Inquiry Or Whitewash?
Comments made by Luton boss Mike Newell about irregular payments relating to player transfers brought the issue to public attention last year. In January 2006, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore announced an investigation with the backing of all Premier Chairmen.
So after nine months, a reported £800,000 and a lot of twitchy arses, it would seem that the former police chief has found nothing. We had been led to believe that everyone in the game had their fingers in the till, but it would seem that Lord Stevens has found the beautiful game to be squeaky clean.
He investigated 362 transfers over a 2 year period and found all but 17 of these to be satisfactory. He said he had not been able to complete his inquiries into this, as he was hampered and delayed by some of the agents involved. He refused to name any names, but said the information had been passed onto the relevant authorities. Lord Stevens wishes to see further details from more sources outside of football clubs, such as agents and other third parties.
Lord Stevens has made a total of 38 recommendations, that he says 'should be undertaken as of yesterday,' but Richard Scudamore would like a bit more time to look at them. These are some of the things Lord Stevens has recommended:
1.The creation of a body to handle the audit of transfers, instead of the Football Association
2.Any scant regard for the rules is 'unacceptable'
3.Relatives 'should not be paid' in deals
4.Criminal investigations not endemic in Premiership
5.Professional Footballers' Association should not act as agents
How long this will take to implement is anyone's guess, how long the other 17 cases will take to conclude is as well. But one thing is for sure, no one will be found with their fingers in the till and we will all be able to sleep tight in our beds knowing that the beautiful game is squeaky clean.