The FA is set to investigate claims that Blackburn defender Gael Givet splashed out a £50,000 bung following his move to Ewood Park. The Frenchman has launched legal action to recoup the payment to an unlicensed agent and repeated the allegations to The Sun.
Givet claims he handed over an envelope stuffed with £5,000, transferred £15,000 to the agent’s bank account and handed him a cheque for £30,000.
The payments were made to Manchester tailor and fashion store owner Phil Black. He had contacted Givet before his move to say he would be helping to set up the move to Ewood Park. He collected Givet from a UK airport and then drove him to meet then-Rovers boss Sam Allardyce.
Givet told The Sun:
“Phil Black was the first person to contact me, texting and asking if I was interested in joining Blackburn.
“And he was at Liverpool airport to meet me and my agent Frederic Dobarje when we came to agree the deal.
“But that was the first time I’d met him and all he did was drive us to the ground. He never, ever came into the club or any meetings with us.
“I just thought he was working for Blackburn. But after I’d signed he started demanding money, saying he was due a slice of the agent’s fee agreed by Blackburn with my agent.
“Black kept on asking me for money. He kept saying he should have been paid and had received nothing.
“He told me he needed money because he couldn’t pay his mortgage, he needed money to keep the bank off his back.
“It felt bizarre, it felt wrong and I was very uncomfortable about it, but he was very persistent. He said he’d repay me when Frederic gave him his cut of the agent’s fee. I was in a strange country, I didn’t know if this was usual – I didn’t know who to turn to. Afterwards I felt such a fool.”
Black told The Sun he was involved in the transfer and admitted taking money from Givet, but dispute the amounts being claimed by the ex-Marseille defender.
He said: “From what he’s getting – 65 grand a week – I don’t think £5,000 is a big present, do you?”
Black also denied that he was acting as an unlicensed agent.
He added: “It’s not been a case of that. I just did it as a favour. I have been involved in football all my life – I have just helped people out.”
The FA has vowed to look into the issue.