Football agent implicated in Telegraph sting now insists he 'made up' bungs claim 5 years ago

Football agent implicated in Telegraph sting now insists he 'made up' bungs claim

The football agent who said eight Premier League managers had taken "bungs" has now insisted he made up the claims to impress the fake investors behind the sting.

Pino Pagliara was filmed by undercover Telegraph reporters posing as representatives of a Far Eastern firm claiming to be interested in investing in the British football transfer market.

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Pagliara claims he was offered a contract worth £400,000 plus £60,000 in expenses and a company car - and lied about handing illegal payments to managers in order to secure the deal for himself.

He told ITV: "At 61 years old you don't get offers like that. I'm still waiting for my company car and I don't think I'll get it."

He says he never suggested paying bungs but says the 'investors' insisted it would be the best way to achieve success.

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He said: "After trying to explain that that wasn't the case I felt that it was probably easier to say, 'ok, whatever you say, we'll bung them'."

He told the BBC: "I allowed them to believe the managers would not drop the money on the floor if I gave it to them."

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Pagliara was filmed meeting former Barnsley assistant manager Tommy Wright, who allegedly took a £5,000 cash payment at the meeting.

Wright was sacked on Thursday after the allegations came to light, but Pagliara now insists the money was not for Wright - it was for him.

"But the actual fact is this ... as soon as we were on our own Tommy Wright gave me that money," he told ITV.

BARNSLEY, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Tommy Wright assistant head coach of Barnsley during the pre-season friendly match between Barnsley and Everton at Oakwell Stadium on July 23, 2016 in Barnsley, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)"n Tommy Wright has now been sacked by Barnsley (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
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"I asked Tommy, because I needed that money, if he would lend himself to taking this money, allowing them to believe it was for him.

"But the actual fact is this ... as soon as we were on our own Tommy Wright gave me that money."

Pagliara says he still has the £5,000.

He also denied ever having been involved with a corrupt transfer deal.

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"Find me a manager that says he's taken money (from me) or find me some evidence that I have given money to a manager then you don't need to believe me. Then my name is finished. But I don't think you will, because I haven't," he said.

He also attacked the Telegraph, branding their reporting "incompetent" and "ignorant".

A Telegraph statement said:

'Our investigations team had numerous meetings and telephone conversations with Mr Pagliara over many months.

'The transcripts of our investigation, which are currently being prepared for the police and the FA, make it very clear what he said about a series of Premier League managers.'

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The paper's shocking revelations this week have already seen Sam Allardyce forced to leave his job as England boss.

They have also made claims about Southampton assistant manager Eric Black, while Queens Park Rangers have announced they are conducting an internal investigation after Hoops boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was implicated.

Catch up with the latest episode of Football Friday Live right here...