Bolton chairman pledges to fight perjury and fraud allegations

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BOLTON Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside has vowed to defend himself and the football club against perjury and fraud allegations.

The 62-year-old boss at the Macron Stadium club is due to appear before magistrates along with former manager Sammy Lee and ex-player Gavin McCann – who are accused of perjury – next month.

Mr Gartside will answer up to five allegations of perjury and one of fraud. The club itself must also face charges of making false contracts in June and July, 2007.

This follows a legal fight launched by the football agent Tony McGill in which he claims he was cut out of the £1m deal when Bolton signed McCann from Villa in 2007.

McGill was suing in the original case for £300,000, claiming that Bolton brought in the sports agency SEM at “the last minute” to take the deal off him.

He lost the case at Manchester civil justice centre last September but the judge’s findings described him as “basically credible”.

The agent is now trying to bring a private prosecution and court summonses have been issued to 11 parties.

Bolton’s secretary Simon Marland has been summonsed to answer five allegations of perjury and one of fraud.

Chief executive of SEM, Jerome Anderson is summonsed on four allegations of perjury and one of fraud.

Mr Gartside, of Northwich, was also quoted in The Bolton News saying: “We will be robustly defending ourselves against any allegations and deny any wrongdoing again.”

The club as a whole is due to plead not guilty to an allegation of fraud at a hearing scheduled for February 25 at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, if the case proceeds.

Mr Gartside has been the chairman  at Bolton sincen 1999 when Sam Allardyce was appointed manager.

He has also had a place on the Wembley board and was put in charge of the Football Association’s selection process when David Bernstein was made chairman.