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TOON SPIES EXPOSED

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Newcastle United security chief targeted stars in phone-bugging operation

 

By Mazher Mahmood

The News of the World has exposed a sensational bugging scandal at the heart of one of the Premiership's biggest clubs.

We reveal how a spy was paid to carry out a series of far-reaching illegal SURVEILLANCE and SABOTAGE operations at Newcastle United that will rock football.

 

Security consultant Brian Tough was ordered to TAP PHONES of unhappy managers and players—and even take SECRET FILM of England legend Alan Shearer that could be used against him if he tried to leave the club.

 

The spy—on a £40,000 a year retainer plus cash bungs for top secret operations—also spills the beans on how he BUGGED:

 

TOON legend Kevin Keegan's calls to his wife to see if he was planning to quit as manager

 

RIVAL team Sunderland's chairman Bob Murray—to find out secret plans for their new stadium

 

EX-GOVERNMENT advisor Alaistair Balls, then a development corporation chief working on funding for the Wearside club's ground

 

THE EDITOR of a local newspaper because he'd run knocking stories on the club, and even

 

THE BUTLER of 74-year-old Newcastle president Sir John Hall.

 

 

 

And in an explosive revelation that will incense loyal Toon fans, Tough reveals how he was paid to SCUPPER a supporters' campaign to stop the club taking 4,000 seats away from them for rich clients.

 

In a shattering confession, Tough says: "At times I felt really bad about it, especially when I spied on our own players and senior staff. The players and fans would have gone mad if they had found out what I was up to."

 

The bugging took place during the reign of disgraced Toon bosses Freddie Shepherd and Douglas Hall—both caught by the News of the World in a Spanish brothel ridiculing players and fans in 1999 in a soccer scandal that became known as Toongate.

 

Last night Shepherd—ousted as Newcastle chairman in a summer takeover by sports shops tycoon Mike Ashley—ADMITTED he found out about 52-year-old Tough's phone tapping in 2004 after it happened.

 

But the portly 65-year-old—who walked away from Newcastle with £37 million and is believed to be considering buying into Leeds United—said Toongate Two was nothing to do with him.

 

"Tough did make me aware of what he had done but I did not condone it," he said. "I couldn't control what he did. He didn't work for me. I had nothing to do with bugging anybody."

 

However he failed to pass this information about illegal activities at his club onto police.

 

Tough was employed by former Newcastle vice-chairman Douglas, Sir John's son, as a security consultant in 1994. He was paid through Cameron Hall Developments. Douglas, 47, was the chairman of this property development company, which had been set up by his Sir John.

 

Tough—who doubled up as a bodyguard for Douglas—told us: "I was the man tasked with carrying out the dirty work. I personally arranged bugging operations.

 

"I didn't do this off my own bat. I knew what I was being asked to sort out was potentially illegal, but at the time I was just so happy to be in with the club and so I went for it."

 

The price was £3,000 a time in cash for a phone tap to be placed on a victim's line—plus a monitoring fee of around £500 a day.

 

"Any juicy tapes were immediately to be brought to my contact at the club. I even played some of the tapes in boxes at St James' Park," claimed Tough.

 

His secret missions included:

 

THE KEEGAN TAP: In 1997 the then Newcastle boss was rumoured to be about to leave the club. Tough said: "I was told to find out what he was up to and if he had another job lined up by having his phone tapped.

 

"It was a difficult one since the people I employed to do it were unable to tamper with the overhead wires at Keegan's home. They had to doctor the telephone wires underground."

 

In one call the England legend's wife Jean joked to her husband that he should be careful about what he said on the phone in case somebody was preparing the ‘Keegangate tapes'. "I was laughing as I heard her say those words," said Tough.

 

THE SHEARER FILM: In 1999 Ruud Gullit was Newcastle boss and was at loggerheads with Toon legend Shearer.

 

On August 25, the former England captain was called into Shepherd's office for a crisis meeting shortly before Gullit was to drop him for a game against Sunderland.

 

Tough was ordered to film the meeting, unbeknown to both Shepherd and Shearer.

 

He said: "I was told to get him on tape talking about his future. If I had him on video expressing his loyalty to the club, it could become useful to embarrass him in case he decided to leave.

 

"I still remember the video. Shearer was wearing blue jeans, a beige polo neck sweater and Timberland boots. He told Shepherd, ‘I'm not going anywhere'."

 

THE SUNDERLAND TAP: In November 1995 Tough was told to find out where Newcastle's arch rivals were getting their funding for the Stadium of Light. An an elaborate surveillance operation was put in place to bug the club's then chairman Bob Murray.

 

The tap yielded a surprise piece of damaging propaganda in the enmity between the clubs.

 

During one taped phone call Murray was heard talking about a new sponsor for their team kit.

 

Tough said: "The new kit was to be issued in the New Year, and since Christmas was coming up Murray wanted to keep it quiet so fans would buy up the old shirts.

 

"I was ordered to phone a local journalist and play the tape to him." Tough's paymaster was delighted when the story made the front page of the local paper and embarrassed their rival team.

 

THE BUGGED ADVISOR: Tough's subterfuge was almost rumbled when a phone tap was discovered by police at the home of Alastair Balls, the former government advisor and chief executive of the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation, in 1995.

 

The device was installed at his home in Wylam, Northumberland, to gather intelligence about funding for the Sunderland stadium.

 

But Balls' wife Beryl reported a fault on on the line to BT and the device was found. Police launched an investigation to find out who had planted the transmitter but drew a blank.

 

Tough said: "You would have thought that with this making all the papers and with senior police officers involved I would have been told to call it a day, but it was all considered a joke and I just carried on bugging targets.

 

I believed it was all for the benefit of the club I loved so much."

 

THE PARANOIA TAPS: Even the BUTLER at Sir John Hall's palatial home, an Egyptian called Esau, was monitored by Tough in one of his crazier jobs. He recalled: "Esau had told Sir John that he was leaving after many years of service and I wanted to find out why he was going and where.

 

"I discovered he had lined up a new job—working for Kevin Keegan! Sir John would have been horrified if he knew what I was up to."

 

Other victims included the Newcastle Journal editor. His phone was tapped in 1995 after he had fallen out with the club. And Tough even bugged Douglas Hall's home, Wellington Manor, where he lived with his ex-wife model Tonia.

 

THE SABOTAGED CAMPAIGN: Tough was also ordered to scupper Newcastle supporters' Save Our Seats campaign in 1999 which was backed by the News of the World.

 

We supported the Toon Army in their fight to stop the club handing over 4,000 supporters' seats to corporate clients. When campaign organisers, led by fan Jane Duffy planned to fly a banner over the ground during a match Tough was ordered to take action.

 

He went to the local airfield and paid a £2,000 cash bung to make sure that the aircraft would be declared "unfit to fly" for the afternoon.

 

Tough, who is willing to be interviewed by police, said he has fallen out with Douglas Hall who walked away from Newcastle after the takeover with his share of the Hall family's £55 million from the club.

 

The minder claimed he helped set up an office for the club in Gibraltar where he lived with Hall, who became a tax exile. Hall was picking up £500,000 a year from shareholders money to run an empty office on the rock.

 

When Tough told him he planned to spill the beans about a massive bugging operation at the club, Hall replied: "Bri, I didn't think you were like that, you are not like that. You are f**king not like that. If that's what you want to do, do it."

 

Newcastle fans rejoiced when sleazy Shepherd and Hall were driven out of St James's Park by Mike Ashley's surprise takeover. But the club is still blighted by controversy.

 

St James's Park was raided on July 16, along with Portsmouth's Fratton Park stadium and Glasgow Rangers' Ilbrox ground as part of a massive soccer corruption probe.

 

The club put out a statement claiming they were victims rather than perpetrators of any wrongdoing: "If the club has been the victim of any criminal activity, the club will take appropriate action."

 

Shepherd said he believed the police were not investigating anyone at St James's and that United bosses had "done nothing wrong" and were "spotless". But he and Hall were found to be far from spotless in 1998 when we caught them in a Spanish brothel on an undercover investigation.

 

Shepherd infamously described Geordie women as "dogs" and bragged how he travelled the world to score with prostitutes.

 

Accompanied at the time by Tough, they ridiculed their players— calling Alan Shearer "Mary Poppins" and Kevin Keegan "Shirley Temple". They also boasted how they ripped off loyal Toon fans over merchandise.

 

The shamed bosses were both forced to resign, but because of their financial stake in the club were able to return in a matter of months. Hall is now living in Spain with his former mistress, an ex-secretary at the club.

 

The Toon Army are unlikely to be in a forgiving mood after a 3-1 away defeat to Manchester City yesterday—and this latest scandal will only fuel their anger at the men who used to lead their club.

 

A spokesperson for Newcastle United said: "This story relates to a previous era and has no relevance how the club is run under the new regime."

 

 

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/3009_toongate_exposed.shtml

Edited by ewerk

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We reveal how a spy was paid to carry out a series of far-reaching illegal SURVEILLANCE and SABOTAGE operations at Newcastle United that will rock football.

 

Did I miss something ? :icon_lol:

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The whole thing sounds so........pointless. :icon_lol:

 

 

Well if it was being ran by Feckless Hall it probably would be.

 

Tough was employed by former Newcastle vice-chairman Douglas, Sir John's son, as a security consultant in 1994. He was paid through Cameron Hall Developments. Douglas, 47, was the chairman of this property development company, which had been set up by his Sir John.

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Guest James_coDurham

So he tapped loads of phone lines and found, well, pretty much nothing.

 

Shocking!!

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"I didn't do this off my own bat. I knew what I was being asked to sort out was potentially illegal, but at the time I was just so happy to be in with the club and so I went for it."

 

a.k.a the Souness defence

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Reports of bugging Alan Oliver's phone are wide of the mark.

 

Reports of Oliver having pictures of Nugent's cock on his phone are accurate.

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Reports of bugging Alan Oliver's phone are wide of the mark.

 

Reports of Oliver having pictures of Nugent's cock on his phone are accurate.

Hahahahahaha...hahhahhaha....hahha...ha...ha.

 

Yeah, you're not funny.

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Reports of bugging Alan Oliver's phone are wide of the mark.

 

Reports of Oliver having pictures of Nugent's cock on his phone are accurate.

Hahahahahaha...hahhahhaha....hahha...ha...ha.

 

Yeah, you're not funny.

Actually, that's pretty funny.

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Reports of bugging Alan Oliver's phone are wide of the mark.

 

Reports of Oliver having pictures of Nugent's cock on his phone are accurate.

Hahahahahaha...hahhahhaha....hahha...ha...ha.

 

Yeah, you're not funny.

Actually, that's pretty funny.

I realise that everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but you don't deserve yours.

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