Sam Allardyce: 'Devastated' agent Scott McGarvey admits he feels responsible for England exit after newspaper sting

Allardyce was accused of provideding a fictitious Far Eastern firm with tips on how to circumvent third party ownership regulations, a practice banned by the FA

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The Independent Football

Agent Scott McGarvey says he is “devastated” by the newspaper investigation which targeted him and Sam Allardyce and insists the FA overreacted by parting with the ex-England manager.

Allardyce allegedly provided a fictitious Far Eastern firm with tips to circumvent third party ownership regulations but McGarvey, speaking to Sky Sports, has moved to defend his long-term friend by saying the 61-year-old only attended the event as a favour.

McGarvey said: “I'm devastated for him. I can't think of anything worse that could have happened to my life. He only came for me. A hundred per cent for me. When I told him I had this opportunity. I phoned him up and said I had the chance of getting this job and it looked very good and they were looking for someone to do motivational speaking. 

“The key to this is, I spoke to Sam when he was Sunderland manager, he wasn't the England manager. The first meeting I had with them, Sam was Sunderland manager. I assumed it would be motivational speaking in the off season. That was all it was about. 

“I phoned Sam and he said 'Would it help you?' I said it would definitely help and he said 'Go on, lad. No problem'. That was it.”

McGarvey also recalled the moment he realised the meetings were part of an elaborate sting operation by the Daily Telegraph, suggesting Allardyce was more worried about his friend’s wellbeing than his own. 

“I spoke to Sam on the Monday [day before publication] when we'd found out it was a big con. I'd found out on Sunday evening and I'd phoned my lawyers. I came into the lawyers in the morning and Sam called me at about 10.30am and he just said: ‘Scotty, it's a stitch up, you've been had over’. 

“Not him, me. And I said: ‘I know, I'm in the lawyers’. And he said: ‘Just sort it, lad’. That was it. He's got to feel I'm responsible because I'm the one who's brought him to the meeting but he's only come for me. He's never once spoken about money. He's never once said anything about money. 

“It was only: ‘Are you OK, lad? I'll help you’. Do I think he holds me responsible? I think he's known me for a long, long time. He knows that I'd never do that to him or to anybody in football.”

Sam Allardyce speaks to reporters for first time

Asked if he believed the FA have overeacted in deciding to part with the former Sunderland manager, McGarvey replied: “Yes, I do.”

He added: “He's not greedy, he's not somebody who wants money as it’s being portrayed.”