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By ESPN Staff

Allardyce fears bung claims will ruin reputation

Bolton manager Sam Allardyce maintains he has never been paid a bung or sought an illegal payment - but fears his reputation could be permanently damaged by recent allegations.

BBC Panorama's covert investigation into football transfers alleged that both Allardyce and his son, Craig, were given bungs to facilitate player transfers. Both deny any wrongdoing.

Craig Allardyce has insisted since the BBC programme was broadcast on Tuesday that he exaggerated his own importance to an undercover reporter in order to attract opportunities.

And Trotters boss Allardyce told The People: 'I don't know what damage it has done for me, but I don't think it will go on and on - I think things will be sorted out pretty quickly.

'I have done nothing wrong but things like this can stick, even if nothing is proved. It's hard to say what might happen on that score - I just have to concentrate on football and let my legal side look after that.

'I haven't been tempted to walk away, no way. That would have looked as if I was running away, so that has never entered my mind.'

Allardyce plans to discuss the allegations with Bolton chairman Phil Gartside, who is due to return today from a trip to Mount Everest.

Gartside was accused by Panorama of misleading Bolton's fans by complaining in the press in August 2005 about an 'illegal approach' to then captain Jay-Jay Okocha when eight days earlier he had been negotiating to sell Okocha with an agent.

Craig Allardyce, meanwhile, maintains he never passed on any money to his father from the earnings he made as an agent.

He recently quit as a football agent and told the News of the World: 'I've never given my dad anything. He buys me things, I don't buy him things.'

He added: 'I still maintain that every deal I've done and every penny I've made as an agent has been legitimate.'

He defends his father's integrity and added; 'When I consider how honest and generous he is, for him to be involved in something that makes him look quite the opposite absolutely makes me feel sick.

'Although Dad's not rollicked me, I have rollicked myself over and over again.'

He stressed: 'He's in the middle of all this because I have sat there and given it large.

'But he's done absolutely nothing. It's so unfair.'