chapter  10
31 Pages

Teenage kicks

How the structural adolescence of the football sector engenders a risk of money laundering, corruption and other economic crimes
WithChristopher Flanagan

In the game’s nascence, its original rule-making body, the Football Association (FA), sought to enforce amateurism, which was imposed in order to protect the ‘spirit and ethos’ of football, with professionalism thought to violate the Corinthian values of sport. This position proved to be unsustainable, and in 1885, a little over two decades after the FA’s formation, the FA acceded to professionalism. In order to understand the regulatory regime in which professional football sits, it is important first to understand the framework in which the laws pertaining to football, and sport more generally, are grounded. Sport is a historically self-regulating activity; that is to say, sports-governing bodies are ‘able to promulgate its own regulatory framework, governed internally’. The influx of big money has positive effects such as an increase of sport facilities and their availability to a larger number of people, this money also brings negative consequences.