Big Sam deserves sacking
Greedy, arrogant manager epitomises all that is wrong with soulless game
The hogs at English football's trough are not snorting this morning. They're squealing.
Former players and managers, radio pundits and even TV celebrities have tried in vain to defend one of their own, a fellow member of the cash-rich, ethically-dubious old boys' club.
Some of the excuses, across all British media platforms, are as ridiculous as they are woeful.
Sam Allardyce was drunk, duped, and trapped. He wasn't crooked, but corrupted, led astray by those nasty undercover reporters masquerading as decent human beings.
The sacked England manager was a victim of his own naivety, merely explaining how third-party player ownership worked, rather than detailing ways to circumnavigate the outlawed enterprise.
Speaking on TalkSport radio, former Manchester United striker Alan Brazil expressed his "bewilderment", stressing his sympathy for "Poor Sam".
In the age of the endless news cycle, inane waffle is increasingly the norm, but the attempts to defend Allardyce are reaching Trump-like levels of deluded reasoning.
Allardyce deserves no sympathy for his sacking, absolutely none.
He deserves credit only for inadvertently being the first domino to fall in what promises to be - finally - the first thorough investigation into a football culture so blinded by greed, it can no longer see straight.
Allardyce was not naive. He was not a dummy-sucking toddler, but a 61-year-old man lured to a meeting with other adults united by a single purpose - to further leech from the game while giving very little in return.
Despite being paid £3 million ($4m)a year, he thought nothing of picking up another £400,000 from fake "Far East investors" with dodgy business interests.
The layman continues to ask how an England manager, just a month into his dream job, succumbed to temptation so easily when he was already a multi-millionaire.
Derek Taylor, the late Beatles publicist, was once asked a similar question about the band's lucrative anthology project in the mid-90s.
His answer was as simple as it was profound.
In his experience, people with lots of money seldom said no to more.
That's elite English football today, an industry so awash with cash, so lost in its pursuit of further profits that the usual parameters of wealth no longer apply.
Allardyce has enjoyed the fruits of his moderately successful labours for decades now, but a whiff of greed and a hint of controversy followed him and agent Mark Curtis from club to club.
In 2006, the then Bolton manager was named in a BBC programme on transfer deals. According to the programme, three different signings involved payments from agents to Allardyce's son Craig.
Allardyce denied any wrongdoing.
In 2013, he was named as an unwitting investor in a £450m tax scam and found himself embroiled in a £275m tax fraud involving a fake film company.
Allardyce denied any wrongdoing.
In the same year at West Ham, Allardyce was accused of banishing Ravel Morrison to the reserves for refusing to sign a contract with Curtis.
Both Allardyce and Curtis denied any wrongdoing.
However, at the same time, Curtis did represent or had links to Kevin Nolan, James Tomkins, Jack Collison, Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Adrian, all Hammers working under Allardyce.
But Allardyce denied any wrongdoing.
Morrison was eventually loaned out to Cardiff City. Yesterday, Cardiff announced an investigation after auditors discovered evidence of unexplained payments over Morrison's loan in 2014.
Presumably, Allardyce and Curtis will deny any wrongdoing.
Nevertheless, their willingness to meet a couple of shady characters with dubious business interests reveals both a breathtaking arrogance and an underlying belief that the game - and its gullible supporters - exist only to be milked for all they're worth.
If the England position really was the dream job, Allardyce would never have agreed to the meeting. He was already at the end of the rainbow, holding his pot of gold and wearing his Three Lions blazer.
And yet it still wasn't enough. Allardyce proved himself to be just another crass product of his gluttonous environment. In a world of Oliver Twists, everyone always wants more.
They take from the game, the fans and whatever is left of the sport's emaciated soul.
Allardyce was not the first. Hopefully, as the dominoes continue to fall, he will not be the last. He's just the most foolish.
But then again, he'll receive a seven-figure pay-off from the English Football Association. And, if David Moyes' fortunes continue to plummet, Sunderland would probably welcome back their former manager with open arms.
The Black Cats can't risk losing a slice of those obscene TV revenues through relegation.
In the end, it's only about the money. It always is.
5 even shorter coaching stints
Sam Allardyce left his post as England manager 67 days after his appointment yesterday.
Here, AFP Sports looks at five other managers whose reigns lasted an even shorter space of time.
Steve Bruce - Wigan (55 days)
Ironically the front runner among bookmakers for the England vacancy, the former Manchester United skipper didn't dally long at Wigan. He took charge for eight games in 2009 at the Second Division side but after a play-off loss, he left to join Crystal Palace.
Alan Shearer - Newcastle (51)
The Newcastle legend, who did not have managerial experience, could not save his beloved club from relegation in the 2008/09 EPL season. "I am hurting. I am raw, I take my share of the blame I thought I could save them in those eight games," he said.
Brian Clough - Leeds United (44)
Took over at Leeds after Don Revie became the England boss. The strong character clashed with similar individuals at Leeds. He left after just one win in seven games, before going on to lead Nottingham Forest to two European Cup victories.
Jorg Berger - Arminia Bielefeld (5)
A former East German national youth-team handler who had fled to West Germany in 1979. He was called up to literally the last chance saloon for Bielefeld's final game of the season and a relegation decider. They drew and it was not enough to save them, nor him.
Marcelo Bielsa - Lazio (2)
The Argentinian agreed to take over at Lazio in June this year, but backed out just 48 hours later, because he claimed that the club, who had released 18 players from last season, broke their promise of signing at least four new players before July 5. - Wire Services.