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An agent has accused the former Manchester United manager of fixing a match and pocketing transfer fees Betting Fixed Matches
Legendary Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson fixed a Champions League game against Juventus and was given a gold Rolex as a reward, a court heard.
Giuseppe “Pino” Pagliara, 64, made the claims about the fixture to an undercover reporter posing as a businesswoman looking to invest in football during a secretly recorded meeting, jurors were told.
He also claimed that Sir Alex trousered money from transfer deals, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Brian O’Neill QC told Southwark Crown Court Pagliara claimed to have paid Sir Alex for the deal.
He said: “Towards the end of the meeting Pagliara launched into what could only be described as a diatribe of Sir Alex Ferguson, accusing him of having conspired with Pagliara to fix the result of a football match between Juventus, a club which Pagliara was associated with, and Manchester United in the Champions League for which Pagliara had thanked him with a gold 30 grand Rolex watch.
“Pagliara went on to accuse Sir Alex Ferguson of having taken money as part of transfer deals.
“He claimed that he had paid Ferguson before.”
Pagliara and fellow agent Dax Price tried to “impress” the reporter by arranging meetings with former England manager Steve McClaren, ex-Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and footballer Kanu, the court heard.
Mr O’Neill also said Pagliara claimed “99% of the people in football if they weren’t in football would be selling second-hand cars”.
Pagliara was allegedly secretly recorded talking about a scheme that involved bringing players into the Premier League through third-party ownership.
Mr O’Neill added: “To the outside world, the plan being espoused by Mr Pagliara, it would look as though the player in question was owned by the football club in Belgium when actually the player was owned by a third-party.
“And that, said Pagliara, was the plan that he wanted to end up bringing to England because that’s where the money is.
“He went to speak about placing players in Italian clubs where he had various connections before moving them to England. ”
As well as Ferguson, he claimed to have dealings with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
Pagliara was recorded saying: “‘You have to have an offshore account somewhere and that’s where we do it. For example, Antonio Conte has winked at us and said, ‘yeah, I want that player, is there a little coffee for me Pino?’
“That’s what he’ll say: yeah, of course, there is and now I’m negotiating a coffee as well and we are not talking about a double espresso.”
Pagliara went on to say he would disguise it as a consultancy agreement by another trusted individual.
He added: “I’ve opened so many Swiss bank accounts for managers that you would not believe’.”
Tommy Wright, 53, then assistant head coach of Championship club Barnsley, accepted a cash bribe to get players to sign up with the agents, the court was told.
The court was told Pagliara and Price arranged for a £5,000 bribe to be handed in an envelope to Scottish-born Wright, who played top-flight football for Leeds, Leicester City, Oldham and Middlesbrough.
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