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Southampton investigating Eric Black allegations

Southampton have launched an investigation following allegations that assistant first-team manager Eric Black offered advice on giving bribes to officials at other clubs to a company that wanted to represent footballers.

Black was filmed by an undercover Daily Telegraph reporter believing they worked for a Far East firm and the former Coventry City boss allegedly suggested that a colleague at a different club might be persuaded to pass on information about players for payment.

Such payments are prohibited by the Football Association.

A Southampton statement, released shortly before the Telegraph story emerged online on Thursday, read: “We have today contacted The FA and The Premier League, and intend to work closely with both bodies on this matter when the facts become clear.

“Southampton Football Club is fully committed to investigating any situation that directly or indirectly relates to our club, employees or the wider community.”

A spokesman for Black responded to the Telegraph, dismissing the notion that he was guilty of suggesting bribery.

“[Mr Black] does not recall Mr McGarvey making suggestions that football officials should be paid during transfer negotiations – this was not the purpose of the meeting so far as our client understood it,” he said.

“Any suggestion that he was complicit in such discussions is false.”

The claims from the Daily Telegraph follow a series of allegations by the newspaper this week.

England parted company with manager Sam Allardyce following apparent remarks, made in a video recorded by undercover reporters, in which he offered advice on how to circumvent rules on transfers involving player under third-party ownership.

QPR also confirmed an investigation is ongoing following allegations manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink negotiated a £55,000 fee to serve as a sports ambassador for a company that wanted to sell players to his club.

Hasselbaink denied any wrongdoing, saying: “I do not see anything unusual in being offered to be paid to make a speech.”

Barnsley sacked assistant manager Tommy Wright on Thursday, after it was alleged he met with representatives from a fake Far Eastern firm and accepted a £5,000 payment after agreeing to help them profit from transfer deals.

Thu 29 Sep, 2016
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