A football agent accused of corruption has caused a stir by bragging about giving then Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, a £30,000 Rolex in exchange for fixing a Champions League match, a court heard.
According to UK’s The Mirror, Giuseppe Pagliara, 64, also told an undercover reporter posing as a businesswoman that Sir Alex worked with agents to make money from transfer deals, a jury was told.
The claims were heard during the opening of the bribery trial of Pagliara, fellow agent Dax Price, 48, and Scot Tommy Wright, 53, the former assistant head coach of Barnsley.
Describing one meeting in Manchester in June 2016, prosecutor Brian O’Neill QC told Southwark Crown Court yesterday: “Pagliara launched into what could only be described as a diatribe of Sir Alex Ferguson… He claimed that he had paid Ferguson before.”
The trial also heard claims about other football figures, including former England manager Steve McLaren, ex-Portsmouth and Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and Cardiff manager Neil Warnock.
Prosecutor Brian O’Neill QC 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.”
Ferguson is regarded as one of the greatest football managers of all time and has won more trophies than any other manager in the history of football.
During his 26 years at United, he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and five FA Cups.