LONDON (AFP) - One of the agents caught on film making sensational revelations of corruption against eight current and former English Premier League managers admitted to the BBC on Friday (Sept 30) that he had lied.
Italian agent Giuseppe Pagliara, who claimed he opened Swiss bank accounts for managers and worked through intermediaries to cover the illegal payments, said he had hoped to pick up business in a series of meetings with the representatives of a fake Far East company, who were in fact undercover reporters.
"I allowed them to believe the managers would not drop the money on the floor if I gave it to them," he told the BBC.
Pagliara, who still insisted nevertheless there was corruption in the English game, added his life had been ruined by what he termed the "disgraceful sting".
The Daily Telegraph, whose investigation claimed the scalp of England manager Sam Allardyce on Tuesday over his remarks on third-party ownership, stood by their investigation.
"Our investigations team had numerous meetings and telephone conversations with Mr Pagliara over many months," read the newspaper's statement.
"The transcripts of our investigation, which are currently being prepared for the police and the FA (Football Association), make it very clear what he said about a series of Premier League managers."
The other two agents who were also fooled into believing they were talking to potential clients have not added anything since their initial reactions to the allegations.
Scott McGarvey denied any wrongdoing while Dax Price said he would not respond to the investigation without further detail.
Allardyce was also filmed negotiating lucrative speaking engagements in Asia and making damaging remarks about the FA and his predecessor Roy Hodgson.
The 61-year-old was axed just 67 days into the job as England manager, after he and the FA agreed his position had become untenable.