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Bribes, kickbacks and bad business: Will football ever clean up its act?

The ESPN FC crew discuss Sam Allardyce stepping down as the England manager after coaching just one game.

It's a victimless crime. Or, alternatively, the cost of doing business.

That's how a fair chunk of football folk -- though they would never admit it -- view bribes and kickbacks. As for the other stakeholders -- owners, fans, media, federations, FIFA -- I'm not sure to what degree people care.

The Daily Telegraph's revelations trumpet the fact that eight Premier League managers are accused taking "bungs" -- essentially, demanding an under-the-table payment to approve a player transfer or contract...

Sam Allardyce case highlights FA's poor judgment and decision-making

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti details what led Sam Allardyce to leave his position as England manager.
Former England manager Sam Allardyce speaks for the first time since losing the job.

After a 9½-week romance, the Football Association woke up feeling kind of dirty.

Bribes (quaintly called "bungs" in the lexicon of English football).

Players gambling on football.

Third-party ownership rules being circumvented.

Two hundred thousand bucks (plus first-class tickets and hotel) for the England manager to fly out to Asia, give a "keynote speech" and have him hang out at the bar for a few hours.

The Daily Telegraph's undercover sting of Sam Allardyce leaves the English FA (or simply...

Arsenal 'Wengerball,' Chelsea concern, Madrid 'drama,' Mourinho and Rooney

ESPN FC's Craig Burley says Arsenal completely controlled proceedings against a somewhat lacklustre Chelsea side.

This was peak "Wengerball." In their 3-0 win against Chelsea, this was not Arsenal in the sense of the team we see week in, week out, but the "idea" of Arsenal, the stylized utopia Arsene Wenger has been striving toward for the past decade.

You can probably count on one hand the number of times Arsenal have been this impressive against a quality opponent in the past few years. To many, the question now becomes how you interpret it. Is this a sign of things to come, or is it a wonderful, magical...

Dear UEFA president: We expect you to keep the super-clubs in check

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe explains how new UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin could stand in the way of a reformed Champions League.

Wednesday saw the election of a new Union of European Football Associations president, with Slovenian FA president Aleksander Ceferin winning the vote. Gab Marcotti writes an open letter to the new chief, from whom lots will be expected.

Dear Mr. President:

Congratulations on winning the election. Getting 42 of 55 UEFA member nations to vote for you when until a few months ago few outside of Slovenia had heard of you is no small feat.

You do have a Wikipedia entry, but it's only...

Why Real Madrid's bid to win back-to-back Champions Leagues is difficult

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale would relish the opportunity to lift the Champions League trophy in Cardiff this season.

You huffed and puffed to get to 10 -- because it's a nice, round number -- and, after a 10-year wait, you hit the mark in 2014.

Last year, you got to 11, which is more than one-and-a-half times as many as your nearest challenger. How do you follow that up? Why, by trying to defend your title of European champion, which is something no club has done since 1990, a distant time when there were two Germanys and only one famous Kardashian (Robert).

Few clubs are as aware of their place in history and...

Man United must learn, Barca slip up, Ronaldo returns, Totti inspires, more

The ESPN FC crew evaluate the entertainment factor of the first Manchester Derby featuring Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.

The Manchester derby lived up to the hype, at least for the neutral. A lot of the focus postmatch was on individual incidents and performances, but there was also an interesting tactical punch/counterpunch to the game.

The United XI picked by Jose Mourinho clearly could not cope with the sharpness of City's possession in the first half, particularly in the middle of the park. So he threw on Ander Herrera alongside Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini and suddenly City's passing lanes were disrupted...