By Tony Attwood
Senior officials and management found involved in dubious deals, and guilty in court of crimes? That must be another boring “told you so” story about Fifa from Untold with a mention that we spotted the change in Swiss law which allowed the raid on Fifa’s in December 2015.
Well, actually no. It’s about another employee of the FA.
The media made a lot about the fall of the awful S. Allardyce, who had been constantly cited for his involvement in earlier illegal affairs. But they are in general saying far less about a high court judgement involving Sammy Lee, a workmate of the said Allardyce. In fact, most of them are saying what in technical terms we might call “nothing”.
In particular quite a few of the newspapers seem to have placed a blackout on the fact that Sammy Lee the deputy England manager has been found guilty of knowingly given false evidence in court – for the second time.
Such is the state of ineptitude of the FA that when it finally was forced to flush out Allardyce it somehow failed to notice that Lee had already been found guilty of the crime of knowingly lying in court. They never did anything about the issue. As far as we know they never even reprimanded Lee. They never pointed out that as deputy manager of England and a representative of English national hopes, tellng fibs in an English court was not really on. An everyday event for Fifa officials of course, but not really the English way.
Now he has been found guilty again, this time in the court of appeal.
Of course just being associated with the awful Allardyce doesn’t mean one is instantly guilty of anything illegal. Just taking over Bolton from Allardyce in 2007 doesn’t mean that either . But the court in the original case found that Lee lied about Bolton’s role in the poaching of Gavin McCann, something that is totally against football rules.
And so what did the FA do?
Here’s a graphic which illustrates what they did…
Hope you can see that. Yep. They did nothing. They took no action against anyone even though the enquiry clearly found that Bolton and the football agents SEM backdated a contract for Gavin McCann, and that Lee (and others) then lied about the situation. Lee then appealed, and was found guilty again. Now here is a graphic of the FA’s response to this second ruling.
The agent Tony McGill had a representation agreement with the player Gavin McCann and in September 2014 accused the SEM agency (run by Jerome Anderson) of poaching the player. Bolton then paid SEM £300,000 for what the judgement said was “little or nothing.” Lee along with Bolton’s general manager Frank McParland were accused of, and found guilty in court of, lying about two meetings at which they said they had discussed McCann much earlier (as opposed to nabbing him after the Bolton deal with signed up – as appeared to have happened).
In the 2014 judgement the presiding judge refused to accept that the earlier meetings took place staying, “Their accounts do not stack up and are riddled with inconsistencies and different versions over time.”
Later he added in a subsequent hearing about costs, “The events attested to by the Bolton witnesses concerning these meetings simply did not happen. True, I did not use the word ‘dishonesty’ but plainly, if their evidence on the facts on this issue was false, they must have known it to be so.”
Then, to make matters worse for the FA (or rather in a ruling that would have made matters worse for the FA if the FA were ever held to account over anything or if the FA had any moral standing on anything at all) the judge found that the chairman of Bolton, who was himself an FA Board Member had fraudulently backdated the contract at the heart of the case so as to back up the claim that SEM were in on the arrangement from the start and thus entitled to the fee Bolton paid them.
Next it was revealed that Bolton then recorded the £300,000 fee paid to the agent SEM for switching the deal as a benefit for McCann.
Tony McGill, the original agent from whom SEM effectively stole the player in order to complete the deal with Bolton and get the money, complained about the poaching to the Football Association in 2007. Here is a graphic of the FA’s response.
So Tony McGill began court proceedings. The court found that there was evidence of poaching, giving false evidence by a number of senior people in football including the Lee character, and the backdating of the contract. Here is a graphic of what the FA then did in the light of this court ruling.
The only thing that went against Tony McGill in the first hearing was the judge’s ruling that he had no written agreement with McCann and so could not prove in court he definitely would have been able to conclude the deal with Bolton and thus make a commission. This ruling was on a technical point of law and in no way reduced the findings of court of poaching and giving false evidence. English law acknowledges that contracts can exist as verbal agreements; the judgement was on the issue of whether a verbal agreement would have been enough for McGill to push through a claim for the money he was owed.
McGill then went to the court of appeal and the court of appeal has ruled that McGill was the victim of an “unlawful means conspiracy” and should gain damages for losing the chance to conclude signing of McCann to Bolton. We now wait to hear how much the damages will be.
Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mr Justice Henderson, in the court of appeal said of the original hearing, “The judge was very critical, however, of much of the evidence given by the defendants and their witnesses, and he concluded that they had fabricated some key events in a misguided attempt to improve their position.”
By now you will of course be expecting a fulsome and detailed graphic of what the FA has done now that they know, again, that Bolton issued a false contract, and that a Mr S Lee now a deputy manager of the England time has again been proven to have given evidence in court that was untrue. Here it is
Although deeply involved in Allardycian schemes over time, when Allardyce left England “by mutual consent” and with a £1,000,000 pay off, (remember even then the FA couldn’t resist using tax payers money to pay off such a rotten fellow) Lee was retained, clearly seen as a fit and proper person to work for the FA. Which I suppose in the light of these revelations he is.
The FA has issued a full and detailed commentary on the case and the action it is now proposing to take to clean up itself and resolve the matters that have arisen. Here is the graphic.
The interesting issue at the end of this is why the media are not running the story big time. (The Guardian is, but not many others have picked it up). It suggests there is an agreement between the FA and much of the media not to publish stories detrimental to the FA. As I say, and I stress, this response “suggests” this is the case. But maybe they just think that FA involvement in such matters isn’t newsworthy as in the case of Sport England withdrawing its funding from the FA because the FA had failed to complete its obligations in terms of building all weather pitches. Or maybe there is another reason…
From the Arsenal History Society
The Arsenal History Society publishes numerous series of articles exploring different aspects of Arsenal’s history. You can find an index to all the series to date on the Society’s web site.