Sam Allardyce has allegedly used his position as England manager to negotiate a £400,000 deal with what he believed was a Far-East agency, offering advice on how they could bypass the Football Association’s rules on third-party ownership in the Premier League.
An extensive investigation by the Telegraph alleged that Allardyce, through the use of undercover reporters, explained to ‘businessmen’ how they could get around FA rules regarding third-party ownership.
The 61-year-old is alleged to have agreed a £400,000 deal with the ‘businessmen’ to act as an ambassador for the firm in Singapore and Hong Kong.
During two meetings between Allardyce and the two ‘businessmen’, the England coach allegedly advised the ‘businessmen’ that it was “not a problem” to get past the FA’s regulation on third-party ownership, while revealing he knew agents that were “doing it all the time”.
Using the signing of Enner Valencia during his time at West Ham as an example, the former Sunderland and Bolton manager said when asked if third-parties were a problem: “It’s not a problem… we got Valencia in. He was third party owned when we bought him from Mexico.”
“You can still get around it. I mean obviously the big money’s here.”
It was made clear afterwards that the third-party ownership was when Valencia joined West Ham, but Allardyce would then go on to list where this style of player ownership was still available despite the FIFA ban.
The conversations also saw Allardyce verbally criticise former England manager Roy Hodgson. When asked if Hodgson would be a good public speaker, the new England coach said, as reported by the Telegraph: “He’d send them all to sleep, Roy. Woy. He hasn’t got the personality for it.”
Allardyce, who has only managed the Three Lions for one match so far, was also deeply critical of his employers, the FA, for their decision to rebuild Wembley.
He said: “They’re all about making money aren’t they? You know the FA’s the richest football association in the world?
“Well, I shouldn’t say that. They’re not the richest at all. What they do is they have the biggest turnover in the world with £325 million.
“They [the FA] stupidly spent £870 million on Wembley, so they’re still paying that debt off. They completely rebuilt it. If they’d built it anywhere else, it would have cost about £400 million.
“They completely floored it and then rebuilt the new stadium which is fabulous, but that sort of debt is not really what you want. Most of the money the FA make[s] will go to the interest on the debt.”
Having been described as ‘slavery’ by former UEFA president Michel Platini, third-party ownership has been banned in England since 2008 with FIFA also banning it just last year.
Allardyce now faces serious questions from the FA over his role and judgement, with this whole saga likely to raise concerns about corruption in the English game.
The coach has not yet responded to these allegations from the Telegraph, who are preparing to also release further information this week into further questionable practises from a number of individuals across the Premier League.
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Culled from Telegraph and Squawka