QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has strongly denied ever receiving illegal payments in football after he was implicated in the Daily Telegraph’s investigation into corruption in English football.
Hasselbaink was filmed on a hidden camera by undercover reporters allegedly negotiating a £55,000 fee to serve as a sports ambassador for a fictitious Far East company that wanted to sell players to his club.
QPR have halted an internal investigation into the matter until the Telegraph – whose wide-ranging investigation prompted the departure of England manager Sam Allardyce earlier this week – provide full disclosure of its meeting with Hasselbaink, including video footage and transcripts.
In an interview with Sky Sports News, Hasselbaink emphatically stated he has never received an illegal payment, or “bung”, and would never consider it, while conceding to naivety on his part for allowing the meeting with the undercover reporters to take place.
“I have never been offered any money and I would never entertain that,” he said, before explaining his take on the seemingly lucrative negotiations.
“I understand that to the English public or whatever public £55,000 is a lot of money. And it is a lot of money.
“But in the industry I am in I am fortunate that I can make those kind of figures. I was negotiating to go to Singapore for a speech, that’s it. That’s it – no favouritisms, no strings attached.
“That is something I would never, ever do. I would not put myself in that position.
“I would walk out of there [if the payment offer was related to signing players] because I know that would bring me in deep trouble.”
Asked whether he regretted the meeting, Hasselbaink added: “Big time, big time. You think back and you criticise yourself and you must say that I have been naive.
“But then, with everything with it, I have never asked for money for myself to take a player or to bring a player into the club, I would never do that.
“That’s the painful thing about it – I take my job very, very, very seriously and I want to succeed in this business.
“I cannot speak for others, I can only speak for me and this taking money is not what I stand for. It’s not what I stand for.
“I have never done it, I would never do it, just to get a player to the club so I can benefit from that. No.
“I want to win games with good players who are going to bring this club forward, who are going to help this club.
“That’s what I want. I don’t want to make money from transfers; I don’t need to make money from transfers.”