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Ban Guilty Parties In Attempt To Clean The Game

Corruption. I hate it.

Corruption or alleged corruption, until proved otherwise, it doesn’t matter, I still hate it.

You might think my reaction is a tad extreme. But it’s not, and the reason why I’m so against corruption, and cheating, or whatever you want to call it is because for years I have seen a sport that I love getting dragged through the mud because of widespread corruption, covering up, and widespread doping.

You might know where I’m going with this, but when I was younger I would watch the Tour de France. Seeing these incredible athletes go up and down mountains such as the Alpe d’Huez, and Mont Ventoux. Mountains that are savage, and I believed them.

I was not alone. Many others did at the time, but there were exceptions, mostly notable David Walsh and Paul Kimmage. What transpired later was that the majority of these athletes, the athletes I believed in, were nothing more than frauds. Frauds that manipulated the system and used drugs, powerful drugs to gain an advantage, and then batted away any suggestion that doping, or cheating was going on in the professional peloton.

Seeing what has come out this week, and what is to come, this whole investigation into ‘corruption’ and ‘bending the rules’ in British football is something I have applauded, greatly.

Many football fans just believe that football is without its problems and that it is squeaky clean. Queens Park Rangers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink said something that might be applicable to football fans across the globe in that he was ‘naive’ to get involved with extra money, and extra-curricular activities, after being named in the investigation. I do believe that many of us are naive to think that football operates by the rules, because we have seen this week that it quite clearly doesn’t.

What we have seen this week involving the Daily Telegraph’s investigation into British football, and more importantly Sam Allardyce and the others that have been implicated is just damning. Those that feel the undercover journalists have gone about it in the wrong way can share that opinion, but personally I don’t agree.

As an aspiring journalist, I’ve had to sit through plenty of monotonous talks on the law and what journalist’s can and can’t do. Besides from the defamation lectures, and the court reporting lectures, one lecture that stuck in my mind was the issue regarding clandestine devices and subterfuge.

Now you might be reading this and going, what the hell are you talking about Michael?

To use Miranda’s famous phrase ‘bare with’ and before I get into the finer points of the law, I must stress people interpret this sort of stuff differently to others, and I’ve had plenty of conversations with people that disagree with my view. My understanding of these types of undercover stings is that the journalists or the media outlets have to get a tip-off that something untoward is happening, and only then can they pursue with using tactics such as the Telegraph have done this week.

When the story broke late on Monday evening, the next day’s edition of the paper stated;

“The Telegraph began investigating corruption in English football last year after receiving information that specific managers, officials and agents were giving or receiving cash payments to secure player transfers.”

If I was in the Telegraph’s situation, that would be enough for me to go and pursue it further, and it stacks up against the law. I do get some people’s opinion’s that there is no trust anymore when it comes to journalists, and that might be true, but I could name and point you in the direction of plenty of trustworthy journalists. Regardless, in my view this was an important and justified piece of journalism that is going to have wider ramifications for the whole of British football.

Now, let’s get onto The FA and their role in all of this. Was it the right call to sack Allardyce? Should they have let him keep his £3million a year job? Absolutely not, and if they did that would have been a complete and utter mockery of the system.

It seems to me plenty of people have sympathy for the former Sunderland manager. I don’t. I don’t have one iota of sympathy for him. He put himself in a stupid situation, merely two months into the ‘biggest’ job of his career.

If a football fan got the opportunity to get involved with the national set-up, I think many would chew your arm off. It’s such a privileged position. You’re getting paid handsomely and representing your country. Although not on the same level as our armed forces that lay down their life for Queen and country. Nonetheless, you’re representing your country, and to put all that in jeopardy for £400,000, all that when he was getting paid £3million a year with bonuses, it’s ludicrous, and it shows what motivates the man.

The FA have done the right thing, and harping back to the cycling reference, they have done what the UCI first should have done with all the doping allegations that came to life in the early 2000’s. They should have sacked them, and then banned them from the sport. It’s up in the air as to whether Allardyce will be banned, but I’ve read that it could well happen, and if the FA push through with that, they should be applauded for holding people accountable.

I could go on and on as it’s a subject that is close to my heart, but in closing, it’s been quite a week for football fans. One that we hope we will not see again. It’s been a week that has tarnished and quite frankly brought the national team to its lowest ebb.

Where this episode goes next, I have no idea but it might have to get a whole lot worse, before it gets better.

 

 

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Michael Stokoe

Michael Stokoe

Michael is an avid football fan growing up through the highs and lows of following Palace. Currently pursuing a career in journalism at the University of Brighton.

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