The Football Association have requested full transcripts of two meetings between Sam Allardyce and a fictitious business group. Allardyce was filmed by The Telegraph negotiating a 400,000-pound fee to speak at keynote events in the middle east. He would also then meet with certain individuals to discuss bypassing third-party player ownership deals.
Third-party transfer deals were outlawed in the UK in 2008. The allegations of assisting to break rules that the association he now works for have implemented are at best highly embarrassing for the England manager. It appears as though Allardyce is comfortable in profiteering from his lucrative 3 million pound per year plus bonuses FA contract.
The sting operation by the Telegraph came just weeks into Allardyce’s tenure as England manager, and before he even took control officially of the National team. Allardyce faces a difficult period in the coming days and weeks, as he will no doubt face challenging questions from media and his bosses in the lead up to England’s next World Cup qualifier.
This is not a good look for the FA, England and least of all Allardyce himself. There is an expectation, if not contractual then certainly acknowledged between parties, that the England manager should uphold certain and fundamental foundations of behaviour. Effectively he should act in a way as to be above reproach.
The Telegraph’s investigation forms part a 10-month probe into corruption in Football, with managers, players and agents all under suspicion. They have promised that this story is just the first in a line of stories to follow. Exactly how this now plays out for Allardyce and where this leaves both he and the FA will be intriguing.