Sam Allardyce finally got the England job. He may lose it, after being caught up in a sting operation by reporters from the Telegraph.
Allardyce met and was secretly filmed by undercover Telegraph reporters claiming to be representatives of a Far East firm looking to profit from the transfer market.
He was filmed advising the “businessmen” on how to skirt third-party ownership rules. He also negotiated a deal with them to give four speeches in Singapore for fees totaling about $520,000.
Viewing the incident with extreme charity, it would still show a profound and embarrassing paucity of judgement. England’s FA is holding “crisis talks.” The Times is reporting Allardyce will be fired.
FIFA banned third party ownership in 2015. In it’s a basic form, a club borrows money from a third party to buy a player, in exchange for a share in the player’s ownership. The third party profits when the player is sold onto another club at a profit.
For instance, third party helps Portuguese club by South American star. Portuguese club turns around and sells South American star for $60 million. Much of that fee goes back to third parties.
In its most benign form, it’s the grease that helps debt-laden clubs stay above water. In its most abusive form, clubs are beholden to very shady third parties and players have no autonomy over their working conditions.
Allardyce getting caught up in something like this does not come as a complete surprise. He has had a bit of a cloud since he and his son were caught up in a BBC report into soccer corruption in 2006. Soccer agents, caught by reporters on secret filming, accused Allardyce of accepting bungs, which are kickbacks for orchestrating a transfer deal. An investigation found no evidence of illicit payments.