Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I Was Paid Pounds 40,000 a Year to Bug Calls' Consultant Says He Secretly Filmed Shearer Football Club Distances Itself from Claims

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I Was Paid Pounds 40,000 a Year to Bug Calls' Consultant Says He Secretly Filmed Shearer Football Club Distances Itself from Claims

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sam Wood

NEWCASTLE United Football Club last night distanced itself Football club distances itself from allegations made over the weekend of bugging and secret filming.

A London-based newspaper carried claims by security consultant Brian Tough that he was paid pounds 40,000 a year to bug the phones of former manager Kevin Keegan, Sunderland chairman Bob Murray and others, including the editor of The Journal.

Reportedly, he also secretly filmed Alan Shearer in a meeting with ex-chairman Freddie Shepherd.

Tough also claimed to have tried to sabotage a fans' campaign against controversial club plans to move 4,000 fans into different seats at St James's Park.

Last night, a spokesman for the club said the story was outdated and had "no relevance to how the club is run".

Former club chairman Freddie Shepherd also denied any involvement in the bugging of players or managers.

He said: "This is James Bond stuff. I certainly didn't employ anyone in 007 activities at St James's Park. Mr Tough was never employed by me or the club."

An attempt to contact Brian Tough by The Journal for further comment was unsuccessful. The Sunday newspaper alleges that Mr Tough was told to secretly video Alan Shearer in a meeting with Shepherd, without either one knowing.

It is claimed there were fears Shearer was on the verge of leaving after falling out with manager Ruud Gullit.

It was claimed a video of him was wanted expressing his loyalty to the club which would be embarrassing to him should he decide to leave.

Keegan's phone was allegedly tapped when it was rumoured the then manager was about to leave for another club.

Tough is quoted as saying: "I was told to find out what he was up to and if he had another job lined up."

He claimed Sunderland chairman Bob Murray was bugged and parts of his conversations were given to reporters to embarrass the Wearside Club over shirt sales. …

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