Tommy Wright: Barnsley sack assistant boss amid football corruption claims

Tommy Wright
Tommy Wright signed a new contract as Barnsley assistant boss in the summer

Barnsley have sacked assistant boss Tommy Wright after he was named in a Daily Telegraph investigationexternal-link alleging corruption in football.

The report included footage of Wright apparently accepting money in return for allegedly helping persuade the Championship club to sign players.

He was suspended on Wednesday while the club investigated the allegations.

But the 50-year-old has now been sacked with immediate effect after a meeting with chief executive Linton Brown.

A Barnsley statement read: "After considering Mr Wright's response to allegations in today's Daily Telegraph about breaching FA rules over player transfers, Mr Wright was dismissed.

"The club was unaware of such matters or involved in any wrongdoing. The club will continue to fully investigate the issues at hand and will co-operate with the regulatory authorities as necessary."

As part of an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in football, the newspaper claims Wright accepted £5,000 at a meeting in Leeds in August.

A spokesman for Wright has said: "Any suggested acts contrary to criminal law or those of the Football Association and Fifa are categorically denied."

Wright joined Barnsley in February 2015 as number two to former boss Lee Johnson, and continued in the role under current head coach Paul Heckingbottom.

The latest allegations come a day after the Telegraph claimed eight current or former Premier League managers had taken bribes for player transfers.

Sam Allardyce left his post as England manager on Tuesday after claims in the newspaper that he offered advice on how to "get around" rules on player transfers.

The FA, Premier League and EFL have pledged to investigate this week's newspaper allegations.

In a joint statement, they said: "English football takes the governance of the game extremely seriously with integrity being of paramount importance.

"Any substantive allegations will be investigated with the full force of the rules at our disposal, which are wide-ranging and well-developed. In addition, should we find any evidence of criminality we would inform and seek the support of the appropriate statutory authorities."

The League Managers' Association (LMA) has accused the newspaper of holding up any investigation because it has yet to hand over any evidence. It said in a statement it wanted "full and complete unconditional disclosure of all the information it has, immediately".

The Telegraph has said it will pass on all relevant material to the football authorities.

QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was appointed QPR manager in December 2015

In a separate meeting, QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was filmed apparently negotiating a fee to travel to Singapore to speak to the Far East firm.

The Dutchman, 44, also allegedly discusses the possibility of signing players from them.

He has not been suspended by the Championship club who say "there will be a thorough internal investigation regarding this matter".

QPR's statement added: "However, we have every confidence in our manager and the robust systems and processes the club has in place."

Former Chelsea striker Hasselbaink also issued a statement in which he denied "any accusations of wrongdoing on my part".

"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."

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino
Cellino recently took 100% control of Leeds United

Controversial Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, meanwhile, was filmed by the Telegraph offering undercover reporters posing as an investment firm a way to get around FA and Fifa third-party ownership rules.

In a meeting at Leeds' ground, arranged by football agent Pino Pagliara, Cellino apparently offered to sell shares in the Championship club as a means of funding the purchase of players.

The Italian proposed the fictitious firm buy 20% of the club, in return for which it would receive the same percentage of future player sell-on fees.

In the video, Cellino says: "I tell you, I spend eight million this year... on new players.

"You want to finance that? You want to come 20% in that? You got 20% 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 claimed the footage of their owner amounted to a "non-story" as Cellino "made a perfectly proper suggestion which is entirely consistent with the FA's regulations".

The statement added: "If a company commits money to a club by way of investment, taking on the potential for profit but also the risk for loss, then that is a normal, everyday corporate process.

"This is plainly not a suggestion as to how to circumvent the rules, but rather, an accurate albeit concise explanation of how to operate within the confines of the rules and effectively become 'the club'."

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