Sir Alex Ferguson fixed a Manchester United match with a corrupt football agent who then gifted the legendary manager a £30,000 gold Rolex watch, a court heard on Thursday.
Giuseppe “Pino” Pagliara, 64, made the claims about a Champions League game against Italian giants Juventus to an undercover reporter posing as a businesswoman looking to invest in football during a secretly recorded meeting, jurors were told.
He also claimed that Ferguson trousered money from transfer deals, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Pagliara and fellow agent Dax Price tried to “impress” Claire Newell by arranging meetings with former England coach Steve McClaren, ex Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and footballer Kanu, prosecuter Brian O’Neill QC told Southwark Crown Court.
He said Pagliara claimed that “99 per cent of the people in football if they weren’t in football would be selling second-hand cars.”
Pagliara was said to be“furious” with Redknapp for suggesting the reporter should buy a football club instead of using a legal loophole to get around a ban on third party ownership of players in England during a meeting in July 2016, the court heard.
Describing another meeting, O’Neill said: “Towards the end of the meeting Pagliara launched into what could only be described as a diatribe of Sir Alex Ferguson, accusing him of having conspired with Pagliara to fix the result of a football match between Juventus, a club which Pagliara was associated with, and Manchester United in the Champions League for which Pagliara had thanked him with a gold 30 grand Rolex watch.”