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Big Names Implicated in Panorama Report

  • BBC News, Wednesday, September 20, 2006 5:03 PM
With a great deal of hype, a new episode of Panorama, a BBC investigative series, aired in Britain last night with the intent of exposing the seedy world of "bung culture" in British soccer, which is slang for bribery. Several big name managers were implicated in the report, including Bolton manager Sam Allardyce and Portsmouth's Harry Redknapp. Allardyce was accused of receiving illegal payments from two agents; he promptly refuted the allegations, saying he had never taken, asked for or received a bribe and would not condone any breaches of Football Association rules. His son Craig, an agent, was also accused of receiving illegal payments, or bungs, during three transfer deals. Also: Portsmouth's Harry Redknapp was accused of "tapping up," or making an illegal approach to Blackburn's Andy Todd, Chelsea's Frank Arnesen was similarly caught on video making such an approach to Middlesbrough's 15-year-old sensation Nathan Porritt. Arnesen himself was subject to investigation for illegal proceedings in his controversial move to Chelsea from Tottenham in September 2005. Before his move to Newcastle, Kevin Bond, then Portsmouth's No. 2, was implicated for admitting in a recording he would consider receiving illegal payments from an unnamed news agency involving a deal with agent Peter Harrison, who was also recorded as saying he successfully bribed Sam Allardyce with payments to his son for securing transfer deals with Bolton. As for Allardyce's son Craig, Panorama said he was involved in secret payments regarding the transfers of Tal Ben Aim, Hidetoshi Nakata and goalkeeper Ali al-Habsi to Bolton.

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