- Agent Scott McGarvey has broken his silence on Sam Allardyce’s sacking
- McGarvey introduced Allardyce to undercover Daily Telegraph reporters
- He believed businessmen were representing sports management group
- Former Sunderland boss attended two meetings as a favour to McGarvey
- Allardyce’s 67-day reign as England manager came to end following sting
The agent who set up the meeting that led to Sam Allardyce losing his job as England manager has revealed he was offered ‘£218,000 a year, a Range Rover, a company credit card’ and a ticket to ‘the big time’ by Daily Telegraph reporters who convinced him to work for a fictitious company.
Scott McGarvey, 53, a former professional player who began his career at Manchester United, has broken his silence to reveal his regret over the affair. He introduced Allardyce to undercover reporters whom he believed were businessmen representing a sports management group – ‘Meiran Sports’ – who he believed had employed him in the job of his dreams.
The former Sunderland boss attended two meetings as a favour to McGarvey, a friend since their playing days in the early Eighties, but it backfired in spectacular fashion when the sting was revealed, costing Allardyce his job after he was filmed offering advice on how to get around FA rules regarding player transfers.
McGarvey told The Times: ‘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.’
McGarvey said that the undercover Telegraph reporters had been in contact with him over three months, starting on June 28 – and he had been in contact with Allardyce over meeting his new contacts when Allardyce was still Sunderland manager.
McGarvey said he had shared ’12 meetings, dozens of emails, hundreds of phone calls, hundreds of messages’ with him. Meiran Sports were sold to him as a company owned by the Bakrie Group – a real, Indonesian conglomerate.
‘I’m thinking, “This is my time. This is happening. Someone is smiling on me.”,’ said McGarvey. When he found out he had been duped, he ‘felt so sick’.
McGarvey says he believes Allardyce did not realise the scandal would cause problems in his own career when the Telegraph first published the details last month.
The pair spoke on the morning that the story broke, with the agent saying: ‘I don’t think he was even concerned about himself.’
The former England manager spent just 67 days in his ‘dream job’, with his contract terminated on September 27. McGarvey says the pair have not spoken since apart from communicating through a third party.
Asked on Sky Sports News how he felt about Allardyce losing his job, McGarvey said: ‘Very surprised. I’m devastated for him. I can’t think of anything worse that could have happened.
‘He’s got to feel I’m responsible because I’m the one who’s brought him to the meeting but he’s only come for me.
‘He’s never once spoken about money. He’s never once said anything about money. It was only, “Are you okay, lad? I’ll help you”.
‘Do I think he holds me responsible? I think he’s known me for a long, long time. He knows that I’d never do that to him or to anybody in football.
‘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.
‘It might take a bit of time because I know how hurt he is at losing the England job.
McGarvey, who is also implicated in similar stings on QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Southampton assistant Eric Black, insists that they were entrapped with a ‘capital E’.
He also claims that when he first started talking to the undercover journalists, Allardyce was still at Sunderland.
‘Capital E. Absolutely. One hundred per cent,’ he added. ‘This is not Monday to Friday. This is 13 weeks of dozens of emails, hundreds of texts, hundreds of calls and bringing more than seven or eight innocent people into this story.
‘He (Allardyce) only came for me. A hundred per cent for me. When I told him I had this opportunity. I phoned him up and said I had the chance of getting this job and it looked very good and they were looking for someone to do motivational speaking.
‘The key to this is, I spoke to Sam when he was Sunderland manager, he wasn’t the England manager.
‘The first meeting I had with them, Sam was Sunderland manager. I assumed it would be motivational speaking in the off season.
‘That was all it was about. I phoned Sam and he said, “Would it help you?” I said it would definitely help and he said, ‘Go on, lad. No problem’. That was it.’
The FA and Metropolitan police are holding investigations into the Telegraph’s findings.