Football: Allardyce's England exit 'kills me', says football agent

Former England national football team manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the press outside his home in Bolton on Sept 28, 2016.
Former England national football team manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the press outside his home in Bolton on Sept 28, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Football agent Scott McGarvey blames himself for Sam Allardyce losing his job as England manager following a sting by The Daily Telegraph.

Allardyce's reign lasted just 67 days after journalists posing as businessmen filmed him arranging to earn extra money by doing motivational speeches for a bogus Asian company.

Allardyce attended the meeting at a hotel in London after it was arranged by McGarvey, who was promised an annual salary of £218,000 (S$368,500) and a new Range Rover by the people behind the purported Meiran Sports Management group.

Asked by The Times how he felt about Allardyce losing his job, McGarvey said: "It kills me. It's the worst feeling in the world. I've got my own situation, but the real travesty is Sam.

"If he had lost his job at Crewe Alexandra, I would be gutted for him. But he's lost his job as England manager, the job he built himself up for. For Sam to lose that job, because of this, honestly, it kills me. Kills me."

BROKEN RELATIONS

I can understand if he doesn't speak to me again. I need to respect that, but I hope not because we go back a long way.

SCOTT McGARVEY, football agent, who arranged the meeting between Sam Allardyce and the bogus investors.

McGarvey said that, after some barren years as a football agent, he thought his luck had changed when he was wooed by "Meiran".

And Allardyce, who he has known since their playing days in England's north-west in the 1980s, had gone along "to help me out".

McGarvey said "Meiran" offered the England manager £400,000 to fly out to Hong Kong and Singapore to speak at conferences. Allardyce said he would have to run it past his new bosses at the Football Association (FA).

The day after the meeting with "Meiran", McGarvey said Allardyce called. He recalls: "Sam asks me: 'Did that go OK for you?' I said: 'It was great, Sam. Thanks so much for your help'.

"We don't mention money at all. Sam doesn't know how much I've got, but he certainly knew I didn't have much money.

"He knew it had been tough for me and that this was going to put me back on track in a big way. He was pleased to help me out."

But soon the sting was revealed and Allardyce lost his job as England manager, with the FA citing his "inappropriate" conduct.

"I can understand if he doesn't speak to me again. I need to respect that, but I hope not because we go back a long way," said McGarvey.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2016, with the headline 'Allardyce's England exit 'kills me', says football agent'. Print Edition | Subscribe