Barnsley suspend son of Sunderland star after Telegraph allegations

Barnsley have suspended assistant head coach Tommy Wright following allegations he took a £5,000 bung to help place players at his club.

Thursday, 29th September 2016, 8:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:01 pm
Barnsley assistant coach, Tommy Wright, while working at Chesterfield.

The Daily Telegraph alleged that Wright (pictured) – son of former Sunderland star of the 1950s Tommy Wright – accepted the money during a series of meetings with a fake Far East firm in which he agreed to help sign players part-owned by the firm.

The Championship club said in a statement: “Barnsley FC is aware of allegations made by the Telegraph against Tommy Wright.

“The club has today suspended Tommy pending an internal investigation into these allegations.”

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The allegation forms part of the Telegraph’s undercover investigation into corruption in football, which on Tuesday accounted for England manager Sam Allardyce.

The newspaper has also alleged that 10 as-yet-unnamed managers took bribes in player transfers.

In a separate development, the Telegraph alleged that QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink requested a fee of £55,000 to work for a fake Far Eastern firm seeking to sell players to the club.

In video footage collected by the national paper, Hasselbaink is seen asking his suitors to “come up with a nice figure” for a role, which the newspaper says he is told would involve a number of trips to meet with the firm in Singapore.

Hasselbaink says: “You said the word business. That’s all, it’s business, so it depends what you put down, you know... at the end of the day, it has to be worthwhile to go all that way.”

QPR have not suspended Hasselbaink, saying they have “every confidence” in him, but adding the 44-year-old will be subjected to a “thorough internal investigation”.

In a statement, QPR said: “The club is aware of the allegations made against QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in The Telegraph.

“First and foremost, the club takes very seriously any alleged breach of the rules.

“With this in mind, the club can confirm that there will be a thorough internal investigation regarding this matter.

“However, we have every confidence in our manager and the robust systems and processes the club has in place.”

In addition, Hasselbaink issued a statement in which he denied any impropriety and said he saw nothing “unusual” in the prospective deal.

Hasselbaink said: “I have today, through my lawyers, responded in full to the accusations levelled against me by The Telegraph.

“I was approached by Mr McGarvey and Ms Newell of The Telegraph purporting to be players’ agents. They offered me a fee to make a speech in Singapore.

“I do not see anything unusual in being offered to be paid to make a speech.

“I did not make any promises in return. I did not ask QPR to purchase any of the players who were said to be managed by Mr McGarvey and Ms Newell and did not and would not recommend the purchase of a player for my personal gain.

“I deny any accusations of wrongdoing on my part.”

The Telegraph alleges Leeds owner Massimo Cellino explained ways by which to circumvent FA and FIFA rules on transfers.

In video footage obtained by the Telegraph of a meeting between Cellino and a fictitious investment firm, the Italian appears to suggest to the firm it could become a club shareholder in order to receive a portion of players’ sell-on fees.

FA and FIFA rules ban third-party ownership of players, and third parties receiving any percentage of a player’s transfer fees.

Cellino says in the video: “I tell you, I spend eight million this year.. on new players. You want to finance that? You want to come 20 per cent in that? You got 20 per cent of the player – it’s the only way.

“As a shareholder you can finance the club, asking everything you want – percentage – you are allowed to do it in England.”

Leeds declined to comment when contacted by the Press Association on Wednesday night.