FA Chairman Cites Importance of Free Press Following Allardyce Scoop

The chairman of the Football Association Greg Clarke has cited the importance of a free press in holding power to account after the Daily Telegraph’s Sam Allardyce scoop this week. 

Mr Clarke said: “Where you don’t have an inquisitive, free press, very dark things happen in corners of the world which are hidden. There is nothing wrong with using what techniques you have to use to expose wrongdoing.”

Acting chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Damian Collins said: “Allardyce’s point about entrapment totally misses the point, because if it wasn’t for these sorts of investigations the truth would never out.

“Football is incapable of investigating itself. I would much rather undercover reporters get these stories into the light of day.”

The agenda-setting investigation by The Daily Telegraph led to England football manager leaving his job after he was filmed making comments about third-party player ownership and making comments about other senior figures in football.

After the story broke, the Football Association said his conduct was “inappropriate of the England manager” and that he had made “a significant error of judgement” and that it had been mutually agreed to  terminate his contract with immediate effect.

Writing about The Daily Telegraph’s story on the Mediatel website, Ray Snoddy said the story was an example of “exemplary journalism.”

He wrote: “The Daily Telegraph and its exemplary journalism made near-instant action inevitable. What is really interesting is the scale of the effort and the resources that must have been required to make such a thing possible.”

Roy Greenslade described the story as a “worthwhile piece of investigative journalism.”