big Sam was not playing by the rules, something he just had to do in his “dream job”.