Agent who brought down Sam Allardyce 'devastated' by sting
Scott McGarvey says decision to sack England boss was a 'joke' and that he only attended meetings as a favour
The football agent at the centre of the scandal that cost Sam Allardyce his job as England manager has broken his silence to say he is "devastated" by the Daily Telegraph sting that brought him down.
In interviews with The Times and Sky Sports, Scott McGarvey described the Football Association's decision to sack Allardyce as a "joke". But he admitted that he was partly to blame for the England manager's downfall as he had unwittingly invited him to meetings with undercover reporters posing as businessmen.
During those meetings the Three Lions boss made comments about third-party ownership of players that ended his England reign after just 67 days. Allardyce was also filmed arranging to earn extra money through motivational speaking and was caught on camera mocking previous England manager Roy Hodgson.
"I'm devastated for him. I can't think of anything worse that could have happened," said former Manchester United player McGarvey, who knew Allardyce from their playing days in the 1980s. "He's got to feel I'm responsible because I'm the one who brought him to the meeting.
"It's the worst feeling in the world. I've got my own situation, but the real travesty is Sam. If he had lost his job at Crewe Alexandra, I would be gutted for him. But he's lost his job as England manager, the job he built himself up for. For Sam to lose that job, because of this, honestly, it kills me. Kills me."
McGarvey claims that Allardyce had only agreed to attend the meetings as a favour after he had struck a deal with "Meiran Sports Management", the fictitious company created by the Telegraph.
"He knew it had been tough for me and that this was going to put me back on track in a big way. He was pleased to help me out," said McGarvey.
He also insisted that Allardyce had been manager of Sunderland, not England, when he first approached him for help and described the Telegraph operation as entrapment with a "capital E".
"This is 13 weeks of dozens of emails, hundreds of texts, hundreds of calls and bringing more than seven or eight innocent people into this story," he told Sky Sports.
McGarvey also said that his career was now in tatters as a result of the story. "My reputation is badly damaged by this. I've been duped and it has hurt me and hurt my family, believe me," he told the Times. "I'm not sure I can work in football now. My wife doesn't want me involved in football now. She thinks it's time to do something else."