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MANCHESTER UNITED

Sir Alex Ferguson accused of fixing a Champions League game in exchange for a gold Rolex watch

Italian football agent Giuseppe Pagliara's claimed to fixed the result of a game between Manchester United and Juventus with Sir Alex Ferguson.

El exentrenador escocés del Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Martin Rickett Getty Images

Several outlets in the United Kingdom have published declarations by Italian football agent Giuseppe Pagliara taken during a court case in which he has been accused of match-fixing. Pagliara was arrested in 2005 on suspicion of fixing a Serie B match between Genoa and Venecia together with the president from both clubs and players. As a result of that investigation, Genoa were relegated to the Third Division. The agent was also involved in the bungs scandal which cost Sam Allardyce his job as England coach in 2016.

At a hearing at Southwark Crown Court yesterday, jurers heard how Pagliara bragged that Sir Alex Ferguson had a gold Rolex watch valued at 30,000 pounds for his role in fixing the Champions League match between Manchester United and Juventus, a club who the agent had close ties to.

Brian O’Neill, QC, explained in yesterday's hearing that, "Pagliara accused Alex Ferguson as having taken money as part of transfer deals saying he would only work with agents used to sharing money with him. He claimed he had paid Ferguson before". Pagliara and another agent (Dax Price) face bribery charges as the result of an undercover investigation conducted by English newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Sir Alex, who retired in 2013, oversaw eight meetings between Manchester United and Juventus in the Champions League between 1996 and 2003 - out of which United losrt just three, all by the minimum: On 11 September 1996 they lost 1-0 with Alen Boksik scoring the game's only goal on 34 minutes, On 20 November 1996, his team suffered an identical 0-1 defeat with Alessandro Del Piero scoring from the penalty spot and on 10 December 1997, Filippo Inzhagi scored a late winner in the final group game - one Juve needed to win. Both teams advance from Group B to the knockout stage.