After scolding FIFA on ethics, English soccer stands accused
Associated Press
29 September 2016

After scolding FIFA on ethics, English soccer stands accused

When lecturing FIFA on ethics, English soccer leaders look like the moral arbiters of the game.

It's an attitude that gives the English Football Association little wiggle room when problems land on its own doorstep.

So once the England team manager's integrity was damaged by unguarded comments to undercover reporters about illegal transfer practices, while attempting to cash in on his prestigious job, Sam Allardyce's position was untenable. Allardyce's contract was terminated after 67 days and one game in charge.

The latest installment of the months-long investigation, which was published late Wednesday, led to second-tier club Barnsley suspending its assistant manager. Tommy Wright was filmed apparently accepting an envelope which the newspaper said contained 5,000 pounds ($6,500) from a fake Asian firm to help place players at the northern club.

Bribes linked to transfers have long been suspected in England, which hosts the world's richest domestic soccer competition in the Premier League.

"The vast number of Premier League transfers, loans and contract renegotiations involving large sums of money, combined with the greed of those involved in the deals, give rise to corruption," Liz Ellen, head of sports at law firm Mishcon de Reya, told The Associated Press.

There is one quick fix.

"There should be a separation of powers," Ellen said. "Managers and players should not have the same agents as this creates conflicts of interests and appearances of bias or conflict which are difficult to overcome."

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