Pompey boss speaks out on corruption scandal

Former England boss Sam Allardyce
Former England boss Sam Allardyce
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PAUL COOK fears for football’s future in the wake of the corruption scandal engulfing the game.

And the Blues boss has voiced concern it’s just a matter of time before a big club goes out of existence.

Cook, however, spoke of his delight at Pompey’s place in the game as leaders in transparency.

Football has been rocked by the Daily Telegraph’s investigation into corruption this week, involving the likes of Sam Allardyce and sacked Barnsley assistant head coach Tommy Wright.

The role of agents in the game have also been a key area for focus.

Cook feels the controversy is typical of the ills surrounding football.

He said: ‘It’s football and it disappoints me. The game we love so much is being taken away from people. It’s sad.

‘That’s the sad thing about the game now. It’s been drifting away from us for ages.

‘Portsmouth have had first glance on it all, too, when it comes to the wrong people being in the wrong jobs.

‘Unfortunately, the likelihood is the more money there is involved in the game the more corruption there is.

‘That’s the reality if we’re allowing agents to take millions of pounds out if it.’

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino is another figure at the centre of allegations. Cook used his club as example of one which should belong with its people.

‘The way football’s going it’s only going to get worse. That’s the way the game’s going,’ he said.

‘The powers that be must bring some sanity to the game.

‘The foreign ownership coming in and the money coming in. You look at clubs like Coventry and Leeds. They should be run by people from those cities. They have a pride in their clubs.

‘I’m not criticising anyone who runs those club, but these people love their club.

‘Eventually, these clubs are going to die. The people who run them will not care.’

Cook had praise for the way Pompey is run in the era of community ownership – and the roles of chief executive Mark Catlin and finance director Tony Brown.

Cook said: ‘That’s one of the best things about us. We’re a real club. We’re ran by the fans. We want the success but the club is so transparent.

‘I’m working with the guys who the board have entrusted to run the club. They’re great.

‘The chief executive and financial director are very different characters, but very professional and good at their jobs. We’re in great hands.’

– JORDAN CROSS