QPR boss 'ballsy' to request Telegraph transcripts after Allardyce sting, says club's comms adviser

One of the football managers implicated in the newspaper sting which forced the resignation of England manager Sam Allardyce has been "ballsy" in his reaction to the newspaper's story, says a comms pro advising the club.

From sting to win: Hasselbaink as QPR beat Fulham days after Telegraph report
From sting to win: Hasselbaink as QPR beat Fulham days after Telegraph report

Last month, The Telegraph published a story following an undercover investigation reporting, among other revelations, that Allardyce had used his position as England manager for financial gain and offered advice on how to "get around" rules on player ownership. The national boss resigned shortly after.

The Telegraph also published a story saying that manager of second-tier club Queens Park Rangers, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, had "negotiated a £55,000 fee to act as an ambassador for a sports company that proposed selling players to his club".

QPR on Friday said in a statement that it had had ended its "internal investigation" into the issue, after The Telegraph had "failed to provide the club with the information previously requested". Both club and manager had asked for "video footage and a full transcript of the discussions that took place". The statement said: "Nothing has been forthcoming."

The club said it had reminded its manager of his "roles and responsibilities", and that he was clear to continue as manager "with the board's unanimous support".

PRWeek contacted Telegraph Media Group - via its PR agency Good Relations - for comment. The company reiterated a previous statement that it "remains our intention" to "release to the FA the relevant transcripts of our investigation into football corruption". However, it will only do this once City of London Police, which had asked to see the material, had concluded that review.

The police force issued the following statement to PRWeek: "At this stage, no formal allegations of criminal activity have been received. The material will be reviewed and a further statement will be made in due course."

David Fraser, who recently left his role as deputy MD of Frank to found his own agency Ready10, is a QPR fan who has been advising the club on crisis comms.

He told PRWeek he felt the club has been "extremely thorough in their investigation" and that the Friday statement was "pretty forthright from the club".

"For them to talk so strongly is indicative of how important they and the manager feel the release of the full tapes is. It’s certainly a ballsy move for someone allegedly implicated in an undercover investigation to go on the record and call for the full transcripts to be released."

"I understand that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes that the full publication of the transcripts will clear his name and that is why he and the club have been pushing for these. But if they’re not forthcoming and the club cant examine the full nature of what was said... there is nowhere else to go other than to close the investigation."

He also argued that the situation had helped to galvanise the club around its manager, noting that the club beat local rivals Fulham three days after the story, its first league win in seven games.

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