Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn has denied asking Eni Aluko to put out a statement saying the governing body is not institutionally racist.
Aluko accused Glenn of “bordering on blackmail” by saying he would only release part of her £80,000 FA settlement if she made the statement, which she “categorically refused to write”.
But Glenn, being grilled by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee over the FA’s handling of the Mark Sampson affair, claimed he merely objected to a tweet Aluko wrote on the issue.
“On August 30 Eniola tweeted ‘At least we now know the FA’s stance on derogatory racial remarks by an England manager. Ignore, deny, endorse. In that order’.
“We took legal advice on that and the advice we received was that was a clear breach of the agreement we had both entered into.
“I sought a meeting with the PFA and Eniola on September 11 and what I was seeking to do was break this impasse.
“Eniola used words like, ‘I’d like to draw a line under this’. My question to her was, ‘We have to put this to bed’.”
Asked if he categorically denied asking Aluko to write a statement clearing the FA of institutional racism, Glenn replied: “Yes.”
“Her point was, ‘This is just one tweet, I didn’t mean how it was interpreted’. So I said, ‘Let’s, on this issue, get down the facts about what you think is the case about the FA’.”
Asked whether Aluko will receive the rest of the money owed from the settlement, Glenn replied: “We will reflect on it.”
Earlier, Aluko had told the committee:
“Martin Glenn said if I wrote a statement he would release the second tranche of the money. I felt that was bordering on blackmail.
“I categorically refused to write it. It’s not for me to come up with that determination.
“I would never say the FA are institutionally racist. My comments were based on comments to me and Drew Spence and how they handled that.
“For Martin Glenn to say I should say that in order to get a payment I was contractually agreed to is appalling.”
Aluko said she felt “vindicated” after an investigation concluded former England women’s manager Sampson made remarks which were “discriminatory on grounds of race” towards her and team-mate Spence.
And the striker claimed the FA had an agenda to protect Sampson and its own reputation during her evidence to a sport governance inquiry.