Corruption claims at Leeds United and Barnsley: Who's involved and what we know so far

The Daily Telegraph has made allegations of impropriety against Barnsley assistant boss Tommy Wright - who has subsequently been dismissed from his position - QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Leeds owner Massimo Cellino after the three men were filmed by undercover reporters working for the newspaper.

Former Barnsley coach Tommy Wright.
Former Barnsley coach Tommy Wright.

Here’s what we know about each of the three, who all deny any wrongdoing.

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The eccentric Italian businessman bought Leeds in 2014 and he came with a colourful past.

Having inherited his father’s successful agricultural company, Cellino branched out into football by taking over his hometown club Cagliari in 1992.

It was there that he earned the nickname ‘Il mangia-allenatori’ (the manager eater), ultimately cycling through 36 managers in 22 years.

Stories about deep-rooted superstition and flamboyant guitar-playing were quickly proven - Leeds still do not use squad number 17 due to the Italian’s aversion to it and he performed alongside the Pigeon Detectives at the club’s 2014 awards party.

His Elland Road stay began chaotically, being penned into the stadium by angry fans having seemingly attempted to oust then boss Brian McDermott before officially taking over.

In October 2015 he was disqualified from being Leeds owner for a year on a tax issue in Italy, thus falling foul of the Football League’s owners and directors test, before he was acquitted on appeal and the sanctions were removed.

Various indications that he might sell the club evaporated and in September his Eleonora company completed the remaining purchase of shares to take a full 100 per cent stake.

TOMMY WRIGHT (former Barnsley assistant)

The 50-year-old coach was a journeyman winger in his playing days. He spent 18 years on the professional circuit, starting out with Leeds in 1982 and finishing at Doncaster in 2000.

His most significant stints came at Oldham and Leicester, both of whom he represented over 100 times, before briefer stays at Middlesbrough - who paid £650,000 for his services - and Bradford.

The Dunfermline native returned north of the border at the tail-end of his career but did not linger long at St Johnstone or Livingston.

Having turned his hand to coaching he served as John Sheridan’s assistant at Oldham and Chesterfield, taking over briefly as caretaker manager in 2012 when the Irishman departed.

Wright was named assistant head coach under Lee Johnson at Barnsley in February 2015 and retained his position when Paul Heckingbottom took over at Oakwell.


The Surinam-born striker, originally named Jerel, climbed the ladder of European football but spent the majority of his best years in England.

He started out in Holland, with minor outfit Telstar and then AZ Alkmaar before heading to Portuguese side Campomaiorense, where he picked up the long-standing moniker ‘Jimmy’, and Boavista.

Leeds began his prolific run in England, where he shared the Premier League’s golden boot with Michael Owen and Dwight Yorke with 18 goals in his second season before a contract dispute saw him sold to Atletico Madrid for £10million.

Chelsea brought him back for an even larger fee in 2000 and he flourished, taking the golden boot outright in 2001 and finishing as the Blues’ top scorer in three of his four seasons, during which they finished runners-up in the Premier League and FA Cup.

He wound down at Middlesbrough, with another runners-up medal in the UEFA Cup, Charlton and Cardiff before turning to management.

Having cut his teeth with Belgian second-tier side Royal Antwerp he took on a post with Burton, overseeing promotion from League Two and leaving them top of League One before QPR came calling.