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By ESPN Staff
Sep 20, 2006

Bolton begin investigation following bung claims

Bolton have launched a 'thorough and robust investigation' into the allegations made in last night's Panorama documentary.

The Premiership club have been tarnished by the hour-long programme, which showed three separate agents claiming manager Sam Allardyce would be prepared to accept illegal payments as part of transfer deals.

The programme makers also stated Allardyce's son Craig received payments for his part in two Bolton transfers, neither of which were declared to the Football Association.

In addition, chairman Phil Gartside, an FA board member, was shown negotiating the possible transfer of Jay Jay Okocha even though he was aware the Nigerian had been the subject of an illegal approach.

Allardyce, who has passed the matter into the hands of his lawyers, has already branded the three agents' claims as `lies' and condemned his son for `talking tall' in a bid to make financial gain.

And Bolton, while insisting they are taking all the allegations seriously, have also vowed not to over-react.

'The club takes the allegations broadcast last night very seriously but owes it to its fans, Sam and all of its players and staff not to over-react,' said a club statement.

'It is our duty to act only on facts and hard evidence. The club is committed to conducting a thorough and robust investigation into the allegations which were made in the Panorama programme. As part of the process, the club will work with Sam to establish the facts.'

The club also said it had co-operated with the existing Premier League inquiry into transfers that took place between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2006.

'Bolton Wanderers has assisted with the Stevens inquiry throughout and remains committed to the highest standards of governance in football,' the statement added.

'The club feels it would be inappropriate to make any further comment until its investigations are complete.'