Former Pompey striker Scott McGarvey has defended his role in the scandal that prompted the departure of England manager Sam Allardyce.
McGarvey, now a football agent, introduced the former Three Lions boss to undercover reporters - operating for the Daily Telegraph - he believed were businessmen representing a firm of investors.
The meetings between both parties were secretly recorded – and in videos released by the national newspaper, Allardyce can be seen boasting on how to bypass the FA’s third-party ownership rules.
The 61-year-old former Newcastle and West Ham manager was also caught mocking predecessor Roy Hodgson and criticising the role of former assistant manager Gary Neville during England’s Euro 2016 defeat at the hands of Iceland.
An investigation into the incident by The FA led to Allardyce resigning tonight, with English football’s governing body accepting his decision.
Before the parting of ways, though, McGarvey issued a statement on the matter through a spokesperson.
Graham Small, a partner at JMW Solicitors, said: ‘Mr McGarvey has admitted being eager to impress what he believed to be prospective employers and, in doing so, had perhaps embellished certain comments made during the meetings in question.
‘However, he vehemently denies making remarks which are being attributed to him. Some, including apparently having done business with certain club managers, are simply not borne out by fact.
‘Mr McGarvey had merely helped arrange meetings in good faith to further what he believed to be a legitimate business venture.
‘He was so convinced by the job offer made to him that, far from profiting from these exchanges, he even incurred debts trying to support the development of the new project.
‘As soon as a series of allegations were put to him, he responded immediately and in full and, furthermore, has made clear his willingness to help those leading the investigation announced by the Football Association establish the truth of what happened.
‘Given that he is still involved in the football industry, he is rightly concerned about the possibility of his good name being impugned and he intends to vigorously defend his reputation.’
McGarvey played a total of 28 games and scored six goals for Pompey in a two-year stay at Fratton Park in the mid-1980s.