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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Undercover: Football's dirty secrets
Sam Allardyce
Bolton manager Sam Allardyce
A former candidate for the England manager job and a Premiership boss will be investigated by the Football Association.

Bolton manger Sam Allardyce, his son Craig, Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp and Redknapp's former assistant Kevin Bond will be interviewed by the FA.

The FA has already asked the BBC to provide all of the information it obtained during the investigation.

Mr Allardyce has asked his lawyers to take "appropriate" steps.

He said: "Obviously I'm denying all allegations that have been alleged against me. The matter's in the lawyers' hands and will be resolved by due process."

Allegations against three agents will also be examined by the FA.

Further investigations will be conducted jointly with the Premier League. These will be into the Chelsea head of development, Frank Arnesen, Liverpool FC, Newcastle United FC and the transfers of Hidetoshi Nakata, Tal Ben Haim and Ali Al-Habsi to Bolton Wanderers.

Based on the evidence obtained, The FA will then determine what action should be taken.

FA Chief Executive Brian Barwick said: "These are serious allegations which have been made by Panorama and we are determined to investigate them fully. It is vital for the integrity of the game and for every football supporter that we do this.

"We will work in close co-operation with the Premier League. As with any investigation, we will ensure that our inquiries are exhaustive and thorough. If we find evidence of corruption we will act on it. We recognise our responsibility."

In the undercover Panorama film it is claimed that 18 past and present Premiership managers had been named as having taken illegal payments.

Two agents claimed they made illegal payments to secure transfer deals with a former candidate for the England football manager's job.

A secret and unauthorised payment seen as a financial incentive to help a transfer go through
An agent pays a club official a slice of his cut for the help of the club official helping the transfer go through
An agent may... never so approach a player who is under contract with a club with the aim of persuading him to terminate his contract prematurely or to flout the rights and duties stipulated in the contract

Agent Teni Yerima says he bribed Bolton manager Sam Allardyce.

Agent Peter Harrison says he paid Mr Allardyce's son to secure deals with Bolton and Craig Allardyce is filmed boasting about access to his father.

Sam Allardyce told the BBC he has never taken or asked for or received a bung.

He said he would not condone any breach of FA rules whatever personal affection he has for his son.

Mr Allardyce was named as a possible replacement for the England manager Sven Goran Eriksson before the job was given to Steve McClaren.

These allegations damage the integrity of football and need to be looked at properly
Sports minister Richard Caborn

Panorama also uncovered that three different Bolton transfer signings involved secret payments from agents to Craig Allardyce, some when he was contractually banned from doing any Bolton deals.

The club has admitted it knew nothing about the manager's son getting a cut of the money in these deals.

In the secret filming Craig Allardyce told the undercover reporter: "I'll get the (player) profile and I'll walk straight into the office and sit down with me Dad. It's easy, it's easy."

Craig Allardyce told the BBC that he had exaggerated his own importance to the undercover reporter in order to attract opportunities.

He denied any wrongdoing in his Bolton deals or relationship with the club.

Harry Redknapp and Peter Harrison

The Portsmouth manager, Harry Redknapp, is secretly filmed discussing the possibility of buying the Blackburn captain Andy Todd, illegal under FA rules.

At the meeting, Mr Redknapp tells agent Peter Harrison: "I like Toddy, don't I? No I'd take him. I would take him. I would take him without a doubt."

But Mr Redknapp denies his conversation about Andy Todd with the agent Peter Harrison amounted to "tapping up".

His assistant at Portsmouth at the time of the filming, Kevin Bond, is secretly recorded admitting he would consider discussing receiving payments from a proposed new agency involving Peter Harrison. Bond also says he will discuss it with his then boss Harry Redknapp.

Mr Redknapp told the BBC that he has never taken a bung and had given Kevin Bond no reason to think otherwise.

When Mr Bond was told of the filming he said that he is not interested in receiving bungs and that no one he has ever worked with has taken a bung.

The documentary also shows Chelsea's director of youth football, Frank Arnesen, secretly filmed making a illegal approach or "tapping up" Middlesbrough's England youth star 15-year-old Nathan Porritt.

Last year, Chelsea were fined 500,000 by Premiership bosses, the Premier League, for "tapping up" Ashley Cole from rivals Arsenal.

Chelsea have been warned they would be docked three Premiership points if they were ever caught at it again.

Middlesbrough have confirmed that they did not give permission for the approach.

Chelsea have denied that the filmed meeting broke any industry rules.

Porritt was also the subject of filmed discussions between Harrison and representatives of Liverpool FC.

In the programme, for the first time a former agent gives an on-camera interview about the corruption he says he has witnessed.

Steven Noel-Hill said: "The game is corrupt. Bungs were the lubricant of deals. I would say that 80% of all deals have bungs attached to them."

Three different licensed agents who are secretly filmed admit it is normal for some Premiership managers to take bungs.

Charles Collymore - named publicly for the first time in the Panorama film by Luton Town manager Mike Newell as the agent who offered him an illegal payment - said to the undercover reporter: "There's managers out there who take bungs all day long.

"I would say to you comfortably there's six to eight managers we could definitely approach and they'd be up for this no problem."

Knut Auf dem Berge

When Mr Collymore was offered a right to reply to the filming he denied offering or accepting any bungs and says he gave the undercover reporter, UEFA-licensed coach Knut auf dem Berge, false information because he was suspicious of his agenda.

Panorama also reveals that the Bolton chairman Phil Gartside - who is part of the Football Association board which helps police the game - misled his own fans.

He complained in the press last August about an illegal approach to buy his captain Jay Jay Okocha and said he had asked Fifa to investigate.

But Panorama finds out that eight days earlier he had been in a room with the agent Teni Yerima trying to sell Okocha.

Mr Gartside has since told the BBC that he had not wanted to sell Okocha but could not ignore a generous offer for his player.

Agent Peter Harrison has since denied that he is a corrupt agent and says that everything he said to the BBC's undercover reporter, Knut auf dem Berge, was merely pub gossip and banter.

He says his payments to Craig Allardyce were legitimate.

Agent Teni Yerima told the BBC that he made everything up as part of a plan to find out who Knut auf dem Berge was working for.

In March, Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, was appointed as head of a probe into alleged transfer bungs in the Premier League.

He is looking at irregular payments in transfer deals made since 1 January 2004 and he is expected to publish his findings within weeks.

  • Undercover: Football's dirty secrets was first broadcast on September 19 2006 on BBC One. We hope to offer a transcript of this film later this week. We could not stream this film live due to rights' issues but hope to have a slightly different version offered on demand and this will be advertised on the homepage and in an email alert which you can sign up for here

    Interview: Bolton boss Sam Allardyce

    Report: FA probes BBC 'bung' allegations

    Interview: Sports minister Richard Caborn

    Interview: Vice Chairman of the League Managers Association Frank Clarke

    FA investigates BBC 'bung' claims
    20 Sep 06 |  Football
    Boro fury at Porritt 'tapping-up'
    20 Sep 06 |  Football
    Where football goes from here
    20 Sep 06 |  Football
    Panorama: Who is accused of what?
    20 Sep 06 |  Football
    Football's original bung scandal
    20 Sep 06 |  Football
    LMA wants evidence from Panorama
    20 Sep 06 |  Football
    'Bung' reaction
    20 Sep 06 |  Football
    Ex-police chief leads bungs probe
    03 Mar 06 |  Premier League

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