Leader comment: FA needs to be seen to be tougher

Former England national football team manager Sam Allardyce was wished well by the Football Association after bringing the game in to disrepute. Picture: Getty
Former England national football team manager Sam Allardyce was wished well by the Football Association after bringing the game in to disrepute. Picture: Getty
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Sam Allardyce did not even have the good grace to go with contrition and humility. His apology seemed almost a throwaway. He even had the temerity to suggest that he was not fully responsible for his downfall saying “entrapment has won”

That is not the case. The former England manager dismissed his behaviour as “silly”, but it was much more serious than that. This a time when the reputation of the beautiful game has never been more tarnished. The world was rocked by the scandal surrounding world governing body Fifa which has seen arrests following ongoing investigations into corruption concerning racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering over the course of 24 years.

The reputation of football needs to be restored and that needs tough action.

Allardyce was forced to leave the top footbal job in England in disgrace after he was filmed telling undercover reporters it was “not a problem” to bypass rules on third-party player ownership and claimed he knew of agents who were “doing it all the time”. Third-party ownership is a practice that has been banned by the FA and world football’s governing body Fifa.

So the FA did act, but really they had no choice. On their website, bizarrely, they wished him well for the future.

It has been reported that Allardyce, said to be on a contract worth £3m a year, received a seven-figure payout on losing his job. That would be a disgrace. All this sends a message that his offences were not taken seriously

The FA says its “priority is to protect the wider interests of the game and maintain the highest standards of conduct in football”. It must ban Allardyce from any future involvement in the game.