A former Doncaster Rovers star has broken his silence over claims he defrauded a string of star footballers in an 'explosive' new book.
Ex-Rovers midfielder Michael McIndoe has been the subject of a long-running fraud investigation over allegations that he swindled more than 100 footballers - including players such as John Terry, Danny Welbeck, Robbie Keane and Jimmy Bullard - out of millions of pounds.
But the Scots star, who also played for Coventry and Wolves, has now said he intends to set the record straight in his autobiography.
In an interview with ITV News he said: "I have never run any kind of investment scheme or Ponzi scheme."
Speaking publicly for the first time, McIndoe agrees that he did take money from friends in football and other associates - but says the vast majority was legally documented.
"They were all personal loans, and 80 per cent of them were done through lawyers," he said.
He insisted: "I have never taken a penny off JT (John Terry), Danny Welbeck I’ve not even met, and I’ve never taken money from Robbie Keane."
McIndoe has been the subject of a long-running fraud investigation, led initially by the specialist Falcon Unit at New Scotland Yard.
He says that at all times he was open with those who loaned him money.
"The money I borrowed was for a multitude of things, consolidating loans, to help me in my financial situation," he said.
He wouldn’t be drawn further on details, but admitted: "There was gambling involved, yes - some was to pay off gambling debts but I wanted to get into business."
Wilding, his autobiography, details an ill-fated business venture which eventually led to his bankruptcy.
An ambitious project to launch an exclusive nightclub on London’s Oxford Street ended up leaving him in debt, in his own estimation at the time, by around £10 million.
The 37-year-old Scot also writes about his upbringing on the rough Calders estate in Edinburgh and his battle through drink and drugs and violent gang life during the 1990s.
He said: "I am extremely excited to have released my new book and let people read the true story. The media have had such an avid interest in my life that I think it’s about time I set the record straight.”
The investment scheme at the centre of the case promised a huge 20 per cent-a-month return but crashed amid huge debts, with individual losses ranging from a few thousand pounds to more than a million.
According to the Daily Mirror, McIndoe lured people in telling them he had a miracle scheme investing in gold, stocks and London property offering massive returns each month.
Initially, early investors were paid handsome dividends - but it soon emerged the McIndoe plan was a simple 'Ponzi' scheme, named after a swindler who made a fortune through fraud in America and Canada in the 1920s.
McIndoe scored 28 goals in 122 appearances for Rovers between 2003-06 and helped the side to the Division Three title in 2003-04.