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A British Soccer Club Has Halted Operations Because of Breaches of the MODERN SLAVERY ACT by Its Owners

However prepared you think you are to digest what's in the entirety of that statement, I promise you're overestimating yourself.

Staines Town, a non-league British soccer club, announced it has suspended all operations. What could possibly cause a team to completely shutter like that? Let's take a look at what the club had to say:

Source — Staines Town Football Club (STFC) regrets to announce that pursuant to third party breaches of Section 54 of The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and other information that has come to light, we are forced to temporarily suspend all primary operations including but not limited to competitive fixtures, until a thorough investigation into the practices of Downing LLP has been concluded by the relevant authorities.

 In the first instance, STFC has an obligation under The Modern Slavery Act 2015 to ensure that our business and supply chains are free from human trafficking and slavery.

What a lede. I must say I can't ever recall a team invoking the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 in a press release before. I also don't remember a class period in college spent discussing how to write a statement accusing your bosses' bosses of human rights violations.

But it goes on.

Of particular interest to those involved at all levels of football, both within the UK and globally, it has also come to our attention through both substantive and vast evidence from various sources, that Downing LLP, who control and fund the operation of our Landlord, The Thames Club, may be involved through its other holdings in the financing of large scale bribery and corruption. This includes the current funding of a Swiss Bank with international operations that has been found guilty in the United States Federal Court of conspiring to launder over $36 million USD in bribes to officials within the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and other football federations.  These bribes were in furtherance of a scheme in which sports marketing companies bribed football officials in exchange for broadcasting rights to football matches.

Elsewhere, we have also been provided with vast amounts of evidence, that Downing LLP, may be involved through its other holdings in the financing of Environmental Crimes, Price Fixing, Deforestation, Forced Evictions, Human Rights Abuses, Child Labour, Slavery, Gender Discrimination and Murder.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what's that at the end?! We got EIGHT paragraphs in before mentioning murder?! It's never brought up again, either. That's it. I guess it's just accepted as par for the course with these Downing LLP fellas.

This statement is absolutely incredible. There's a whole part about paying tens of millions of dollars to bribe referees and it's not even one of the five most noteworthy things in there. I thought I had heard some crazy college football recruiting stories, but I must say this puts anything I previously thought was crazy to shame.

Until absolute resolution is guaranteed, STFC will not go back to Wheatsheaf Park and play beneath the bloodied shadow of the profits of slavery, child abuse and all else. It simply will not be tolerated and is offensive and unacceptable in every form. Everyone associated with such practices must be stopped in their tracks and brought to book with urgency. This needs to start with the enablers of such acts who appear to operate with complete impunity under our noses, here in the United Kingdom.

Good for Staines Town. Let it be known they will not put up with murder, slavery, child labor, bribery, deforestation and any other crime their owners may or may not have committed at any point in the recent or distant past.