Is domestic football going to be rocked?
I've touched on the apparent moral issue over Sam Allardyce elsewhere in this newspaper, with the upshot he's gone and it is my opinion that the FA not for the first time have gone with a classic British knee-jerk reaction and acted far too hastily.
The Daily Telegraph are claiming further revelations are to follow within the next few days involving at least eight big name Premier League Managers.
Harold Wilson famously said: ‘A week in Politics is a long time’ . In seven days’ time, with almost all of the Telegraph’s revelations aired, in retrospect will Allardyce’s ‘misconduct’ be that heinous up against others implicated?
As with all these exposes, The Telegraph had two very long meetings with Allardyce yet there’s only a couple minutes of footage released - can any of us judge the context of what we’ve heard until the entire transcripts of both meetings are published?
He clearly spoke of circumnavigating FA rules on the tape, but what’s to say he later said to the undercover journalists that they shouldn’t actually do that?
He’s made a mistake, a serious error of judgement they call it, but show me anyone who hasn’t done that, and MPs use that exact phrase when a scandal breaks but ultimately keep their jobs?
As for the upcoming revelations, is domestic football going to be rocked to its foundations?
As the story unfolds it’s clear the Telegraph have really gone out on a limb with this, if it turns out to be a storm in a teacup one of the biggest newspapers in this country will all but lose its credibility.
If it does all stand up and ‘bungs’ have changed hands, there are surely legal implications?
Not declaring money for tax purposes is illegal, they call it Tax Evasion and it’s what both Al Capone and Lester Piggott went to prison for.
Will the authorities prosecute anyone accused of this?
And if the clubs themselves are implicated by the alleged conduct of their employees will it mirror the scenario of Juventus a few year ago when they were heavily fined and relegated from Serie A?
Is it that serious that we could have clubs relegated for legal reasons from the Premier League?
And will that with the large resources of mega rich foreign club owners end up being fought out in the courts?
One line on the radio I heard coming back from Havant on Tuesday was that managers in the Championship were more susceptible to illegal payments because they don’t earn as much, which if this expose goes even deeper than the alleged eight Premier League managers might have implications for others.
It is, as Paul Hayward wrote in yesterday’s Telegraph, English football’s lowest ebb and its day of reckoning.
But when the dust has settled, to reiterate, will a few crass comments after a boozy lunch by Big Sam really be that bad in the whole scheme of things?
In the meantime I will leave you by sharing a very poignant observation by my Herald colleague Andy Lutwyche.
All the local footballers need to be on their guard for the next few weeks, with the FA having to pay Sam a substantial severance settlement, the money’s got to come from somewhere, so there might be a few harsh bookings as a result.
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