Parliament is going to propose that corruption in football is investigated by…. The FA!!!

By Tony Attwood

One of my eternal rants, with which I have bored you stiff in recent years, is that the FA is guilty of a multiplicity of misdemeanours, ranging from ineptitude to the failure properly to investigate corruption, from the refusal to accept the proven fact that England do badly because of lack of local coaches, to the misappropriation of finances, from backing the wholly corrupt Fifa organisation to being unfit, (through its organisational structure), to run a booze up in a brewery,

No one has taken much notice, and it has been with relief that I can note that some of the other crusades of Untold (such as that in favour of video refereeing, and suggesting there is a problem with PL refereeing) are now becoming more mainstream in terms of their coverage.

But now it seemed for a moment that maybe, just maybe, things might be about to change.  Because according to the Sunday Telegraph, MPs are about to demand the Football Association sets up an enquiry into football’s incompetence – particularly with regards to the awful FA.

The problem with the idea however is that such an enquiry would come under the remit of the Culture, Media & Sport select committee, whose minister has repeatedly across the years threatened to take tax payers money away from the FA if it fails to reform, and then done absolutely bugger all (to use the appropriate technical term) about the issue.

And so again we find that The Telegraph is not suggesting that the Government investigates the FA’s misappropriation of funds (as when Sport England was forced to remove funding from the FA because it had not spent it on 3G pitches) but rather the FA itself is to investigate bungs and other malpractices involving transfers and the like.

According to the Telegraph, the acting chairman of the select committee had “questioned whether the FA or Premier League had the “power and the inclination” to address a problem that has been repeatedly ­exposed by media investigations.”
And yet despite this apparent realisation that the FA is the problem not the solution, Damian Collins MP, has told the paper that he is to demand that the FA “establish an ­inquiry similar to that led by former World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound, which last year exposed state-sponsored doping in Russia.”

And at once we see the problem.  The grossly inept and appalling FA, which readily pours tax payers’ money into such insane ideas as rebuilding Wembley without having funding, and pouring money into Fifa and bids for the world cup, is to be asked to investigate what is going on under its very eyes.

It is a bit like asking the Mafia to investigate money laundering.

Now to be fair the MP is suggesting that the enquiry be “led by someone who is not part of the FA or Premier League and who will publish their report in full, along with their recommendations for reform.”   But that is what they always say.  The FA recently said that it was “powerless” to police bungs, and then said it would overhaul its disciplinary process – something it has been threatening to do for years.

Mr Collins also said: “What we really want to discuss with them is the broader issues that the Telegraph investigation throws up for football, which are substantial, and may even sadly go back to some quite traditional topics.

“Which is how they police the game, what sort of resource they put behind investigations, what sort of checking they do on financial conflicts of interests, conflicts of interests between players, clubs and agents. The fact that these issues keep on coming up suggests there are ongoing problems with football and money that have never been addressed and football authorities don’t seem to have the power and the inclination to do anything about it.”

So there is just a hint that he might see the FA as the problem, and yet the FA is still going to be central to the enquiry.

Thus we have the same old same old problem.  The FA has proven itself to be grossly incompetent at every level, and yet still, the MPs are asking the FA to be part of the investigation of issues that come under its jurisdiction.

Let me give just one example of the FA’s appalling behaviour in modern times.

In 2002, the Charity Commission (the UK’s organisation that oversees the work of charities and makes sure that they abide by the law and don’t take money for a good cause and then use it for something else) found that the Football Association was not acting properly when it came to the most fundamental level of operating the “Charity Shield”.

The whole point of the Charity Shield was that the game between the FA Cup winners and the League winner should be used to raise money for charities.   The FA had been running the competition annually since 1908, so they have had quite a lot of time to come to terms with legislation, and get it right.

And yet despite this longevity it was found guilty in 2002 of failing to meet its most basic legal obligations under charity law, by failing to specify what money from ticket sales went to charity, and delaying payments to the charities nominated.

If any other organisation had been found guilty of such crimes it would have been hounded out of existence, but for some reason the FA has led a charmed life and its appalling and gross misbehaviour to the charities it was said to be helping, was swept aside as a “detail”, and without the media taking up the issue at all the competition was rebranded the Communities Shield.  Which meant that the FA could do anything it wished with the money.

And still, despite this long and disgraceful history, the FA is now being invited by a senior MP to investigate corruption.

Words, for once, fail me.

15 Replies to “Parliament is going to propose that corruption in football is investigated by…. The FA!!!”

  1. You want Christmas rearranged by letter?

    I think it is absolutely stupid to ask the FA to investigate. It would be almost as stupid to ask FIFA or the IOC to investigate.

    I am not seeing a good suggestion, outside of the English Parliament and the English police system for investigating this. Public (England) money is at stake, they certainly have jurisdiction. The problem is that it isn’t a high priority.

    The medja thinks it should be in the loop on corruption. Tony would like to see them take up investigating. It is probably best if the medja does this, that the people involved work in finance or politics. It is worse than hopeless to have a “sports journalist” investigate corruption.

    Might be worth a read.

  2. The trouble is, who can you trust to undertake such an investigation? Maybe an elected delegation from supporters’ clubs. But I bet they would have a hard time getting the information they needed to do a proper investigation. Too much money involved.

  3. Two things about the FA continue to grate.
    1.The appalling allegiance it pays to the corrupt FIFA.
    2. The spending of over £20m in the futile attempt to obtain the 2018 World Cup.
    In my view the FA is no longer fit for purpose and should be replaced.
    To appoint it to investigate corruption in football is laughable.
    A bit like asking poachers to probe poachers. 😉

  4. Tony
    As you say the FA are not yet being asked to investigate themselves and the main thrust of the proposed investigation is centred on the recent Telegraph’s exposure of illegal activities by eight managers, and then only when the police have passed the evidence onto them when they themselves have finished their investigation into possible crimes.
    In fact they probably wont have to do very much at all if the police do their work for them.

  5. A man in a Florida supermarket tried to buy half a head of lettuce.

    The very young produce assistant told him that they sold only whole heads of lettuce. The man persisted and asked to see the manager. The boy said he’d ask his manager about it.

    Walking into the back room, the boy said to his manager: “Some idiot wants to buy half a head of lettuce.”

    As he finished his sentence, he turned to find the man standing right behind him and added: “And this gentleman has kindly offered to buy the other half.”

    The manager approved the deal, and the man went on his way.

    Later the manager said to the boy: “I was impressed with the way you got yourself out of that situation earlier. We like people who think on their feet here. Where are you from, son?”

    “Canada, sir,” the boy replied.

    “Well, why did you leave Canada?” the manager asked.

    The boy said: “Sir, there’s nothing but prostitutes and hockey players up there.”

    “Really?” said the manager. “My wife is from Canada.”

    “No way!” replied the boy. “Who’d she play for?”

  6. You could always change the country or the region and the sport of the joke above to suit your tastes , bigotry , dislikes or pet hates .
    Have fun !

  7. Sorry just realised that my posts above were meant for a previous article .
    Anyway in the meantime , in my country we have a saying which goes something like this ..,
    ” While hoping for the fencing to protect the rice paddy , it still went on and ate the paddy.”

    Basically it refers to persons of influence or of close proximity helping themselves to the bounty .

  8. So, the fox is assigned to protect the henhouse.

    I don’t see how that cunning plan can backfire!

  9. Brickfields

    I am going to guess she played for a team out of the Sault (pronounced Soo).

    Sault Ste. Marie, for those not “in the know”.

    My internet has been down much of the day, and even when up, it has been flaky. I would guess a big DDOS is happening, but I didn’t see any mention at TheRegister.

    I am going to suggest that at least 2 of the dipsticks I have had problems with lately here on Untold, at least one of which is accusing me of being racist; are guilt of discrimination themselves. And it has been bugging me all day.

    There is nothing wrong with discrimination, per se. I ordinarily discriminate against 6 and 12 carbon sugars and unstaturated fatty acids every day.

    I am at a disadvantage in many social settings, and so I study things about that. I don’t understand dating (I am 56), and I will probably die alone. Most 13 year olds have more experience with intimacy in relationships than I have. And I have no inclination to try and date 13 year olds because they are on par with me.

    I am pretty sure at least two twits who bother me here, have spent their lives discriminating against people like myself. And they have probably never even considered what they do as discrimination.

    And so, I am left with people here, thinking I am racist.


  10. > I am at a disadvantage in many social settings,

    I don’t have knowledge in things, and so I study.

    My perception of things sexual in society, is that if you are not sexual, you are horrible. If you do not have a significant homosexual content to your intimate relationships, there must be something wrong with you.

    So people like me, have no hope of ever fitting in.

    > Please, can’t you just die quickly.

    I’m sorry, I am stubborn.

  11. Josif
    But it hasn’t. Not yet anyway.
    The police (probably the Met) are conducting the initial investigation and will release all the info from that to the FA when it’s completed.
    MP Damian Collins isn’t suggesting the FA investigates itself for corruption but will have to investigate the recent Telegraph reveal about eight possibly (not yet proven) bent managers.
    The FA will have had most of their investigation already done for them by the police by the time they receive this info.
    Tony is just on an anti FA rant again and has been selective in his reporting of The Telegraph’s article.

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