I would like to use this blog, which will reach a substantial audience in footballing circles to ask that we become pro-active as an organisation (of which I am a paying member) to rid our game of cheats. To clarify, by cheats, I directly mean clubs who are paying substantial amounts of money to sign amateur football players.
The discussion on the clubs in amateur football who are cheating and bending the rules has been done to death. Teams who are sticking to the constitution are suffering because of a lack of action. Established clubs with excellent reputations are now disappearing for good because they cannot compete with teams who are attracting players to them by means of financial payment as well as other unsavoury incentives. Surely it is time to stop burying our heads in the sand when this topic is mentioned and to take action against these people. It is ruining our game, absolutely ruining it.
I have several suggestions that I would like to draw your attention to and that I would like to see implemented.
- The removal of the rule whereby clubs can legitimately pay players travelling expenses. It creates a loophole which is easily exploited.
- A whistle-blower telephone number for information regarding cheating clubs and players to be reported.
- Investigations carried out into the finances of the clubs who have been the subject of whistle blowing reports to either confirm or deny the information. The constitution states any club must produce their accounts when required to by the SAFA.
- Lifetime bans for any individual caught paying players.
- Acknowledgement from the SAFA that the payment of players is going on and a promise to rid the game of cheats.
This close season has seen a huge surge in the rush to get in the right players and to throw money at gaining quality players signatures. Surely the person in charge of the player registrations can see a pattern emerge whereby a players previous club(s) does not reflect the standard of club he is currently signing for, or an influx of players of great quality suddenly and strangely appearing at the one club. We need to start asking big questions…
…you need to start asking big questions!
The SAFA should not take heed of the people in our game who say that if you can’t prove it then it doesn’t happen and there is no point discussing it. The organisation should be going out of their way to ensure it is not happening and to severely punish anyone involved. The proof is out there. You just have to be willing to find it.
I am far from being the only club Manager who has been affected by losing a player from my club because I could not pay him or buy him expensive football boots yet we are the ones suffering and we have been left hung out to dry for not resorting to underhand tactics.
I would encourage anyone who takes the time to read this article to re tweet it, share it, quote it and show it to your friends. Make sure that this message does not fall on deaf ears.
We are sick of the cheaters and we want them OUT.