Newspaper review: Football fallout on front pages

After newspaper allegations led to Sam Allardyce stepping down as England manager, the Daily Telegraph has more claims against football club officials.

Barnsley assistant manager Tommy Wright was filmed apparently being given an envelope of money in return for allegedly helping persuade the club to sign players from a fake Far East firm.

He has been suspended by Barnsley "pending an internal investigation into these allegations".

QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is filmed apparently negotiating a fee to travel to Singapore to speak to the Far East firm.

He has issued a statement in which he denied "any accusations of wrongdoing on my part".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sam Allardyce stepped down as England manager

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino was also filmed by the Telegraph offering undercover reporters posing as an investment firm a way to get around FA and Fifa third-party ownership rules.

Leeds claimed the footage of their owner amounted to a "non-story" as Cellino "made a perfectly proper suggestion which is entirely consistent with the FA's regulations".

The Telegraph reports: "The spotlight falls on Championship clubs following the Telegraph's disclosures earlier this week about Sam Allardyce, who lost his job as England manager after giving advice on getting around FA rules, and on Premier League clubs, where eight current or recent managers have been accused of taking bungs.

"Yesterday Allardyce left the UK to 'reflect' on the end of his 67-day England career, saying he had made an 'error of judgment' and been 'a fool'.

"In an interview with this paper, Greg Clarke, the FA chairman, admitted it lacked the power to root out financial impropriety. He has begun a review of the FA's disciplinary processes.

"The League Managers Association said it was 'extremely concerned' by disclosures about bungs allegedly being paid to Premier League managers."


'A few home truths'

In an editorial, the Telegraph comments that English football fans expected and deserved higher standards from the man representing the national side.

"Mr Allardyce doubtless feels aggrieved that he has ended up the fall guy for the deeper crisis in the sport exposed by this newspaper," it says.

"This is not something that football can brush under the carpet as an unfortunate distraction; it is a systemic issue linked to the vast amounts of money sloshing around a sport that the FA seems singularly ill-equipped to regulate.

"There are laws against bribery and corruption that the legal authorities must use if evidence exists. But within football, sweeping organisational and structural changes are required if the FA is to be an effective regulator.

"This time, another inquiry leading nowhere will not be good enough."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Barnsley assistant manager Tommy Wright has been suspended by the club

In the same paper, former Football Association executive director David Davies takes a similar view.

"If the Sam Allardyce affair produces real change in the way football is run in England then it will have delivered something positive and unprecedented," he writes.

"For there are a few home truths here that all of us who care about football have to recognise. We cannot go on like this indefinitely."

The Guardian believes politicians should restrict the number of games broadcast on pay-TV and set aside some top matches for free-to-air TV to take the heat out of football's finances.

"More people will watch the games," it reasons. "The BBC would be able to showcase an expression of national cultural identity. Commercial free-to-air channels could benefit from advertising. Highlights on the BBC draw millions more than a single match on pay-TV.

"With competition from free matches, TV deals will shrink. Clubs will reduce player salaries. The wealth of club owners and media tycoons will drop."

On a lighter note, Matt's cartoon in the Telegraph has football spectators looking in disbelief as one of them shouts: "Oi, REF!!! You're the only principled, decent man in the whole game."


Loudest and longest cheers

The papers reflect on Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the Labour conference, in which he said the party could climb an "electoral mountain" to general election success.

"Setting out a radical left-wing agenda that secured rapturous applause from supporters in the hall but a sceptical response from some Labour MPs, Corbyn also hit back at party critics who say he is uninterested in winning elections," says the Guardian.

He said he would scrap the borrowing cap for local councils, raise corporation tax by up to 1.5% to fund education, and ban arms sales where there are credible reports of human rights abuses or war crimes being committed, reports the Guardian.

It continues: "One of the loudest and longest cheers came when he said he believed recent wars had spread terrorism, sectarianism and violence."

This caused most of the audience to rise to its feet, says the Guardian, but a few members walked out in response to what might be seen as an attack on Tony Blair.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jeremy Corbyn delivered his keynote speech at the Labour conference

The Times says Mr Corbyn said he respected voters' concerns about immigration but said the best response was to spend more to mitigate the effects on public services and prevent wage undercutting.

Mr Corbyn pledged to hit businesses with higher taxes to help fund a £500bn spending spree and pay for student grants, is how the Telegraph sees it.

The i says Mr Corbyn delivered an ultimatum to his party that he would do it his way, "insisting that his vision of 'socialism of the 21st Century' could win over the country".

The Mail says Mr Corbyn unveiled plans for "a debt binge and a £9bn hike in business taxes", the Sun talks of vague socialist dreams "he could only fund by borrowing billions and trashing the economy, while the Mirror says he gave a glimpse of how Labour could fight back to make what seemed impossible become a possibility.


Heart failure risk

Research that suggests that a type of painkiller - non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen - could increase the risk of heart failure is covered in many of the papers.

It makes the front page lead story for the Express, which says it could increase the chance of the potentially fatal disease by 20%.

"Patients on some of the most frequently prescribed painkillers have been warned to take the lowest effective dose and try to limit the length of time on the medicine," states the Express.

"The fresh health warning over the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs comes after analysis involving almost 10 million patients.

"Experts said their findings showed it was also wrong for people to assume over-the-counter painkillers were 'harmless and safe for everyone'."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Painkillers such ibuprofen have been linked to heart failure by a study

The Times says the researchers concluded that drugs taken by millions of people over the counter and routinely prescribed by GPs can lead to patients being taken to hospital with heart failure.

"Doctors have been urged to review the treatment of patients taking the painkillers long term and choose other options for those at risk of heart problems," its says.

"Occasional use of the drugs for aches and pains is unlikely to be a problem. Some experts have called for a ban on selling the drugs in supermarkets and corner shops where patients cannot get advice from a pharmacist, however."