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By ESPN Staff

Allardyce ponders Panorama lawsuit

Sam Allardyce is considering whether to follow Newcastle assistant manager Kevin Bond's example and launch a libel action against BBC Panorama for accusing him of taking illegal payments.

Allardyce claims he is 'utterly innocent' of the allegations and has nothing to hide from a Football Association investigation.

The Bolton manager's son Craig - a former agent - also appeared in Tuesday evening's programme and was similarly accused.

Sam Allardyce said in a statement: 'I am determined to clear my name and have asked my lawyers to determine my next steps.

'Until I have had the opportunity of taking that advice it is difficult for me to say any more at this stage.'

He also stated: 'I am very angry at the lies told about me.

'The individuals who appeared in the programme making accusations against me have already confirmed in writing to my lawyers that they lied to the BBC.

'They lied in the hope of being able to make millions offered by the BBC undercover reporter to buy their sports agency businesses.

'Those individuals never thought their lies would be exposed in the way that they have been and have apologised to me.

'As a result of their greed my good name has been tarnished by deceit and innuendo.

'In addition, as a father of course it is painful to watch your son talk tall and exaggerate his influence for financial gain.'

Bond vowed to take legal action after the BBC said comments made by him during a secretly-recorded meeting constituted an admission he would consider receiving payments from a proposed new agency.

Bond, who joined the Magpies from Portsmouth in July, strenuously denies any wrongdoing and insists his remarks have been presented in a 'completely misleading manner'.

His solicitor Kevin Price stated: 'It was all smoke and mirrors. It seems that my client was only included because after one year of working on the programme the producers were struggling to fill the one-hour slot.'

Meanwhile, FA chief executive Brian Barwick has announced two overlapping investigations into the allegations.

All parties named by the programme for alleged wrongdoing will be investigated.

'Undercover: Football's Dirty Secrets' showed three agents claiming Allardyce and son Craig, until recently a football agent, were given illegal payments to facilitate player transfers.

Barwick said: 'These are serious allegations which have been made by Panorama and we are determined to investigate them fully. It is vital for the integrity of the game and for every football supporter that we do this.

'We will work in close co-operation with the Premier League. As with any investigation, we will ensure that our inquiries are exhaustive and thorough. If we find evidence of corruption, we will act on it. We recognise our responsibility.'

The FA alone will investigate the allegations about illegal payments made by the BBC against the Allardyces, Bond and agents Charles Collymore and Peter Harrison.

The joint FA/Premier League probe will cover allegations of illegal approaches involving Chelsea's director of youth football Frank Arnesen, Liverpool, Newcastle and Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp.

Arnesen and a Liverpool official were filmed by Panorama trying to tempt England youth player Nathan Porritt to leave Middlesbrough, and Newcastle were also alleged to have done so.

The joint investigation will also look into the transfers of Hidetoshi Nakata, Tal Ben Haim and Ali Al-Habsi to Bolton, which fall within the timeframe of the inquiry being carried out by Lord Stevens for the Premier League.

The FA will talk to Bolton chairman Phil Gartside, an FA board member, about his appearance in the programme. Gartside was shown complaining in the press about an 'illegal approach' to then captain Jay-Jay Okocha when eight days earlier he had been negotiating to sell Okocha with agent Teni Yerima.

The FA will refer any evidence about French-licensed agent Yerima to FIFA and the French Football Federation.