Barnsley Football Club coach sentenced for bribery

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Tommy Wright was sentenced to 12 months suspended for a year

Two football agents and a coach have been sentenced for taking part in bribery which was exposed by the Telegraph newspaper.

Police said it was the first conviction in the UK relating to football industry corruption.

Tommy Wright, Barnsley Football Club's ex-assistant head coach, was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for a year.

Giuseppe "Pino" Pagliara, of Bury, and Dax Price, of Sittingbourne, were also sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.

The three men were brought to trial after an undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph, which "published a number of exposés of alleged corruption in English football" in September 2016.

During the trial, the court heard Wright, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was handed an envelope of £5,000 in cash by the newspaper's undercover reporter Claire Newell.

He is also understood to have leaked information about Barnsley players at a meeting in August 2016.

The trial heard some of the players were encouraged to sign up with Pagliara and Price, who both broke football rules by acting as "third-party" owners of players in a bid to profit when they were sold on to other clubs.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Giuseppe Pagliara was handed a two-year suspended sentence

The men were found guilty in December.

Wright, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was convicted of two charges of accepting a bribe in contravention of the Bribery Act 2000.

Football agent Price, 48, was handed an 18-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, after being convicted of two charges of offering or promising a bribe contrary to the same act.

Pagliara, 64, of Bury, another agent originally from Italy, was given a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, after also being found guilty of two charges of offering or promising a bribe.

Speaking after the trial, Det Con Chris Glover from the City of London Police's Fraud Squad, said: "This case is the first in the UK relating to corruption in the football industry and shows how offending of this extremely serious nature can lead to significant prison sentences.

"We are pleased justice has now been done and would like to take this opportunity to thank the Telegraph, Football Association, Crown Prosecution Service and Barnsley Football Club for their assistance with this case."

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