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Eric Black 'advised businessmen how to bribe lower league staff'

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Southampton's Assistant Manager Eric Black has been the latest individual to be named by the Daily Telegraph in their investigation into corruption in English football.

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Southampton's Assistant Manager Eric Black is the latest individual to be named by the Daily Telegraph in their investigation into corruption in English football.

The Daily Telegraph have already made allegations that Sam Allardyce, QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Barsnley Assistant Manager Tommy Wright have taken part in corruption.

The latest name to be pulled into the 'Football for Sale' investigation is Eric Black after he was recorded on September 2nd talking to an undercover journalist at a hotel in Hampshire.

The Daily Telegraph claimed that Black had been filmed by undercover reporters acting as businessmen advising them on how to bribe lower league staff.

The Telegraph's report claimed that Black suggested "a couple of grand" could persuade members of staff at another club to pass on information about players to a company that represented football players.

According to The Telegraph, Black said: "It doesn't take too much to get these people involved" because "they won't have an awful lot of money".

He also went on to say: “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...’”

The 'businessman' asked Mr Black: “Did you say he’s a scout?” Mr Black replied: “He’s assistant manager.”

This evening, Southampton released a statement saying they were "fully committed" to investigation the issue but that the Daily Telegraph had refused to disclose the information that they held.

In their statement, Southampton said:

"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."

Eric Black this evening denied the claims made against him.

Prior to Eric Black being named by the Daily Telegraph, Saints chairman Ralph Krueger said that the findings of the investigation would lead to Saints "fighting for change".

"Our whole board is shocked and upset by it. We've been a club that's been driving, wanting to get control of the evolving agent world around us and we believe we're going to have ears now.

"We're going to use this, for sure, as a club, to fight for change and to fight for more regulation. We are all for regulation, and we are one of the most disciplined clubs in English football in terms of the way we deal with agents and youth academy players."