The non-integrity of football

Football is a big business. It is a form of entertainment (although I've not been entertained recently by many matches involving my team Leicester City) but for most people involved it is also a means of making money. Since quite a lot of fans seem to overlook this fact, they carry on forking out huge sums of cash for tickets, thus helping to perpetuate the cycle. And as more money is present, so the likelihood of dodgy practice increases. The people who want to make money (be it players, managers, chairmen, agents) want to make as much money as they can, and if someone offers them access to more money secretly, they gobble it up.

So in the light of last night's Panorama report it amuses me to hear Sports Minister Richard Caborn saying that "these allegations [of Premiership managers accepting bungs] damage the integrity of football". Football doesn't have any integrity! Anyone who thinks it does is living in cloud cuckoo land! Football is like all other types of big business - it has some people with integrity, but hordes of others who don't give a hoot about it. The dictionary definition of integrity is 'steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code'. Does anyone with an ounce of common sense think football has either morals or ethics? People get away with whatever they can until the law-makers and regulators have the nerve to do something about it. This applies to players cheating on the pitch just as much as it does to managers cheating off it. The FA and UEFA and FIFA want to keep their slice of the pie, so they don't dare stand up to immoral practice in case the pie gets taken away. I applaud the Panorama investigation, but won't be holding my breath expecting football to get 'cleaned up' in the light of it.