England boss Sam Allardyce caught on camera advising on illegal deals

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Allardyce caught up in a newspaper sting operation
Allardyce caught up in a newspaper sting operation

England manager Sam Allardyce has been caught on camera encouraging what turned out to be fake football agents to break Football Association rules on player transfers.

The Daily Telegraph article entitled 'England manager Sam Allardyce for sale' has rocked football, as a successful sting operation to catch out a brash Allardyce saw him agreeing a £400,000 deal to work with the fake agents.

Allardyce was filmed agreeing to travel to Singapore and Hong Kong as an ambassador for the fictional agents and he went into details on how they could get around third party ownership of players, which is illegal according to the rules set out by his bosses at the FA. 

The England boss also poked fun at his predecessor as England manager Roy Hodgson, suggesting he was not cut out for public speaking and “hasn’t got the personality” for a top job.

In addition, Allardyce hit out Gary Neville, as he suggested the former Manchester United star who served as Hodgson's assistant during his time as England manager  was “the wrong influence” and should have been told to “sit down and shut up”.

He also claimed England's players were underperforming because they had a “psychological barrier” and “can’t cope” with the pressure of major tournament football and also claimed the FA's move to rebuild Wembley Stadium at a huge cost was "stupid".

While his arrogant comments do little to banish the notion that Allardyce may be a little less than equipped to hold such a high office in the game, it is his comments on bypassing the FA's third party ownership rules on players that may be the most damaging to his reputation.

Third party ownership is common place in world football and sees companies or several individual investors owning part of the rights to footballers, before selling them on to clubs for a huge profit.

The practice has been described by some as "slavery" and the English FA have led the way to combat third party ownership rules, yet Allardyce described the laws as "ridiculous" in his comments to the undercover reporters. 

Allardyce was implicated in a BBC programmes suggesting top football managers took bungs on player transfer back in 2006, but he was quick to suggest that practise was no longer acceptable as he was quizzed on illegal payments to players and managers by the fake reporters. 

At the very least, this story will be a source of huge embarrassment to the foolish Allardyce and it remains to be seen whether his future as England manager will now be called into question.

He is set to take charge of his first home game as England manager next month, with his reputation already tarnished by a story that will dominate the soccer agenda over the coming days.