Former Man Utd manager Alex Ferguson fixed a football match with a corrupt agent who gave him a £30,000 gold Rolex, a court heard today.
Giuseppe ‘Pino’ Pagliara, 64, made the claims to an undercover reporter posing as a businesswoman looking to invest in football players, jurors were told.
He said the legendary manager fixed a champions league game against Italian giants Juventus and alleged Ferguson pocketed money from transfer deals.
“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,” said the prosecutor.
Pagliara is on trial for bribery at Southwark Crown Court alongside assistant head coach of Barnsley Football Club Tommy Wright and fellow football agent Dax Price. All three deny the charges.
The trio were charged following allegations of corruption published by the Daily Telegraph in 2016, one of which led to Sam Allardyce resigning as England manager.
Pagliara claimed that ’99 per cent of the people in football, if they weren’t in football, would be selling second-hand cars’.
He also claimed he had ‘opened so many Swiss bank accounts for managers that you would not believe’.
“’You have to have an offshore account somewhere and that’s where we do it. For example, Antonio Conte [then head coach at Chelsea] has winked at us and said, ‘Yeah, I want that player, is there a little coffee for me Pino?’”
“Yeah, 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.”
The trial continues.