Former Aberdeen and Scotland striker Eric Black has been named by the Daily Telegraph as part of their undercover investigation which brought down England manager Sam Allardyce and saw Barnsley assistant Tommy Wright sacked.
Southampton assistant Eric Black, who was filmed by undercover reporters, is alleged to have advised ‘businessmen’ how to bribe lower league staff.
A statement published by Southampton on their official club website, read: “Southampton Football Club has today been made aware by The Daily Telegraph that, as part of their on-going investigation, the club’s Assistant First Team Manager Eric Black will feature as part of an article in tomorrow’s paper.
“The club immediately requested to be sent, by The Daily Telegraph, the details of this article, but the newspaper declined to share any further information.
“We have today contacted The FA and The Premier League, and intend to work closely with both bodies on this matter when the facts become clear.
“Southampton Football Club is fully committed to investigating any situation that directly or indirectly relates to our club, employees or the wider community.”
Black, filmed at a hotel in Hampshire, said that a ‘couple of grand’ might persuade a colleague at another club to pass on information about players to a company that wanted to represent footballers.
Adding “it doesn’t take too much to get these people involved” because “they won’t have an awful lot of money”. “You say, ‘look, we’ve set up the company, we want to go big, you build up the whole thing and you would do brilliantly, then, y’know, if you get somebody, we’ll give you a couple of grand or something…’”
A spokesperson on Thursday night told the Telegraph, “[Mr Black] does not recall Mr McGarvey making suggestions that football officials should be paid during transfer negotiations – this was not the purpose of the meeting so far as our client understood it. Any suggestion that he was complicit in such discussions is false.”
The spokesperson added that a reference to paying “a couple of grand” was about a freelance scout he suggested the Far East company should approach.
Eric Black on payment of bungs: "it doesn't take too much to get these people involved" https://t.co/Bt3JKFaESy
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) September 29, 2016
Black played for Aberdeen under Alex Ferguson and won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1983. He made 180 league appearances and scored 70 goals for the Dons between 1981 and 1986, before moving to Metz where he stayed until retiring from the game in 1991 due to a back injury.
Black was appointed coach and assistant manager at Celtic but left in February 2000 following head coach John Barnes sacking. In October 2001, he was appointed manager of Motherwell, winning just 7 out of 27 games at the Fir Park side before he left in April 2002.
He had spells with Coventry, Birmingham, Sunderland, Blackburn, Rotherham and Aston Villa before being appointed assistant manager at Southampton.