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The Panorama programme

If a week is a long time in politics, then a day is a hell of a long time in the world of football. Barely twenty-four hours after being installed as the favourite to face the sack, Stuart Pearce sees Sam Allardyce replace him as the evens favourite on the back of the revelations in the BBC current affairs programme Panorama on Tuesday evening.

It was billed as the programme to rock the world of football and expose the crooks and cheats within the game.

Whilst it provided many a talking point and implicated a couple of figures - notably Sam Allardyce, it didn't provide the 'killer moment' or 'smoking gun' that many hoped it would do.

Harry Redknapp - widely reported to be a figure widely named was featured, but it amounted to next to nothing with Redknapp merely suggested that he would take a particular player (Blackburn's Andy Todd) - but there is nothing to suggest here other than he would be interested if the player became available.

Former Blue Kevin Bond fared not so well though as phone recordings appeared to suggest he and Harry Redknapp would not be averse to receiving payments. Bond today has announced he will be sueing the BBC for libel.

Sam Allardyce was the figure in which the programme ultimately centred around, but the 'evidence' against him was only that of a circumstantial nature, and delivered by a collection of agents who hardly managed to improve the general perception of image of them as shadowy, manipulative figures whose primary motive is that of greed.

Allardyce has come out fighting today, stating he had 'never taken, received or asked for any payments' . Accusing the agents involved of being greedy, and lying in order to inflate the value of their business to make money from the fictional agent.

Allardyce's son Craig doesn't come out of this with any credit. Coming across as someone who seems to have made his way in life on the back of his father's reputation, his stupidity in revealing the deals he claims he was involved in have probably done as much to harm Sam Allardyce's reputation than the revelations made by the three wise men - sorry, collection of agents.

One interesting point to draw from this is if Allardyce does have a reputation within the game, could this have been a factor in him being overlooked for the England job? The FA would hardly be looking to appoint somebody to such a high profile position only for it to blow up in their faces.

It may well be tough for Allardyce to survive this, as although from the programme there is no direct evidence implicating him (unless there is further evidence which wasn't aired), mud does stick and every transfer he has been involved in (and will be involved in in the future) would be scrutinised and subject to innuendo.

Bolton are standing by him for now and have asked for all the footage the BBC have on the subject. The problem is is that the media scrutiny on Allardyce on Bolton will now be immense and it maybe that Bolton and/or Allardyce feel that his position becomes untenable.

It maybe that Allardyce will need his son to be the 'fall guy' in this situation in order to clear his name and allow him to continue in management.

Overall though, the programme posed lots of questions and opened up the doors for further investigations by the LMA and Premier League, so rather than the programme being the evidence to nail anyone it may just be further suggestion that the culture of bungs exists.

And as the former agent Steven Noel-White stated in the programme, ultimately it may well need a 'supergrass' type figure with the 'smoking gun' evidence to bring the corrupt elements of the game (chairman, managers, agents and players) to justice.