Dispatches & The Football League: Not Quite A Smoking Gun, But Possibly A Start

Perhaps the least surprising aspect of this evening’s “Dispatches” programme on the subject of the London Nominees Football Fund has been the almost jaded reaction that it immediately received in some quarters. This isn’t a criticism of those offering such weariness in the face of yet another programme detailing one of the ways in which a shady group of business people can plunder our game, but it does serve to act as a reflection upon the way in which the game is now run in this country. For example, the sight of the Football League’s Greg Clarke admitting that, “We are a simple alliance of 72 football clubs who largely lose money” may not have been meant as an act of pathos, but this was certainly the effect that it will have had upon many viewers. Perhaps we have been battered a little too much in recent times by talk of corruption in the media, within FIFA and now on the periphery of our own domestic game. It would be easy to pick on Bryan Robson, the most recognisable face to incriminate himself in this evening’s programme, but his behaviour and language is a symptom rather than the cause of the ills that the programme hinted at. Similarly, Joe Sim may be no more than a braggart, prone to overemphasising his connections with Alex Ferguson in order to nail...

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