However, attempts to prevent fraud and corruption in sport are still at a relatively early stage and financial crime compliance for sports organisations is at its infancy.
The types of fraud experienced within the sports sector are extremely wide-ranging from vote-rigging, match-fixing and spot-fixing, to bribery and embezzlement.
In the UK, several high profile sports managers and sporting stars have been accused of tax fraud. Another area of concern is in the allocation of grants within sports following the discovery in 2004 that a Lottery funds distributor was subject to a fraud involving multiple applications for grants.
The diverse range of corruption in sports demonstrates three common risk factors, namely: i) the problem of self-regulation in sport; ii) the difficulty of regulating against international corruption; and (in some cases) iii) links with organised crime9. Ultimately as a largely self-regulated industry, the changes must come from within.
We are in the process of progressing our offering of financial crime, investigation and litigation advice in this sector. Critical is recognizing the commercial nature of transactions and individuals at risk in this sector. Our in depth knowledge as to all aspects of financial crime allows us to utilise our skills to apply to other sectors, including sports.
Our wider experience has been used to aid sports people investigate questionable investments through to advising on corporate governance in the football industry on a Government Consultations.
We have experience in advising clients in this sector on identifying and reducing their risks to fraud through assisting on investigations and in litigation.
And how, as with many organisations, they may differ from prescribed policies and procedures. That is a reality for many organisations so management of supply chain risk and the threat of bribery requires a key understanding of the higher risk areas for any client.