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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 October 2016

Sam Allardyce corruption shame: reclaim the game!

Allardyce. photo Egghead06/Creative Commons

Allardyce. photo Egghead06/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

Laurence Maples

"Big Sam likes a bung," or so the chant goes - seemingly with good reason, if the latest reports of corruption are anything to go by.

Sam Allardyce has been sacked as England football manager after an undercover sting by journalists for the Telegraph. He was caught on camera negotiating a 400,000 fee seemingly to help businessmen circumvent inadequate rules on player transfers set by the FA, English football's governing body.

Third-party ownership of players' economic rights is a method agents and businesses use to extract additional money from the game without contributing to it. The third party 'owns' a portion of the player, and receives a fee when that player is transferred, as well as taking deductions from their wages.

This has allowed heavily indebted clubs to access players they otherwise could not afford. But Michael Platini, ex-president of European football administrator Uefa, has described the practice as a "form of modern-day slavery".

It incentivises the third party to trade players like cattle, as frequently as possible, for maximum fees. It undermines the autonomy of clubs to make footballing decisions, and harms players' development. Consequently, both the FA and world football body Fifa have banned it after repeated scandals.

This is not the first time Allardyce's off-pitch dealings have come into question. He and his son, a football agent, both faced accusations of dealing in illicit payments when transferring players, following a BBC investigation in 2006.

This is just one symptom of a game run by crooked owners at every level. It raises the question, though: why did the FA appoint him?

The Socialist Party says: kick out the money men ruining football. Bring the clubs into collective ownership under the democratic control of fans, players and the community. Slash ticket prices, and invest the sport's enormous profits in grassroots and youth football.

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In The Socialist 5 October 2016:


What we think

Combative, vibrant unions should be central to the Corbyn movement


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories out!

Come to Socialism 2016!

Sam Allardyce corruption shame: reclaim the game!

Asos workers fear taking toilet breaks, sacked for panic attacks

UK workers born in early 1980s half as wealthy as those born in 1970s

Millions have less than 100 savings

Them & Us

What we saw


Black History Month

Fighting racism today


Workplace news and analysis

RMT president Sean Hoyle speaks to the Socialist

Durham teaching assistants ballot for strike

Napo conference 2016: new mood of determination

London Met strike against job cuts and victimisation

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Corbyn's praise for Cardiff Labour is mistaken

Review: where you live can kill you

Review: international jazz protest storytelling

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Students

Socialist ideas - winning a new generation of students


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Thousands march against Tory conference

Protests against children's centre closures in Bolton

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fighting fund record smashed again!

Leeds: Solidarity demo with Irish abortion fight

London: Socialism Today milestone celebration

Worcester: Public meeting discusses Corbyn


International socialist news and analysis

Poland: Fighting back against anti-abortion law

Ireland: repeal the 8th Amendment!

Joint declaration by Izquierda Revolucionaria and the CWI


 

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