Allardyce 'concerned' over TV programme

September 18, 2006

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has admitted his family are 'concerned' about possible allegations in the BBC's Panorama investigation into football to be screened on Tuesday.

Allardyce and his agent son Craig are understood to have been among those investigated by the programme.

The Bolton boss said: 'We are concerned but at the moment, because I am linked with it, from a legal point of view, I cannot say any more than that.

'I will take a view after the programme has come out because I do not know what is in it.'

The full allegations to be made in the programme, to be shown on BBC1 at 9pm on Tuesday, are still unknown - indeed lawyers are still poring over the footage.

What is definite is that Luton manager Mike Newell will name the agents he claims offered him a bung.

The Panorama investigation, called 'Undercover: Football's Dirty Secrets', is also set to make damaging allegations about at least one Premiership manager.

The programme will also show football agent Charles Collymore being secretly filmed telling investigators that 'six to eight managers' who would be 'definitely up for a bung' and he goes on to name managers and clubs - though it is not definite as to whether they will publicise those names.

Collymore says: 'There's managers out there who take bungs all day long... xxxxx, you know that, takes bungs all day long. We've got xxxx FC yep all day long.'

'I would say to you comfortably there's six to eight managers we could definitely approach and they'd be up for this, no problem.'

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has already insisted he has nothing to fear from the programme, for which he was secretly filmed as well.

Newell tells the BBC: 'I think it's become a culture in football and it's almost accepted and brushed under the carpet.'

The programme is based around filmed conversations between agents and undercover journalists posing as representatives of a new agency called Dynamic Soccer. The BBC believe they have uncovered some damning testimony that will 'rock football'.

They also claim in their promotional text for the programme: 'For the first time an undercover team, which infiltrated the murky world of football for a year, will reveal the extraordinary depth of dishonesty, flagrant rule breaking and outright corruption in the nation's favourite and wealthiest sport.

'On the eve of the official Lord Stevens inquiry report into skulduggery in the beautiful game, this secret camera investigation - naming top agents, clubs and managers who are cheating their supporters - delivers evidence he won't have but which will rock football.'

Former Metropolitan police commissioner Lord Stevens, who has been asked by the Premier League to conduct the official inquiry into bungs, is due to reveal his findings on October 2.

Collymore has issued a statement denying he had either offered or accepted an illegal payment.

The statement read: 'I refer to the Panorama investigative programme being screened tomorrow, 19th September.

'A third-party introduction led to a meeting with a Mr Knut Auf dem Berge. I became suspicious of his alleged claim to be a front man for an investor.

'In seeking to uncover his true identity and the validity of his claim. I made some wholly untrue statements to determine his real agenda.

'I can categorically state that I have never offered nor accepted a 'bung', to or from anyone.'