It’s almost like corruption is just staring you in the face – agent claims he set up Port Vale managerial appointment
A football agent claimed to have influence appointing Port Vale’s manager, a court has heard.
Agent Dax Price allegedly made the claim in a conversation secretly recorded by an undercover reporter, the prosecution said.
Price, 48, is on trial for bribery at Southwark crown court alongside Italian agent Giuseppe “Pino” Pagliara and Tommy Wright, the former assistant head coach at Barnsley FC.
The court appearance follows an extensive investigation by the Telegraph, which published a number of exposés of alleged corruption in English football in September 2016.
The newspaper’s undercover reporter Claire Newell, posed as a businesswoman during meetings at top hotels where the conversations of the football agents was recorded.
The court heard that Price and Pagliara made a series of boasts about their footballing links and set up meetings designed to “impress” the undercover journalist.
One of those claims, according to the Times was:
At another meeting Mr Price claimed he was putting a manager into Port Vale, the League One club, so he could filter players into the team. “It’s almost like corruption is just staring you in the face,” he is alleged to have said.
Among the recording are allegations that former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson threw a game, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte hinted at receiving payments from the agents and that Tommy Wright accepted a “cash bribe” to get players to sign up with the two agents.
The Port Vale manager around the time of the 2016 Telegraph investigation was Bruno Ribeiro, who brought in a number of continental players during his time at the club, but there is no indication which Port Vale manager Price is referring to.