Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: Tap of the league for sheer hypocrisy

Tapping up players or managers: what’s the problem?

Aside from the first few months after leaving university, I’ve been with the BBC for the whole of my working life — that’ll be 36 years at the beginning of April. Largely, they’ve been happy years but, if I wanted a move away or some other employer wanted me more, do you think I wouldn’t have entered into negotiations?

I cannot understand why football thinks it’s different to any other walk of working life. More to the point, it patently ISN’T. Tapping up goes on all the time. It’s the height of hypocrisy to claim it doesn’t.

Gerard Houllier says Villa didn’t ‘tap’ Darren Bent. This is the same guy whose pursuit, at Liverpool, of Christian Ziege at Middlesbrough led to the Anfield club being heavily fined.

And what has Steve Bruce to complain about? He seemed to question Bent’s loyalty and Villa’s morals. Wigan, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Huddersfield and Birmingham fans might have something to say about Bruce’s own track record.

Further, hands up anyone who believes West Ham didn’t sound out Martin O’Neill before the Ulsterman ‘withdrew his candidacy’ for their job?

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