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No corruption in Scottish football, says Hibs’ Neil Lennon

Hibernian manager Neil Lennon

Lennon says he has never been approached about breaking football’s fiscal regulations

Hibernian boss Neil Lennon insists there is no “bung culture” in Scottish football but says he was aware of a problem during his time in England.

Investigations by the Daily Telegraph newspaper have revealed several cases of alleged fraud in English football.

“It’s high time that it’s been exposed,” said Lennon, who left Bolton in March after 17 months as manager.

“People are taking money out of the game and it leaves a really bitter taste.”

Sam Allardyce lasted 67 days as England manager, with the Telegraph filming him apparently offering undercover reporters posing as businessmen advice on how to “get around” transfer rules.

Barnsley assistant manager Tommy Wright has been sacked for allegedly accepting money in return for trying to persuade the Championship club to sign certain players.

And former Scotland striker Eric Black, the assistant manager at Southampton, is denying claims he gave undercover reporters advice on how to bribe officials at other clubs.

“It’s not just managers or assistant managers, it’s people that you don’t see in the public eye,” explained Lennon.

“These people are doing deals that they shouldn’t be doing and walking away with thousands; millions of pounds at times.

“I feel a bit of sympathy for Sam, but it’s time this was stopped. If you break the rules, it will eventually catch up with you.

“You hear whispers from players and managers and agents. There have been rumours for a long, long time about other people. High-profile people.

“It’s these unlicensed agents that are making money through third-party ownership, doing deals with cash involved and giving the game a bad name.

“You have to look at the owners or chief executives who are speaking to these people and have been doing it for a long time.”

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Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark says, like Lennon, he stays out of financial discussions involving his players

Lennon, who managed Celtic for four years, said that he had never been approached to break regulations.

“In my time at Celtic, I spoke to agents, but when it came to negotiations, I left that to other people and I’ve done the same thing at both my other clubs,” he told BBC Scotland.

“I’m not aware of any issues in Scotland and I’ve been up here for a long time.

“I’m not sure clubs could afford to pay extra money to these shadowy figures in the background.”

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark, a former Newcastle United, Sunderland and Fulham player who managed Huddersfield Town, Birmingham and Blackpool, says he is “surprised and disappointed” by the corruption scandal.

“I’ve never heard a thing,” he told BBC Scotland. “You like to think everyone does right by the game.

“It’s been a terrible week with the allegations that have been made.

“From a personal point of view, I’ve never been involved in anything like that or been in that situation.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37522482