By Billy Rooney
Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger has declared the club “will react” to the shocking allegations of bribery in football which have tainted the sport’s reputation this week.
Krueger was expressing his consternation at Sam Allardyce and his involvement in a meeting set-up and secretly filmed by the Daily Telegraph. He subsequently lost his job as England manager after appearing to offer advice on how to “get around” FA and Fifa bans on third-party ownership arrangements in player transfer regulations.
Kruger is also dismayed by claims eight managers who have worked in the Premier League have accepted bribes for player transfers.
The 57-year-old maintains that Southampton will be the front-runner in ensuring that the Premier League will tighten regulations, in an attempt to minimise and eradicate such instances reoccurring in the future.
Krueger told ESPN: “I have to tell you, really, I’m absolutely shocked and shuddered. Our whole board is shocked and upset by it. We’ve had multiple messages through the day yesterday and this morning. We’ve been a club that has been driving, wanting to get control of the evolving agent world around us and we believe we’re going to have ears now.”
“Southampton is built on a completely honest and open culture and values. The reason I took the job was the unbelievable value structure and foundation of our owner, Katharina Liebherr. We see it as a shocking evolution that – I wouldn’t say we’re so naïve to believe that this didn’t exist, but we did think it wasn’t part of our English football culture.”
Krueger has been coaching Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey in Canada but promised to make taking action on the matter of corruption in football his top priority upon returning to the south coast of England.
He added: “We’re going to use this, for sure, as a club, to fight for change and to fight for more regulation. We are all for regulation, and we are one of the most disciplined clubs in English football in terms of the way we deal with agents and youth academy players.
“Staying within the rules is something we really — everything we do is based on that. We will react for sure. It’s going to become a major thing for me when I get back. Absolutely top of the agenda.”
Sam Allardyce’s exit from the England post has produced a looming dark cloud over English football.
Now the FA are looking to restore the game’s integrity by discovering who else is responsible for such corruption, following The Telegraph’s 10-month furtive investigation that regarded agents conversing about bungs.