Barnsley suspend Tommy Wright amid fresh flurry of newspaper allegations

Barnsley last night suspended assistant head coach Tommy Wright following allegations he took a £5,000 '˜bung' to help place players at his club.

Barnsley assistant coach, Tommy Wright, while working at Chesterfield.
Barnsley assistant coach, Tommy Wright, while working at Chesterfield.

The Daily Telegraph alleged that Wright accepted the money during a series of meetings with a fake Far East firm in which he agreed to help sign players part-owned by the firm. The Championship club said in a statement: “Barnsley FC is aware of allegations made by the Telegraph against Tommy Wright.

“The club has today suspended Tommy pending an internal investigation into these allegations.”

The allegation forms part of the Telegraph’s undercover investigation into corruption in football, which on Tuesday accounted for England manager Sam Allardyce.

The newspaper has also alleged that 10 managers took bribes in player transfers.

The Telegraph last night alleged that QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had requested a fee of £55,000 to work for a fake Far Eastern firm seeking to sell players to the club. QPR have not suspended Hasselbaink, saying they have “every confidence” in him, adding the 44-year-old will be subjected to a “thorough internal investigation.”

Hasselbaink himself issued a statement in which he denied any impropriety and said he saw nothing “unusual” in the prospective deal.

Elsewhere, Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino was at the centre of fresh corruption allegations after being filmed by the Telegraph offering an investment deal as a way of avoiding FA rules on third-party ownership of players.

The Italian, along with Leeds, is currently facing charges from the FA over allegations that an illegal payment was made to an unlicensed advisor of Ross McCormack’s during the striker’s sale from United to Fulham in 2014.

Earlier in the evening – before the latest allegations – English football’s beleaguered authorities promised they would take a zero-tolerance approach to any cases of corruption within the game.

The statement read: “English football takes the governance of the game extremely seriously with integrity being of paramount importance.

“Any substantive allegations will be investigated with the full force of the rules at our disposal, which are wide-ranging and well-developed.

“In addition, should we find any evidence of criminality we would inform and seek the support of the appropriate statutory authorities.”