All entries for Tuesday 19 September 2006

September 19, 2006

Has Panorama rocked the world of football?

The allegations:

Bungs: When a manager takes a cut from an agents fee to help see through the siging of a player’s contact. This is bad for the game because it suggests that players are not being signed on the basis of abilty.

- Three agents named in the programme are shown admitting to giving bungs
- Newcastle assistant manager Kevin Bond admitted he and former boss Harry Redknapp would consider discussing receiving payments from agents
- Agent Peter Harrison is shown claiming that Bolton manager Sam Allardyce can be bribed through his son – agents Teni Yerima and Charles Collymore are also shown referring to Allardyce in connection to bungs

Tapping Up: the illicit practice of attempting to recruit a player while he is still bound by contract to another team without approaching the team who hold the contract. This is bad for the game because it devalues player contracts i.e. it limits the security that a contract provides for the team to which a player signs

- Harry Redknapp caught on camera discussing the possible signing of Andy Todd with his agent (without the knowledge of his club Blackburn)
- Frank Arnesen, Chelsea’s director of youth football, is shown offering Middlesbrough 15-year-old England youth star Nathan Porritt (via his agent) £150,000 over three years to move clubs (without the knowledge of his present team)
- Liverpool are also shown trying to tempt Porritt from Middlesbrough

What do people think? I really can’t decide. Obviously the bung allegations are the most serious, however I’m not convinced there is enough evidence for the claims to stand up in a court of law. Nevertheless I think we can be in little doubt that Allardyce, Redknapp, Kevin Bond, and all the agents shown are not the straightest guys in football. But then did we need a documentary that took a year to film to tell us that? Probably not.


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