Pagliara, Price’s business partner, was also convicted last year on two counts of paying and facilitating a bribe. The FA said it had not investigated Pagliara because it fell outside the regulator’s remit.
Price arranged with Pagliara to pay Wright £ 5,000 in cash, with the promise of an additional £ 5,000 to come, in exchange for encouraging his players to sign with their sports agency, placing their players in the first team of Barnsley, arranging a meet with club owners and provide confidential information about his players’ contracts.
The bribe was paid in cash by an undercover journalist posing as part of a fictitious Far Eastern sports conglomerate created by this newspaper in 2016 as part of an undercover operation in following an information on corruption in English football.
The FA has now sanctioned Wright and Price for two breaches of FA Rule E3, which states that: “A participant must at all times act in the best interests of the game and must not act in an inappropriate or manner that puts the game in danger. disrepute.”
Wright was suspended from all football and soccer related activities, except coaching, for six years and Price was suspended from all soccer and soccer related activities for nine years.
The independent regulatory commission that imposed the sanctions agreed with the judge in the corruption trial when he said that from the very first meeting with the undercover journalist, Pagliara and Price “revealed an awareness of corruption in the football transfer market and a willingness to be involved “.
Wright “naive” for accepting money
Wright told the committee that his main motivation was “always to improve Barnsley FC and the Football League” and that his intentions were “only to improve Barnsley FC by bringing the best possible players into the club, which would not only have strengthened Barnsley FC but also improved the Football League ”.
He added that he got involved with the two agents because he “naively believed that they had the abilities to bring such talented footballers to the championship” and that he was “deeply ashamed of the conversations and the meetings. that took place “when the money was discussed.
Although he argued there was nothing sinister about taking £ 5,000 from the undercover journalist, he admitted that his behavior was “stupid” and that he was “naive” to take the money and have lied to Barnsley FC about it.
Price testified before the commission and apologized for his “mistakes”. The commission said: “He told the panel that he lost his daughter as a result of his actions and described how the case affected him as it had weighed him down for six years. He said he suffered for what he described as his “horrible judgment call”.
This commission concluded that the offense committed by the two men had caused “a very serious and lasting damage to the image of football”.
He added: “It is obviously necessary that the sanctions reflect the seriousness of the offense, punish and deter others from going into similar endeavors in order to protect football from any similar behavior in the future and to promote confidence. . among stakeholders and fans of the game.