Sam Allardyce’s 67-day tenure as England national team manager will be remembered for one thing, and one thing only; the extraordinary circumstances of his departure on Tuesday evening.
The Daily Telegraph’s journalists, working undercover, spent 10 months discovering the greed of Sam Allardyce and others involved in football, with more detail set to be released over the coming days from the newspaper.
Their work, however, has been slated and, remarkably, abuse has been directed their way. This, perhaps, is the only circumstance in which such superb journalistic work could be laughed at and dismissed. Almost more extraordinary than Allardyce’s exit is that this journalism has been labelled as “lazy”. Such ridiculous statements speak for themselves in terms of pettiness.
Journalists slated for reporting truth
Instead of this, the work from the unnamed set of Telegraph journalists should be praised. Sam Allardyce has plenty of admirers across the country, hence why his appointment was greeted positively on the whole in England. Yet should corruption and greed be swept under the metaphorical carpet just to appease a section of football fans? This, may I remind you, is a man earning roughly £3million a year and still striving to take more out of the game through unfair means.
Allardyce once claimed that his quality as a manager was dismissed because his name was Allardyce rather than Allardici. Were this story to involve the fictional Allardici, an international manager at a foreign side, the uproar would be enormous. While this is very much not on the scale of the FIFA corruption, the ideals remain the same. Football has been working hard, or at least certain sections of it have, to rid the “beautiful game” of corruption and greed. When it involves our own country, a “proper” English manager, all of that suddenly becomes irrelevant, it appears.
Allardyce, not Allardici, should accept the consequences, as he seemingly has by apologising to the Football Association as he left his prestigious role. So too should his supporters, almost as naïve as Allardyce himself in their assessment of this situation.
Were circumstances different, reaction would be enormous
This is a role that Big Sam has been striving for for the entirety of his career. Within less than a month of his appointment as England manager, he was holding meetings with the Telegraph’s undercover reporters and advising them on how to bypass FA laws.
The extent of Allardyce’s crimes to football is actually quite low, hence the debate over whether the FA would be decisive and sack him. They are not comparable to those of FIFA, and are hardly worth mentioning in such a conversation. Yet they are wrong, and bring the game into disrepute, a favourite phrase of the Football Association in punishments handed out to players, fans, and clubs.
Had a similar story broken regarding a politician, who, may I remind you, would also likely be in their “dream job” just like Allardyce, the reaction would be immense and bitter. There would be no debate over the actions of said politician, seen as greedy and corrupt. The Telegraph journalists performed a superb piece of work to bring to light the actions of the new England boss, the shockingly naïve actions, that impact on football transfers greatly. He has not been targeted by the media, which would be impossible given their investigation began when Roy Hodgson’s hopes for an extended career as England boss were looking rosy, not Allardyce’s. This story is not the reporting of the “poisonous press”, rather the impressive actions of journalists, doing their job and providing the public with the truth. They deserve credit, not ridicule, for that.