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The beautiful game or just a crying shame?

Warrick Beaver  Global Head of Human Resources

Warrick Beaver  Global Head of Human Resources

Once again football is in the spotlight but for the wrong reasons. The English Football Association (FA) needs proper systems and process in place to ensure they are conducting due diligence on all business relationships.

They say no publicity is bad publicity but I’m not sure FA shared those sentiments when they woke up to find the former England manager, Mr Allardyce in the news for all the wrong reasons.

The former England manager has been caught in a newspaper investigation negotiating a £400,000 deal for a company which seemed to propose third party ownership of players (which was banned by the FA in 2008-9 and FIFA in 2015), in addition, to offering advice on how to “get around” FA rules on player transfers.

Only last month I wrote a blog on how the nature of modern global sport and the money associated with it has generated numerous opportunities for corruption and illicit activity.

This story has once again highlighted the key risks that all organizations should be looking out for in their business or third party relationships.


  • Public officials and those who hold position of power and influence are perfectly placed to enable illicit activity to happen within their business and third party relationships. In pursuing policies of transparency and openness, sometimes the challenge for organizations in dealing with third party risk lies with how they hold themselves and their employees accountable to prevent it.

Do you really know who you are dealing with?

  • The importance of conducting proper due diligence on all business relationships and third parties cannot be underestimated this is because it can reveal hidden links and connections which might prevent your company experiencing financial and reputation damage.

Exploitation of workers

  • Third party ownership is when a football player is effectively part-owned by a company but the practice was banned as it raised too many issues over the integrity of competition, the development of young players and the potential impact on the game. However, exploitation of workers (as we can see from the current scandal) still goes on and third party labour providers can be a significant weakness in supply chains as  if your caught with forced labour or those working under poor conditions for or within your organization you could face legal and civil action.

It is essential that those who are connected to third parties have proper systems and process in place to ensure they are conducting due diligence on all business relationships and suppliers and manage any risks. If they do they might find themselves longer in the job than 67 days…

Learn more

Nowhere to hide as corruption fight gathers pace
IMF highlights negative impact of corruption on global economy
Report finds anti-bribery and corruption efforts need work despite increased momentum

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