England

Football agent 'falls flat like Del Boy', bribery trial told

Del Boy
Image caption Dax Price was likened to the wheeler-dealer Del Boy Trotter by a witness at the trial

A football agent accused of bribery was a "stupid and naive" businessman who always fell flat on his face like Del Boy Trotter, a court heard.

Dax Price and fellow agent and business partner Giuseppe "Pino" Pagliara deny two counts of paying and facilitating a bribe under the Bribery Act 2000.

Former airline worker James Hennessy said he had known Mr Price for more than 20 years and trusted him.

But Mr Hennessy compared Mr Price to Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses.

He said: "Dax is never far away from being a millionaire, he was always the next big deal away and he always falls flat on his face."

A jury at Southwark Crown Court heard Mr Hennessey describe Mr Price as "stupid, naive, absolutely no business sense whatsoever because he kept losing money through stupid deals".

He added: "He is incompetent in terms of business acumen; I would not put my money with Dax because he is not a good business person."

Mr Price, of Sittingbourne in Kent, and Mr Pagliara, of Bury, Greater Manchester, are on trial alongside Tommy Wright, the former assistant head coach of Barnsley. All three deny charges under the Bribery Act.

Image copyright BBC Sport
Image caption Giuseppe "Pino" Pagliara, pictured, and Dax Price deny two counts of bribery

Mr Pagliara and Mr Price are accused of breaking football rules by acting as "third-party" owners of players in a bid to profit when they were sold on to other clubs.

The court previously heard that Mr Price had told undercover Daily Telegraph reporter Claire Newell that club managers were "getting backhanders, 100%" to secure lucrative transfer deals.

The court was told such third-party ownership set-ups were banned by the FA in 2009 and by Fifa in 2015.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Tommy Wright denies being involved in bribery

Mr Wright, 53, allegedly accepted a £5,000 bribe from Ms Newell to leak commercial information about players at Barnsley, some of whom were encouraged to sign up with the two agents, the trial has heard.

Mr Wright, from Barnsley, denies two charges of accepting a bribe.

The trial continues.

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