John Gregory believes claimed unproven allegations about his transfer dealings had stopped football clubs employing him.
On the day he took over as QPR manager after a three-and-a-half year absence from the sport, Gregory said he believed his reputation in football had taken a battering.
In December 2002, the FA investigated Gregory's transfer activities while he was manager of Aston Villa, with the deals for defender Alpay from Fenerbahce, and forwards Juan Pablo Angel - the club's £9.5million record signing from River Plate - and Bosko Balaban from Dinamo Zagreb coming under scrutiny.
Gregory was never charged, but he insisted the allegations had been enough to damage his career.
'Were my job prospects harmed by the innuendo? Yes, absolutely,' said the 51-year-old. 'Rumours were spread about me which I am sure deterred a few chairmen up and down the country. A lot of people were put off, but what can you do?
'I was given the cold shoulder by most of the football world, when not long before that I had been linked with the England job. Due to a of rumour, people would not take me on. There were no facts - but I'm sure that during my first away match as QPR manager, someone will shout: 'Had a bung today?' at me.'