Football corruption – it suddenly came into existence with the Daily Telegraph’s filleting of ex-Limerick boss Sam Allardyce.
The journos were guilty of creating a “sting” and football agents are bad. Greed in football is a new arrival and the FA have taken their eye off the ball. Turn to the next page.
This is what we’re reduced to consuming from the media. We lap up the story of Big Sam kicking out a tenant, yet another child is carried from rubble in Yemen – Syria – Iraq. We have our priorities damn it!
History of football corruption
Football (sport) has been dirty since its inception. This is not shocking. It’s not something that the media have just woken up to.
When we were appointing a certain Irish manager to a foreign posting, I met two well known Irish journalists who gave me in depth previews of what would happen.
When the manager left in acrimony, I knew what was happening as one of those journalists told me. In fairness he did give a counter story – not just the lies from the manager.
This was alone among Irish media coverage of the situation. As the journalist told me – “Who knows when we’ll need access or a quote?”
Take this codswallop which Ireland’s National Broadcaster regurgitates without comment or question – Vardy drinks port, Red Bull and espresso to help him ‘run around like a nutjob’. Can you imagine if this was a Russian athlete?
Remember that this player exploded last season with the help of an Italian cycling specialist who is working with Leicester City – a team who had unbounded energy.
Oh, and what of the English FA’s welcoming an “independent review”? It was news for two days, then the Champions League took over again.
Football corruption starts with us, the gombeens who don’t hold the media to account. Who don’t ask questions, just consume whatever slop we’ve thrown in front of us.
Remember it was in 2006 that BBC’s Panorama exposed football corruption with a focus on Big Sam. And the report in The Guardian of the, then, Bolton boss being upset by his son’s activities was okay.
The piece ends with an allegation of “tapping up” against Chelsea.
Yet ten years later the same paper is placing the blame on the FA for “fostering the culture” of corruption in football. Ten years, millions of words and this is the best The Guardian can come up with.
Football corruption lies not just in the game.
Business as always
Earlier this month I brought to public the dirty deeds behind Rotor Volgograd and was castigated by some local journo’s. One called me, politely, to ask for the materials I’d received.
When I told him they were now with the authorities, he laughed, “last we’ll see of them”.
We went on to discuss football corruption in general, though we returned to a story we’d once shared of an English-based, African-licenced agent.
He’d players at three clubs in Russia and always got paid, because he was good with a Chechen gangster.
This gangster, who holds supply contracts with sports clubs and federations in Russia, imports “name brand” sports supplements that are manufactured in China and little factories in the Caucasus.
The agent still operates out of England and is still protected by his Chechen “roof”.
This agent also has players at clubs in England and Scotland. And all this is okay. He uses local muscle to collect monies in Russia – paying a % to his “roof” – and deals on the up with UK clubs.
Yet this same thug keeps 60% of his players salaries.
One former English agent knew this but feared speaking out. This same African agent has direct connections to a gang in Nigeria who are known for trafficking humans.
One of their lower ranking thugs was caught by Russian police in Taganka after one of the girl’s he’d organised to be trafficked into Russia was arrested for murder.
This week two of the players controlled by the agent played Champions League for English clubs.
It’s an open secret in football that he’s criminal, that he adheres to no laws and yet he was personal guest of a club owner at one of these matches.
I phoned my Russian journo friend and asked him, “So, when will you do an expose?” We were looking at the same match and the camera picked up this criminal for the briefest second.
My friend laughed, “When I decide to write my last article in football”. It’s business as always for all of us. Yet we’re supposed to think football corruption began and ended last week. It wasn’t just a new trend, it’s business as always.