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Facebook Corruption and football are two words that are unfortunately found all too often associated with another, particularly in respect to the business side of football. This post considers the reality and sources of corruption in football before discussing solutions to the problem.
To date, nobody has been charged with breaking any rule. I would say to you comfortably there's six to eight managers we could definitely approach and they'd be up for this no problem.
We watched the entire unedited secret film recordings. It was obvious that Mr Collymore had gone out of his way on several occasions to make clear the way he conducted his agency business was by identifying and putting in the hours with young talented players, not by corrupt schemes.
But those secretly filming him over a series of dinners and meetings did not give up. They kept pressing him, saying that their investors wanted a short cut and asking why they could not just pay a manager to place players instead.
Finally, after many hours, they got the sound bite they wanted for the programme.
The FA, no doubt embarrassed by the tabloid headlines of corruption and bungs in football that followed promptly decided to fail to investigate any of the serious allegations made in the programme about high profile premier league managers, passing that buck to others, but instead decided to throw the book at a few of the smaller players mentioned including Mr Collymore, charging them with breaches relating to a relatively low level transfer of a player from Luton Town to Bristol City.
This turned out to be a typical response of The FA. More secret film recordings apparently trying to set up football managers and others with some of the same characters involvedmore embarrassment for The FA, but an underlying sense that nothing much was actually been exposed and also nothing much has changed.
If you asked many people working in the football industry about the story they would express surprise, not at what the media uncovered but rather the fact so little of what is known does go on was actually exposed. The more serious allegations of corruption, some of which have been made in public, remain largely uninvestigated.
The reality of corruption in football What, then, is the reality and extent of corruption in football? In the widest sense of the word, corruption is prolific. Corruption in football has, and in many cases continues, to operate on many levels, but it mostly centres on the lucrative and highly specialised transfer market of football players.
Whilst that no doubt continues at some levels it is much less widespread today than it was years ago.
Football clubs, particularly at the top level, have moved away from allowing managers to conduct their most important and risky financial business. The advent of the modern football Chief Executive or Director of Football, sometimes decried by English fans, in large part reflects the fact that football clubs understand the need to act more as professional businesses than they did in the past, and that owners who plough millions of pounds into the clubs expect some kind of checks and balances on spending.
Far from it, if anything there has been an increase in arrangements in breach of the rules, including the payment of bribes, in the transfer market. As even greater amounts of money pour into football the competition between the top clubs for the best players increases.
What in most other businesses might appear to be unorthodox payments to or from agents, or to families of players, often undeclared and in breach of the FA Rules, are not uncommon, even at the highest level. There is a widespread perception that sometimes the only way to secure the signing of a player is to engage in the same type of conduct that everybody else seems to be engaged in, otherwise the club or agent will miss out on a player to their competitors.
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§ (a)(1). Corruption and football are two words that are unfortunately found all too often associated with another. In this article Nick De Marco considers the reality and sources of corruption in football before discussing solutions to the problem.
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