Friday, January 13, 2006

Newell going public over bung

If you’ve read my blog before then you’ll know that there is no end in sight to my cynicism. When I first heard Mike Newell, manager of Championship contenders Luton Town, announce that he was ready to take on the ‘bung’ culture of football by naming names, I laughed it off. Funny though, as I read more and more managers, such as Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy, coming out in support of the claims, I am starting to really believe that despicable football agents may just have seen their last day in the sun.

For those not familiar with the term, to bung, or bung up, means to give a manager a cash kickback for signing or selling a player. Newell claims that these sums are in the 70 and 80 thousands of pounds at the Championship level but much higher in the Premiership.

The English FA is set to meet with the Luton manager next week to substantiate his allegations. Newell has insisted that he will back up his claims and I am, knees on the floor, praying he does. Newell claims he will present evidence on a club director offering a bung to sell a player.

Newell, a former Everton and Blackburn Rovers player has never had an agent in his entire career. That fact makes me believe this situation is the real deal. Newell has probably ruined a good thing for a lot of managers who practice bung, he probably won’t make many friends for the admonition and likely will lose out on some potential players, so applaud this man everyone, because there are fewer like him every day in this corrupt world we are living in.

If you recall in 1993 when a libel case was being heard against Terry Venables, Sir Alan Sugar left the courtroom mouth-open when he said 'Cloughie likes a bung'. What followed was an enquiry into the practice of bribes for transfer deals. Tottenham signed Teddy Sheringham from Nottingham Forest and Brian Clough was paid off a 50,000 pound bunger to allow the transfer. Even bigger was George Graham’s firing as an Arsenal in 1995 when he was found guilty of accepting 475,000 pounds from agent Rune Hague.

Since these high profile cases, little has been heard of bung, but good thing it is in the headlines again. My skeptical side says that this won’t change things, but look at it this way: the FA has also never has someone offer to come in and name names like this.
Borrow Money From People. Low Rates. No Banks. Earn 8-12%. Great Returns. No Banks.