The manager could not fault his players' for their commitment as they
suffered a rare defeat
Sam Allardyce was left to rue "one of those days" as his Hammers dominated
against Burnley but ultimately lost 2-1 after a smash and grab raid. After a
first half totally dominated by the home team, Kevin Nolan's opportunist
strike finally broke the deadlock on 52 minutes. Nolan had missed an open
goal in the first 45 and the Hammers looked the likeliest to score again
until Burnley's Chris McCann headed in an equaliser against the run of play
just before the hour. Substitute Sam Vokes then broke Hammers' hearts with a
75th-minute header, and when Jack Collison and Carlton Cole hit the post
with good efforts it always looked like being a frustrating afternoon. Big
Sam struck a positive tone when reflecting on a day when leaders Southampton
also lost, at least keeping the gap on first place to just two points. "It
is a disappointing result for us after a fantastic performance," said the
manager. "Unfortunately we haven't got the win we wanted and instead of
taking the point as we always talk about, we have thrown it away. "It is not
because we haven't played well, it is not that we haven't dominated, it is
about the fact we have switched off on two occasions - the only two
dangerous situations they had in the whole game. It was one of those days.
"We have hit the post a couple of times and balls are flashing in front of
goal and dropping down and just not dropping to us. It was a shame after
such a wonderful goal from Kevin Nolan. His quality was outstanding to get
us on our way."
Another low note was Matt Taylor limping off with a calf problem, although
it remains to be seen how serious it will prove. The fact that a sixth
straight victory was not forthcoming has just left everyone determined to
bounce back at Reading next Saturday. "Really we have no excuses. We
shouldn't have lost. We have and we just have to accept it. It was
tremendous commitment from the players, just not the right result today
unfortunately. "Sometimes these things happen. It is the first time we have
lost a game of football from in front. If they had created lots of chances I
could say they deserved the win but they have pinched one. That happens in a
long old season, sometimes you don't get what you deserve."
West Ham 1 - 2 Burnley
Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Saturday, 3 December 2011
West Ham missed the chance to go top of the Championship table as Burnley
came from behind to win at Upton Park. The Hammers went ahead through Kevin
Nolan's effort from the edge of the area but the lead lasted just five
minutes when Chris McCann headed home from close range. The visitors then
wrapped up the win when Sam Vokes, on loan from Wolves, headed in Ross
Wallace's corner. The Clarets have now won three in a row and have climbed
to 10th spot. The Hammers remain in second place, with a trip to Reading up
next for Sam Allardyce's men. West Ham dominated the opening period with
Matt Taylor heading Julien Faubert's cross over the top before Nolan missed
another chance from eight yards out. After the break, Frederic Piquionne
headed Faubert's cross straight at Lee Grant before a shot from Jack
Collison was blocked in front of goal. Meanwhile, Wallace went close to
adding another for Burnley with an effort that rolled fractionally wide.
West Ham United 1
by East Stand Martin
Whenever I see Burnley, I'm always reminded of the time the last down in the
Championship, when the reasons best known to myself I decided to go up to
the Lancashire khazi for a midweek game.
My abiding memory is of walking down some godforsaken cobbled street when I
spied a Range Rover with tinted windows advancing on a steward. The electric
window came down and who should be inside but Rio Ferdinand, no doubt coming
to watch Anton. The brainless northern monkey official decided that he did
not believe that this was indeed Rio, and he refused passage to the
Grade 1 cretin
This only serves to underline my long-held view that intelligence tends not
to extend beyond the M25. Perhaps this might be seen as a Jeremy Clarkson
type comment, but I will refute that as I happen to think that he is a grade
one cretin who should have been strangled at birth. There you go Jeremy; I
think I may have trumped your pathetic little comment about low paid public
sector workers deserving to be shot for trying to defend their pensions.
We went into this game with great confidence, but despite that, there's
always this niggling feeling as a West Ham fan that something might not
quite go right at home. This is in fact the converse of the way that we use
to feel in the good old days. Then it was "Fortress Upton Park", where many
a team feared to visit as they knew they would be faced with a raucous and
partisan East End crowd.
For some reason, this just hasn't been the way it has been at the Boleyn
Ground for some time now. Maybe I'm just guilty of nostalgia, but something
is definitely not right.
Make the Sam shape
The team was pretty much as expected, although the manager had reverted
back, maybe as a result of the injury to Sam Baldock, to the 451 shape which
he instinctively favours. No doubt this will lead to various commentators
trying to tell me that it was 433.
5 min in there was great play by Jack Collison with a flurry of passes which
nearly resulted in a goal. The Burnley goalkeeper was nearly beaten to a
ball that got whipped in.
On 10 min a quick free kick very nearly caught the Burnley defence asleep
but the goalkeeper was again alert to deny Carlton Cole. A minute later Faye
blasted a shot over from 30 yards.
Mark Noble was passing the ball around very accurately and a ball out wide
right to Joey O'Brien led to a cross but the header in the box was weak by
Matty Taylor. Noble was at it again a minute later with a menacing run
forward that led to a disguised chip to the left of the box which just went
over Kevin Nolan's head.
On 14 min Carlton Cole showed great determination in the box by weaving
between defenders. This led to a corner down the right and James Tomkins
just looped a header wide of the right upright.
Too good for Real Madrid
Another lovely layoff by Mark Noble created a chance on 16 min which
resulted in Julien Faubert attempting a diving header in which deflected for
a corner. Faubert was having an effective opening to the game and made a
great cross over to the left of the box which led to Matty Taylor winning a
James Tomkins had another half chance on 20 min when the ball was looped
into the box to find at the far post but he headed into the arms of the
Burnley goalkeeper. A minute later Faubert did well to win the ball on the
edge of the box with his back to goal. He laid off a pass to Kevin Nolan who
half volleyed wide.
Burnley were posing a few threats but when they did get forward, Faye was
usually on hand to snuff out the threat.
A lovely jink back by Kevin Nolan from the dead ball line on 25 min would
have created a great opportunity for a goal had there been a single player
around the penalty spot to take advantage. This was followed by great play
by Faubert cutting in from the right and mesmerising defenders on the edge
of the box. He chipped ball over but Matty Taylor could not get a good
header on it.
No go Nolan
A mistake by the Burnley defence on 28 min set Carlton Cole free down the
right. Entering into the box he sent a perfect ball across the 6 yard line
only to see Kevin Nolan spurn a fantastic chance in front of goal. It
appeared that he was trying to place the ball rather than just get a good
solid connection on it.
Carlton Cole looks to be playing with confidence at the moment and he showed
some sublime ball control on the halfway line to bring down a clearance.
34 min saw the 1st shot of note by burning as a break saw the ball fired
into the right-hand side netting. Shortly after this the ball broke out from
Burnley attack but, Cole was caught just offside on the wrong side of the
Matty Taylor won a ball on 38 min to allow space for Jack Collison on the
edge of the box to strike at goal. He hit a fizzing grass cutter which just
went wide of the left hand post.
With 4 min left of the half, Joey O'Brien made a brilliant run forward from
the halfway line right through to the dead ball line, winning a corner.
The last real action of the half saw Faye make a last ditch tackle to
prevent a break on goal. This was the 2nd time that he had to tidy up around
the halfway line. He doesn't look that mobile but seems to have the ability
to just about make the right timing in his interventions.
Prophet of doom
The TV monitor downstairs in the bath indicated that West Ham had enjoyed
58% of the possession in the 1st half, and it certainly felt like the home
team had dominated proceedings. Kevin Nolan should have put the Irons ahead,
and a nearby East stand commentator had uttered the fateful words "I hope we
don't regret that miss later".
West Ham began the 2nd half in similarly dominant form. A corner on 47 min
saw the ball drop to the feet of Faye, but there was a sea of bodies in the
way the goal and the shot was blocked. Faye had another chance from a corner
3 min later, but he headed way over.
The goal that should have been scored much earlier in this game then came on
52 min as classic Sam Allardyce route one football saw a clearance leading
to a flick on from Carlton Cole. There was Kevin Nolan waiting to latch on
to the ball and guide it over the head of the keeper into the empty net.
Although the goal was expected what happened next was nothing more than
complacency by West Ham. It's an old adage in football that you need to
concentrate even harder when you have scored a goal and so it proved, as
some unnecessary dallying in the West Ham defence allowed Burnley an
opportunity. Fortunately, the resulting shot was floated over the crossbar
from a tight angle.
Piquionne was introduced on 55 min and Matty Taylor was taken off.
Immediately after the substitution, Burnley scored as more slack discipline
at the back gave away a throw in and allowed an excellent cross in from the
West Ham left and an unstoppable header by McCann past Robert Green.
Wallace was introduced for Treacey on 57 min and just after the change of
very good break by West Ham down the right wing led to the ball being sent
over to the back post but Piquionne's half volley was blocked for a corner.
Faye was offered a free header from a corner but nodded weakly over.
Faubert had not looked as effective in the 2nd half but on 59 min he did
well to win a ball in the centre of the pitch and advance forward, but he
hit a poor final ball with Piquionne free in a good position. Immediately
after, Mark Noble made a superb pass out left to Piquionne, but he failed to
make his cross count from the edge of the box.
Great linkup play down the left on 62 min saw a goalmouth scramble in the
Burnley box but Carlton Cole could not create the space to shoot on the
turn. Just after this Cole was cynically taken out on the halfway line and
Duff received a rightful yellow card.
I will account for my errors
Faubert made a poor pass on the edge of the Burnley box with West Ham in a
promising position, but to give him credit he ran virtually all the way back
to the edge of the West Ham box to retrieve the situation. That showed great
commitment from the Frenchman.
Great play by Carlton Cole and Piquionne on 67 min led to yet another West
Ham break, but as the ball broke out right the cross that came in was headed
weakly by Piquionne.
Former West Ham player Junior Stanislas was substituted for Sam Vokes on 68
min to polite applause.
It looked like Jack Collison had got West Ham back on track on 71 min as
another break saw the ball cut back to the Welsh international who looked to
have hit a pretty perfect shot. It looked like this hit the base of the
Rob Green was not having one of his best kicking days, and on 73 min he
scuffed the ball to Wallace near the halfway line who tried a speculative
first-time shot which to Green's immense relief floated wide of the
As time went on, Burnley were growing in confidence, and a great strike from
Rodriguez as the ball broke loose in the centre on 74 min required Rob Green
to carry over a stinging shot from 30 yards. The resulting corner led to
West Ham's undoing, as a very good ball in from the left saw a powerful
header by the recently arrived Vokes into the goal with Green helpless.
West Ham tried to respond immediately, and Faubert should have really done
better with a free header after a fine cross in from the West Ham left. The
cavalry was summoned in the shape of big John Carew, substituting for Joey
O'Brien on 79 min. An Eaststander near me made a disparaging comment to the
effect that the manager had decided to bring on some pace. I replied "he's
quicker than you think, a bit like Bigfoot wading through a swamp".
Carlton Cole certainly hadn't given up the ghost and some great strength by
him fashioned a run in on goal but his low shot was just glanced off the
With 4 min of ordinary time left, Faubert did well down the right-hand side
to create some space and sending a raking cross/shot which the Burnley
keeper held down low.
The final few minutes were pure frustration for West Ham, but a lot of
possession did not create the goal opportunity. The best chance came with
another break down the left and a good ball in which just fizzed across the
face of the goal with no one there to dispatch it goalwards.
This was undoubtedly one of those games that West Ham did not deserve to
lose. The team enjoyed a great deal of possession, passed the ball around
pretty effectively and created numerous opportunities. Burnley won the game
as a result of some sloppy defending after the West Ham goal and because
they took advantage of a set piece – their only corner of the game - late in
the game. It was classic daylight robbery really.
It was a great shame, especially as news filtered through that Southampton
had lost away at Doncaster. However, during the course of the season there
will always be a game or two that you do not deserve to lose. This was one
of those days, when the team played quite well and did not get its just
Never mind, the week had not been too bad with the win at home the previous
weekend and the excellent away win at Middlesbrough. Given the nadir of the
team's fortunes at the end of last season, I think just about any West Ham
fan would have taken a five point cushion with third place at the beginning
of December. Let's hope that the team can return to winning ways at Reading
next Saturday, although this is a ground that does not have too many fond
memories for West Ham.
Taylor set for scan
Filed: Saturday, 3rd December 2011
By: Staff Writer
Matthew Taylor could be sidelined once again after limping out of today's
2-1 home defeat aganst Burnley. The left winger - making his first start
since returning from a month's lay-off - was substituted 11 minutes into the
second half after appearing to aggrevate his leg injury. After being
replaced by Freddie Piquionne, Taylor's leg was immediately placed in an ice
pack with further tests to determine the extent of the injury to follow over
the weekend. West Ham lost today's game 2-1 despite having led 1-0 through
Kevin Nolan at one stage. Chris McCann and Keith Treacey scored the goals
that saw Burnley take all three points. Taylor - who has made 13 appearances
for the Hammers since moving from Bolton in a £2million summer switch - left
the field whilst West Ham were leading 1-0.
Defeat sickens Big Sam
Hammers boss disappointed after loss, Howe hails best result
Last Updated: December 3, 2011 7:12pm
Sam Allardyce was left sickened as West Ham missed a hatful of chances in
the 2-1 defeat to Burnley, whose boss Eddie Howe hailed it as his best
result. Kevin Nolan broke the deadlock for the hosts on 52 minutes but Chris
McCann equalised before Sam Vokes bagged the winner. The Hammers then
spurned a number of chances as they failed to capitalise on Southampton's
defeat at Doncaster to go top. Allardyce said: "It wasn't complacency. We
should have defended better than we did, but we were undone from two crosses
into our box. "It's hard to criticise, though, after a performance like
that. If we weren't dominating the opposition it would be different, but
that wasn't the case as we were in control. "It was just one of those days.
We've worked so hard to get in front and then that happens. If you look at
it we hit the woodwork a few times and squandered a few chances. "The
sickening thing for us is a team that frustrated us look like they got what
"But one throw-in and a corner cost us. It just wasn't our day, apart from
an outstanding goal from Kevin Nolan which was our hardest chance we had,
nothing fell for us. "It's disappointing as set-pieces are a massive part of
the game and something we work on. But sometimes balls in the box drop on
the opposition heads. "They were two very good headers, but the big
disappointment was losing at home again, and the way we did."
Burnley manager Howe hailed the result as the best of his tenure and was
quick to praise match-winner Vokes, who was personally affected by the death
of Gary Speed. The on-loan Wolves striker is a Wales international and
recently scored twice under Speed against Norway. "We defended
magnificently," Howe said. "But we kept the crowd quiet in the first half
and knew if we needed a goal we had the players to change the game. "It's
the best result we've had since I've been here, even if not the best
performance as we can play better than that But it was about spirit and
character. "David Edgar and Michael Duff were magnificent and the full-backs
the same. The defenders have taken a lot of criticism, and sometimes for
good reason, but they were terrific here. We defended set pieces did the
nasty things you need to do. "Sam (Vokes) was initially very upset when he
found out about Gary Speed and found it difficult like the whole world of
football. But he had a relationship with Gary. He is finding his confidence
again, which is massive for any striker. "He broke through early at
Bournemouth and has made a dramatic rise by joining Wolves, but he didn't
get the football he needed. We are giving him a platform. He has made a
difference to us."
Vokes smokes shocked Hammers
Last updated: 3rd December 2011
Substitute Sam Vokes secured a shock 2-1 win for Burnley at West Ham on
Saturday as the hosts blew their chance to go top of the Championship. The
Wales striker scored with virtually his first touch as Burnley came from
behind to end the Hammers' seven-game unbeaten run. All appeared to be going
to plan for Sam Allardyce's promotion favourites when Kevin Nolan fired them
ahead just after half-time, especially with leaders Southampton losing at
lowly Doncaster. But things are never simple at Upton Park and Chris McCann
grabbed a leveller against the run of play before Vokes popped up with the
winner. The Hammers had dominated the first half but could not make the
breakthrough. The first real chance fell to Matt Taylor in the 27th minute,
the midfielder heading Julien Faubert's cross over the top. Moments later
Nolan fluffed the best chance of the first half. Jack Collison took
advantage of a slip in the Burnley defence to play in Carlton Cole and the
striker squared for Nolan, right in front of goal, eight yards out. The
midfielder got his left foot to the ball but his effort rolled just the
wrong side of the post. Burnley's first shot came 10 minutes before the
interval, Keith Treacy's long-range effort not troubling Robert Green as it
fizzed wide. West Ham's pressure finally told seven minutes after the
interval, and came from a long clearance from keeper Green. Cole flicked the
ball on and Nolan coolly lifted his finish over the advancing Lee Grant and
into an empty net. But far from the goal signalling the opening of the
floodgates, Upton Park was stunned five minutes later when Burnley grabbed
an equaliser. Former Hammers winger Junior Stanislas, sold by Allardyce in
the summer, swung in a cross from the right and McCann was on hand to bury
his header past Green. Shell-shocked West Ham went straight back on the
attack and Frederic Piquionneheaded Faubert's cross straight at Grant before
a shot from Collison was blocked in front of goal.
But Burnley remained dangerous on the break and Ross Wallace had Green
scrambling across his goal with an effort which rolled just wide. The
warning was not heeded by the West Ham defence and in the 74th minute
Burnley took a surprise lead, Wallace swinging in a corner and Vokes, who
had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes, climbing highest to nod past
Green. Cole shaved a post as West Ham attempted to haul themselves level but
the Clarets held on for a third straight win.
The Positive and Negative Thread - Burnley
Mr Polite 8:56 Sat Dec 3
Other articles by Mr Polite...
West Ham Online
On the back of some excellent results and some good performances confidence
was high for West Ham as they welcomed the Championships other Claret n
Blues Burnley and there up and coming manager Eddie Howe. Here are how I saw
the good and bad points of the game.
I think the way we started the game and the first half hour was some of the
best pass and move football I have seen for a while. The way the midfield
and Cole were moving had Burnley all over the place. If it wasn't for some
poor finishing we could have been 2 or 3 up at half time.
Having Taylor back in the starting line up really makes us look a balanced
team and having Nolan, Noble and Collison in the middle makes it look a
really attacking 451. When long balls did go up to Cole and it wasn't too
often then he had support from one or two of our midfielders. I think Sam
got the formation spot on.
Take the two set piece goals out of the game and I think we looked solid in
defence once again. Faye has been a revelation and proved a number of
people, myself included, wrong and Tomkins alongside him looks better and
better each game.
Cole I thought had a pretty poor game but on a positive note I think that
having players up supporting him like today is the way to play him with
support so rather than flicking it on to nobody he can bring it down and lay
it off. His first touch today was excellent... It was his second and third
that was the problem :)
Nolan scoring yet another goal from midfield and another excellent finish to
The result! Losing from a winning position against a team that offered very
little was hard to take. Especially as the goals came from two set pieces
which we usually are so good at defending.
The Nolan debate continues! Is him scoring a goal enough if the rest of the
game he is poor or goes missing? Today wasn't his worst game but goal aside
he didn't do much apart from a poor miss... But still good to have a
midfeilder scoring regularly.
Cole, Piquionne and Carew were pretty poor to say the least. Piq nearly
scored but apart from that all three made me realise we need a goal scorer
in Jan and how much we miss Baldock. Although to be fair to Piq he was
played out of position.
I'd like to see Matt Fry given a chance at left back. I like McCartney but
he really is very limited. He is solid enough at the back but out of all the
players he is very quick to just hoof it aimlessly forward. I think a left
back who is stronger going forward and more intelligent on the ball would
really improve the team.
Summary: I don't think we did much wrong today. I thought the tactics and
formation were spot on and really should have been two up by half time.
Personally I wouldn't have started with Cole but totally understand why Sam
did. At the end of the day we aren't going to win every game but if we play
that sort of football we will win more than we lose. Eddie Howe the young
manager with a good reputation didn't out think us, he came and got very
very lucky. Reading up next and I have no doubt we'll be back to winning
Burnley: How on Earth Did THAT Happen?
December 3rd, 2011 - 7:46 pm by Iain Dale
West Ham Till I Die
Oh dear. How on earth did that happen? We dominate the first half, should be
three up, we have 20 odd shots, they have two, and they win 2-1. I still can
hardly believe that result. OK, Burnley certainly improved in the second
half, especially after their number 7 came on, but no way did they deserve
to get anything out of that match. But sometimes justice doesn't prevail.
And it's such a shame because if we'd won we'd have gone top as Southampton
rather improbably lost at Doncaster. I'm told Ilunga played centre half, so
Southampton must have been pretty poor!
At 1-0 up I reckoned our defence had played really well, but you can' ignore
the fact that we then proceeded to let in two soft headers. Both should have
been stopped. Apart from that, I think we just have to put it down to a bad
day at the office and move on. We're still in the automatic promotion places
and there's a five point gap between us and Middlesbrough in third.
At times we played some lovely passing football and we created zillions of
chances. And if Sam Baldock had been playing, we'd have put a couple of them
away. I thought Kevin Nolan had his best game for us and his goal was
sublime. That's 6 goals so far – not bad for a player who's not been in form
and the season isn't even half over yet. Faubert played well in the first
half but lost his way in the second. Collison and Noble both had good games,
although Taylor was disappointing. Let's hope his injury isn't too serious.
Cole looked too isolated at times and played too deep. It looked sometimes
that we had a midfield six. Piquionne flattered to deceive when he came on.
He could have had a hattrick but fluffed each chance. And Carew never really
had time to get into the game.
Let's not get too downhearted. It's a minor setback, not a disaster, so
let's get some perspective and not go over the top in our criticism.
By the way, Stanislas wasn't at the races, was he? And Zavon Hines didn't
even play. Says it all.
West Ham 1-2 Burnley: Sunday Mirror match report
Published 19:30 03/12/11 By Colin Malam
On the day football honoured Gary Speed, it was Wales star Sam Vokes who
scored the goal that burst West Ham's bubble. On for former Hammer Junior
Stanislas, Vokes headed the winner for Burnley that ended West Ham's long
unbeaten run and stopped them going top of the Championship. Nobody could
say Burnley didn't deserve it. After Kevin Nolan had put West Ham ahead, the
visitors hit back through Chris McCann. Although the home side struck a post
twice in the closing stages, Burnley held on and gave as good as they got
for most of the game. I thought we defended magnificently," said Burnley
manager Eddie Howe. "That's what pleased me most. "I knew that if we needed
a goal, we had players on the bench to change the game. I thought both our
substitutes [Ross Wallace and Sam Vokes] did really well. "Sam was
understandably upset when he heard about Gary Speed's death. He found it
difficult. He's a great lad, Sam. He really wants to do well and I thought
he was outstanding when he came on. "It's been tough for him, but his goal
was great and it will give him a big lift."
West Ham went into this game full of confidence and aiming to extend their
unbeaten run to eight games, four of them straight wins. But Burnley, who
were looking for their own third win on the trot, quickly made it clear they
were not going to be a pushover. Fielding five in midfield and one striker,
they tried to stifle West Ham, as the Hammers' manager, Sam Allardyce, had
feared. The home side pressed hard enough in the first 20 minutes, but all
they achieved was a succession of corners that came to nothing. West Ham's
formation was almost a mirror image of Burnley's. They relied on midfielders
to get up in support of Carlton Cole, but nothing would go right for them.
That was underlined after 28 minutes, when Kevin Nolan was guilty of one of
those misses they love to play on TV bloopers programmes.
It started when Dean Marney lost to ball to Jack Collison. He put Cole away
on the right, and the striker's low centre left Nolan with only keeper Lee
Grant to beat.
A simple tap-in seemed certain, but the player who had thrilled Upton Park
with his strike against Derby a week earlier put the ball wide from little
more than six yards. Less embarrassing was the far post header a minute
earlier that Matt Taylor sent over the bar from a Julien Faubert centre. Not
until early in the second half did West Ham get any joy from their repeated
attacks. Seven minutes after the restart, Robert Green cleared the ball
upfield. Cole nodded it on and Nolan hooked the ball smartly over the
stranded Grant. Shortly after Nolan redeemed himself for his miss, Burnley
equalised. Skipper Chris McCann jumped higher than anyone else to nod home
Stanislas' cross. Just as Burnley had responded strongly to Nolan's opener,
West Ham came back at them with a vengeance in search of a winner.
Collison nearly got it when Nolan cut the ball back to him from the left,
but the Welsh international's shot hit a post – as did Cole's later. Burnley
were not out of it, though. A quarter of an hour from the end, they took a
shock lead through two of their substitutes. A left-wing corner by Ross
Wallace was headed home cleanly by striker Vokes as he stole into space in
the penalty area. West Ham manager Allardyce was subdued about a result
decided by two Burnley set-pieces – his own speciality. "One throw-in and
one corner has been very costly for us," he admitted. "We know we should
have defended them better. "We just have to accept that it was one of those
days when things didn't seem to drop in the right area for us."
Bankrupt agent football agent Peter Harrison speaks out
Dec 4 2011 by Coreena Ford, Sunday Sun
BANKRUPT sports agent Peter Harrison has spoken out after a bitter wrangle
with former Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce was finally resolved. The
agent – who was at the centre of Panorama's controversial "bungs probe"
programme – had relied upon a cut of Andy Carroll's £35m move to Liverpool
to help him pay off a long-standing debt to Allardyce and avoid going broke.
Yet after walking away from the mega-money deal without a penny, Mr Harrison
decided not to contest a bankruptcy order made at Newcastle's combined
court, despite it now placing all his assets in the hands of the official
receiver and banning him from operating as a sports agent.
After the £782,000 bankruptcy order was made last week, Mr Harrison spoke
exclusively to the Sunday Sun to reveal how he is now turning his back on
sports agency work once and for all.
Mr Harrison also claims he:
:: will shake up the sports world with a warts-and-all autobiography,
uncovering the real story of transfer dealings
:: has been shunned by sections of the football world since his appearance
on the Panorama programme in 2006
:: will appear in a new TV show which will lift the lid on football's
The saga first began in 2005 when then-Bolton boss Mr Allardyce loaned Mr
Harrison and former Everton and Blackburn Rovers defender Lucas Neill – one
of Harrison's clients – £300,000 to fund a property development. The plan
was to develop Laverick Hall Farm in Gateshead into 14 homes and the
agreement was to repay Mr Allardyce £600,000 plus interest – what he
expected to be a decent return on his investment. However, the land today
still lies derelict.
Allardyce took legal action against Harrison and Neill to recoup his money
through the High Court in 2007, claiming some £650,000 plus interest and
costs and the pair conceded and agreed to repay it. In 2009, however, it is
understood Allardyce petitioned Harrison's bankruptcy believing it to be the
only way he'd get his money back from the agent. At the bankruptcy hearing
on Thursday however – where Recorder Philip Kramer made the order for
£782,000 – it emerged Mr Harrison has already paid back around £650,000.
That means the agent has only gone bankrupt over the interest and costs,
which took it up to the final order amount. After the three-minute hearing,
which he didn't attend, Mr Harrison boldly declared: "This won't affect me
much. I'm a fighter. "I'll be back in less than a year – hopefully in just a
At an earlier court hearing it was revealed how Mr Harrison – former agent
to Andy Carroll – believed he could repay his creditors money he felt he was
owed from the Magpie striker's record-breaking move to Merseyside. However,
he was left without the substantial commission payment after an FA
arbitration hearing, despite claiming rival agent Mark Curtis "tapped up"
Carroll, a practise banned by the association. Curtis always denied the
claims, and an FA arbitration hearing found in his favour earlier this year.
Mr Harrison, who has also represented Brazilian player Rivaldo and Bolton
keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, was secretly filmed by Panorama for their
programme Football's Dirty Secrets, broadcast in 2005, causing a storm
following claims of managers taking cash inducements during lucrative
transfer deals. He said: "Following the Panorama programme, I have been
treated almost as persona non grata by those I organised transfer deals
with. "People should be aware that another TV programme is going to air soon
which will give my side of the story but I can't say too much about it yet.
"What I can say is that I certainly haven't not got £1.8m of debts that has
previously reported – I'm just going bankrupt over the interests and legal
costs. He added: "I will have my say over Sam in my book too – there will be
a whole chapter on it. "I'm still working by the way – I've still got
projects on the go and I am busy, I'm off to Canada soon for one business
project – but I am leaving sports agency now I have had offers to stay in
the game but I've got sick of it. He added: "I can't say much about the book
deal but I have dealt with the Premier League and its forerunner for 20
years, dealing at the top, and my book will have a bit about how deals are
done and what my life has been about, but first of all I'm working on the TV
Mark Curtis, Allardyce's agent, told the Sunday Sun he was unaware the
bankruptcy order had gone through and declined to comment.