City of London Police have opened a criminal investigation into a single suspected offence of bribery following the Daily Telegraph sting – but it does not involve former England manager Sam Allardyce.
A number of videos were published by the newspaper in September containing footage allegedly showing incidents of possible malpractice involving agents and coaches in English football.
The covertly filmed videos led to Allardyce leaving the England manager’s post by mutual consent after he was seen allegedly telling undercover reporters how to circumvent FA rules on third-party transfers.
And while Allardyce is not under investigation, City of London Police are stepping up their probe.
A statement read: “Detectives from the City of London Police Economic Crime Directorate have reviewed material gathered by a recent Daily Telegraph investigation into suspected corruption in football.
“This review of the material has concluded and the decision has been taken to begin a criminal investigation into a single suspected offence of bribery. No arrests.”
Allardyce, who remains out of work, said: “I welcome today’s confirmation from City of London Police that I will not be the subject of a police investigation. I was always confident that this would be the case as there was no evidence against me. I now ask that the Football Association deals with this matter as quickly as possible.
“I would like to thank my friends and family who have stood by me during this difficult period.
“The position of England head coach is the pinnacle of any English manager’s career and it was my dream job. While I am sad that my tenure came to an end early, I am nonetheless proud to have been chosen to manage the England football team and hope that today’s confirmation from the police will give me the opportunity to move on.”
Barnsley assistant head coach Tommy Wright was sacked by the Championship club after he was filmed apparently accepting a £5,000 payment to help a fake company profit from transfer deals, while former QPR boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was claimed to have been negotiating a £55,000 fee to work with the fictitious Far East firm that the reporters claimed to represent. Both men have denied the allegations.
Southampton assistant manager Eric Black was later named as having apparently given the reporters advice on how to bribe officials at lower-league clubs. Black has also protested his innocence.