Southampton investigate assistant manager over corruption claims

Southampton investigate assistant manager over corruption claims

Southampton assistant manager Eric Black faces an investigation into his behaviour following allegations he advised how to bribe officials from other teams, the Premier League club said on Friday.

Black is the latest individual to be named in the Daily Telegraph's investigation into alleged corruption within the English game.

The newspaper's investigations team this week published information obtained during a 10-month probe into alleged corruption in British football.

Secretly-filmed footage of Sam Allardyce making a variety of controversial comments, including remarks about third-party ownership, cost him the England job on Wednesday after just 67 days as national manager.

Barnsley sacked assistant head coach Tommy Wright on Thursday after the newspaper alleged he took a £5,000 payment from undercover reporters posing as football agents. Wright denies wrongdoing.

QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is the subject of an internal investigation by the Championship club after allegations made against him, which he denies.

The Telegraph alleged Black had offered advice to an undercover reporter posing as a businesswoman on how to bribe officials at other clubs for information on players. He also denies the newspaper allegations.

Southampton said in a statement on Friday: "Having reviewed the limited facts provided in the Daily Telegraph this morning, the club wrote to the newspaper again, requesting a full transcript of the meeting Eric Black attended on 2nd September.

"This request has so far not been granted, and the facts that are presented only in the media are unclear and incomplete.

"The club continues to take any situation relating to our employees very seriously, and we will undertake a full internal review, working closely with the FA and the Premier League.

"We would like to place on record that Eric remains an employee of Southampton Football Club and, like any other employee here, will be afforded respect and support in this matter.

"The club values the support of our fans and in addition, like any employer, appreciates the hard work and dedication of our staff members.

"Southampton Football Club is totally committed to the strong values and culture that our fans and staff share, and will continue to provide full support to any initiative that improves the game we love and treasure."

Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger has been on a month's sabbatical while he coached Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey - an ice hockey event - in his native Canada.

Before the full club statement, Krueger said the allegations against Black were a ''personal issue for him'' and not directly linked to the club.

QPR say they cannot go ahead with a planned "thorough internal investigation" into the conduct of manager Hasselbaink until the Daily Telegraph fully discloses its evidence.

The Telegraph alleges the Dutchman requested a fee of £55,000 to work for a fake Far Eastern firm seeking to sell players to the club, with the former Chelsea and Holland striker refuting the claims.

The Football Association and League Managers Association have also asked the newspaper to share all of its evidence with them.

The Telegraph, however, has robustly defended its journalism and has explained that it has not passed on the huge amount of evidence it has obtained to the football authorities as the police have asked to see it first.

A spokesperson for the newspaper told Press Association Sport on Thursday that its "intention" was still to release "the relevant transcripts" of its investigation, once the police have reviewed the material.

Later on Thursday, the City of London Police confirmed to the Press Association that detectives have spoken to the newspaper's reporters and the FA to determine if any criminal offences have been committed.

But it is still unclear if the newspaper is willing to release everything it has - unedited or redacted, as requested by the football authorities - as it may understandably wish to protect sources.

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