I’m not really a fan of former England football manager Sam Allardyce. He did a great job with Bolton Wanderers way back in the day, but he has a boring style of football that people who like the sport and don’t support an Allardyce club don’t like. That’s why I was so disappointed when he got the England job.
It was a job he’d gone on record as wanting for a very long time and he couldn’t hide his sheer delight at finally getting it. His first and now only game in charge was a 1-0 away win against Slovakia secured by a late Adam Lallana goal.
The other reason I didn’t much like “Big Sam” was quite unfair while not knowing him personally, but it was that I wouldn’t have bought a used car from him. He picks arguments with no basis that make him look like a prat, but one also gets the feeling that he “likes a deal”. That was to be his downfall (alongside mocking a speech impediment).
Allardyce was sacked by / parted company with the Football Association after negotiating a series of speaking engagements worth an additional £400,000 on top of his £3million a year salary, as well as telling people how to circumvent third party player ownership rules.
Speaking to reporters outside his home the day after, Allardyce claimed that he was helping a friend of 30 years (agent Scott McGarvey) but, more interestingly for me, said that, “Entrapment has won on this occasion”.
Investigations in to FIFA, football’s world governing body, over the last year have showed that management of the game is corrupt. I’ve had problems getting my head around the idea that a game can be corrupt. Governments, armies, monarchs, health services – they can be corrupt because they are, to all intents and purposes, serving a public function. Everything that is private sector, for me, well – all’s fair in love and war, is it not?
Football, as a game, is a different beast. Even non-fans will probably admit that the game has a global reach, and a reach that pushes it far from being simply a business. As a game, it deserves to only be won and lost on the field of play and, to that end, I do believe that the “business” side of the game needs to be regulated.
For this reason, any investigations in to corruption are in the public interest and the people involved should not be protected.
Was what happened to Allardyce entrapment? Yes, I think it probably was. Greg Clarke, the chairman of the football Association, said this though:
Where you don’t have an inquisitive, free press, very dark things happen in the corners of the world, which are hidden. There is nothing wrong with using what techniques you have to use to expose wrongdoing.
Sam, this wasn’t a victory for entrapment. This was a loss for greed. This was a loss for forgetting that you were in a privileged position of being able to serve a lot of people in your country. You lost because shed loads of money was more important to you than your job.