It wasn’t the most cynically corrupt thing a football manager has ever been caught doing.
In all honesty, it wasn’t even the most corrupt thing Sam Allardyce has ever been caught doing.
But there is a reason why this was different and why it rendered his position as England manager completely untenable.
Allardyce has, throughout his career, very carefully and very deliberately crafted a public persona as a hard working, straight talking, working class, Northern lad.
He’s positioned himself as the last bastion of Englishness in a league awash with fancy pants foreigners.
He’s been proud to be seen as the pie’n’mash on a menu packed with caviar & carbonara.
For more than a decade Allardyce has used the “Big Sam” brand to aggressively jockey for the England job.
He portrayed himself as a man who bleeds three lions.
He questioned how seriously non-English managers have taken the job.
He said time and time again that being England manager should be the pinnacle of any English manager’s career.
So when he finally attains his goal and plants his hard working, straight talking, working class, Northern arse in the England Manager’s chair, what does he do?
He falls for the oldest trick in the tabloid playbook and gets caught with his hard working, straight talking, working class, Northern arse, sans pants, freshly lubed and stuck in the air.
And all because he couldn’t pass up another opportunity to slip a few more bovril tokens into a wallet already so wedged with wad that it could double as an anchor for an aircraft carrier.
Allardyce had to go.
He had to go because the one thing that made many of us think that he was the right man for the job was that the job would mean more to him than to anyone else.
Ultimately it meant less to him than being wined & dined by wealthy men looking to indulge in the sporting equivalent of insider trading.
Ultimately it took just 67 days for the big sham of Big Sam to be publicly revealed.