the old pals act

old pals act

The idea that someone has used their power, money, influence, or position to benefit or protect their friends or acquaintances. Used especially in reference to sports teams. Primarily heard in UK. Despite being great friends with the club's owner, the new manager insists that it was his belief in the team's ability to win championships, not some old pals act, that led him to take the job.
See also: act, old, pal

the old pals act

used humorously to imply that someone is using a position of influence to help their friends. British informal
See also: act, old, pal
References in periodicals archive ?
A DRUG-dealing cop tried the old pals act on detectives who arrested him with two bags of cocaine in his possession.
Michael Johnston: The old pals act seems to be working for Nev Powell, who pulled this gem from ex-club Tranmere.
For too long Fletcher has adopted the old pals act with players who repeatedly let him down.
The Ibrox boss used the old pals act with his former Aberdeen team-mate in an attempt to glean more information on the shock-troopers from Slovakia.
But it's not just the old pals act that makes Gattuso want to see the Scottish champions do well.
GRANT Brebner will forget the old pals act when Tommy Burns leads Celtic to Edinburgh tonight.
Duffy used the old pals act to tempt the 41-year-old back into football and expects The Goalie to soon return to the game on a full-time basis.
TONY Blair and German leader Gerhard Schroeder did the old pals act yesterday - despite their differences over war on Iraq.
JAMIE BUCHAN won't let the old pals act get in the way of derby day delight.
MOROCCAN star Youssef Rossi last night admitted the old pals act convinced him to sign for Dunfermline.
IT'S the old pals act again for Madonna and Rupert Everett in her latest video.
But the old pals act will be forgotten when Well take on Wim Jansen's troops at Fir Park on Saturday.