QPR boss Hasselbaink accused and Barnsley assistant suspended
Queen's Park Rangers manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is the latest subject of allegations in the ongoing Daily Telegraph series of disclosures that have rocked English football and brought down national team manager Sam Allardyce.
Now Hasselbaink has questions to answer after undercover reporters for the paper recorded him negotiating a fee of £55,000 to act as an ambassador for a sports company that proposed selling players to his club.
The former Chelsea striker is heard agreeing to fly to Singapore to speak to investors in a Far Eastern firm that was seeking to be involved in the transfer of players.
He told undercover reporters posing as representatives of the firm: "Look, just try to make me happy… come up with a nice figure."
It comes after the Telegraph disclosed that the departed England manager Sam Allardyce negotiated a £400,000 per year deal to represent the same company, which in reality was a fictitious firm whose representatives were undercover reporters.
Hasselbaink (44) held two meetings with an undercover reporter at which he discussed meeting investors in the company and potentially signing players they represented.
He was told the Far East firm wanted to become involved in the transfer of players. But the Championship manager saw that as no barrier to working with the firm, and was open to the idea of signing players they represented, despite the apparent conflict of interest with his job at QPR.
He would potentially have been spending his club's money on players represented by a company that was paying him.
In response, Hasselbaink said there was nothing unusual about agreeing to make a speech and denied any wrongdoing.
Damian Collins, of the Commons culture and sport committee, said the practice of a manager taking money from a firm involved in player transfers was "a clear conflict of interest" and should be banned.
Also, last night the assistant manager of Championship club Barnsley, Tommy Wright, was suspended by the club after being filmed accepting a £5,000 cash "bung" for agreeing to help a fake Far Eastern firm which wanted to profit from transfers.
Wright is alleged to have accepted a bundle of £20 notes handed to him in an envelope during a meeting in Leeds last month.
In return, he agreed to help the agent sign up Barnsley players, and to recommend that the club sign other players represented by the consortium.