English football is on the brink of meltdown as the extent of the greed that forced Sam Allardyce out of the England manager’s job comes to light.
Within 24 hours of publishing details of an undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph Allardyce stepped down with further revelations going to the heart of the game.
With football awash with broadcasting money raised from fans’ subscriptions it seems that those in the inside have been helping themselves with the authorities powerless to step in and attempt to regulate.
Ex-Premier League manager allegedly liked “bungs” in cash or deposited in a Swiss bank account. Pagliara said: “I can call [X] now and all it is with [X] is ‘How much, Pino? And will it be the same Swiss bank account?’”
Ex-top flight manager has had “more backhanders than Wimbledon”. Pagliara said: “This is what I hate… the guy that used to need the money but he’s had so much now that all of a sudden he’s whiter than white.”
After managing several British clubs, he was allegedly fired by one for having “his fingers in the till”. Pagliara said he would get involved if “you understand that when we do deals I have to have a carrier bag with some cash”.
Pagliara said of this boss with Premier League experience: “We know him very, very well. We do a transfer, [X] has winked at us and said ‘Yeah, I want the player. Is there a little coffee for me, Pino?’ Yeah, course there is.”
Ex-Premier League manager who, said Pagliara, would call him and say “here’s the number”, and give him details of a Swiss account. He said: “It was always numbered accounts.”
A former player who now manages, he allegedly likes extra money to secure deals because he is not on a big salary at his club. Pagliara said: “[X] takes a few [inaudible] because he’s not being paid big money.”
Ex-Premier League manager is another “we can put on the payroll”. If a player was transferred for £10m, “we’ll turn round to [X] and say, listen, if you take this player we’ll look after you. OK? OK, boom.”
Agent Dax Price said this long-serving manager would pick three trusted players and tell them he was paying them an extra £8,000 per month, on condition that they paid him £4,000 per month each.
According to today’s report in The Telegraph EIGHT recent Premier League managers have accepted bungs for pushing through transfers.
By holding back from naming the managers suspicion has been cast across the whole of the English game.
Today’s revelations claim that: “Over the following hours, and during other meetings with undercover Telegraph reporters, Mr Pagliara and two other agents named a total of eight current or recent Premier League managers who they said were known for taking “bungs”, including five they said they had personally paid off.
They also named two Championship managers who, they said, had accepted bribes. They were unaware that their conversations were being recorded as part of a Telegraph investigation into corruption in football, thinking instead they were talking to representatives of a Far Eastern firm looking to invest in soccer.
With their guard dropped, the agents provided a troubling insight into a footballing nation where, according to one of them, “everything is under the table” and corruption is widespread.
By the time Mr Pagliara sat down to his lunch of king prawns followed by risotto at San Carlo in Manchester, where virtually every player, manager and agent in the north west has dined at some point, he had already held several meetings with representatives of the fictitious Far East firm, and was keen to use their supposed financial clout to further his own career in the sometimes murky world of player transfers.
“He explained to the woman sitting next to him that: “There’s one thing I’ve always been able to rely on, and that is the greed of general managers.”
Asked if he meant he paid people in England, he replied, “Here it’s even worse… I thought the Italians were corrupt.” Giving examples, he said of one manager: “We know him very, very well. We do a transfer to [named club], [X] has winked at us and said yeah, I want the player. Is there a little coffee for me, Pino? Yeah, that’s what he will say. “Yeah, course there is. I’ll negotiate that coffee as well.”
He added that the manager “will probably tell me, ‘OK I’ve got this guy who I work with a lot, he can put an invoice for consultancy, right, and he will do that. Nobody is stupid these days, they understand the importance of covering their tracks.”
“We will not make any payments directly to him. There’ll be a consultancy agreement with somebody who he trusts enough to let them do that and then he gets it back, that’s how it works.”
He said he could ruin the reputation of one former manager with what he knew about him, “because he’s very bent… I’ve got bank accounts of his, I’ve paid money to him, yeah course I did”.
He said the manager would call him and say “here’s the number”, and would then give him the details of a numbered account at a bank in Switzerland. “It was always numbered accounts,” he said. “I have opened so many Swiss bank accounts for managers that you wouldn’t believe.”
With more revelations to come and managers holding media conferences tomorrow the cloud over English football is only going to deepen.