Saka withdraws, corruption on the up, Leicester suing two leagues at once



By Tony Attwood

In the latest corruption tale, Luis Rubiales, the ex head of football in Spain who got into trouble for kissing a female player against her will, is now facing accusations of corruption and money laundering.

While in England the media and I guess some fans are getting very worked up about some change or other to the portrayal of the English flag somewhere or other.  Apparently, it is a “flag furore”.

Oh yes, and England are also facing their “worst ever injury crisis” (since the last one).  Thankfully that includes‌ Bukayo Saka but only because he withdrew from the squad after he was diagnosed as having a hamstring problem.  No news on how long he’ll be out.

Southgate (an international squad manager) is quoted a saying, “We have a long list of 40-odd players and a third are unavailable for tomorrow’s game which is the highest we have ever had.”   

He said that without a hint of irony – the irony of course being that normally totally fit players are whisked away from their clubs, played without any regard to their physical or mental health, injured, and then returned to their clubs with a note telling the club to have the player back fit for the next international. has set out the situation succinctly saying, “when players are injured on international duty during major tournaments, the national governing body will be required to compensate the club which the player plays for.

“This rule only applies, however, to injuries suffered in the final stages of an international football tournament. Therefore, if an England player is injured during the qualifying stages of the World Cup, the FA does not have to compensate the domestic club.”

As a result of this. players like Ben White who decline to play for their nominated country (it used to be their country of birth, but there are variations these days) increase their value to the club.

However, there is real football news (rather than fantasy international news) too for apparently Leicester City are now suing the Premier League and the EFL, which I don’t think has ever happened before.  

We’ve mentioned before that the EFL has stopped Leicester making transfers because of alleged financial irregularities.  Also Leicester have been charged with breaches of the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules.  So they could possibly not be promoted by losing points this season, and when promoted could lose points for that season too.

They are currently second in the Championship equal on points with Leeds at the top, but on a dodgy run in which they have won just two of their last seven league and FA Cup games, losing four and drawing one.  They also have a player registration embargo in place from the Football League.

However, it seems that instead of seeing Manchester City as absolute pariahs who one day will get their comeuppance, Leicester see ManC as a role model and have issued legal proceedings against both the Premier League and the Football League.   How to win friends and influence public opinion!

They also came in with a clever attack on the processes in place noting, “While LCFC would prefer the proceedings to be in public, so its supporters and the wider world can be informed about the important issues of football governance that will be considered, the relevant rules require that these proceedings are conducted confidentially, and LCFC will therefore not be able to comment further about them at this stage.”

For which the technical term is “bollocks”.  No club wants every nuance of its financial affairs (including directors’ salaries and expense claims) spread across every newspaper.

Indeed when the clubs issue their end of year results, a lot of their financial details remain confidential, as do those of all limited and public limited companies.  And I write as one who was chairman of a plc for a number of years.   As with most companies, we declared everything to Revenue and Customs, but only what we had to publically simply because no company wants its commercial rivals to know exactly what it is doing.

Of course, the transfer embargo now means nothing because the transfer window is shut, but there is a side effect.  The club cannot discuss contracts with current players without the league agreeing. And since it is the league bringing action against Leicester, the League doesn’t seem minded to help much.

However it does also seem there is some weakness in the Football League’s rules since when they tried to impose a new business plan on Leicester as a result of its losses, Leicester argued the League couldn’t because for part of the last three years they have not been a Football League club but were a Premier League club.

It’s what professional commentators call “a total cock-up”.  But then, it is football, so no surprise that no one really thought these regulations through.

One Reply to “Saka withdraws, corruption on the up, Leicester suing two leagues at once”

  1. Considering the referee’s performance last night Saka’s withdrawal saved him a kicking. The treatment dished out to Bellingham was disgraceful, The referee, Mr Dias, is to be avoided in the Champions League!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *