Thursday 29th September
Newspapers have always been obnoxious and never shy of dirty tricks; we just had phone hacking and now we have entrapment. Sam Allardyce, the latest hope for English football has just been entrapped; he was caught on camera talking to who he thought were businessmen, but were really reporters. He had just been appointed England manager on a salary of three million pounds a year. That is 57,692 pounds a week (more than I have ever earned in a year), he has to prepare for maybe a dozen matches a year, he gets to watch any Premier match for free, he gets to pick his own staff and of course the players. If the team wins he is a hero, if they lose he is blamed, but hey – that pay-packet must be some consolation. So, why, oh why did he have to be so greedy. And it was a mix of greed and arrogance which led him to appear to agree to tell these businessmen/journos just how to break the rules put in place by his very employers to stop corruption in the transfer market. He also stupidly rubbished his predecessor and his employers.
Now, I am not condoning the antics of the press; one can never be sure of their motives. They say they are acting in the public interest but selling newspapers is really their purpose, along with trying to sway public opinion of course. Anyway I suppose that their argument would be that if their ‘target’ was honest they would not be so easily entrapped by the inducement of easy money. And one must wonder why if they were innocent they would appear so willing to throw a match, or ask questions for money or accept bribes to break the law. And the only conclusion we can come to is that in all probability the reporters knew or strongly suspected that their ‘targets’ were crooked in the first place, and the entrapment was laid to expose them. And these rich people all went for it because of greed, as if being an MP, or a famous sportsman, or England Manager on a huge salary weren’t enough on their own. The saddest aspect is that all too often the ‘entrapped’ is never punished as it is much harder to prove they ever broke the law. At least in the case of big Sam he apologized for his stupidity (but not his greed) and he was promptly sacked, or forced to resign. Hopefully this might be a lesson to all these greedy and already rich people…but I doubt it, there seems no limit to people’s greed – and getting a fast buck is now the nation’s chief attribute, from M.P.s to bankers to sports stars to football managers.