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Page last updated at 09:49 GMT, Thursday, 12 January 2006

Newell told to give bung evidence

Mike Newell
Newell has never employed an agent

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has urged Luton boss Mike Newell to substantiate his claims that transfer bungs are rife in football.

Newell believes "a lot of people involved with the agents and doing the deals are taking back-handers".

Scudamore told BBC Radio 4: "He has a duty to the game to tell us exactly what he knows and if there has been wrong-doing it will be taken up.

"If he can substantiate his claims, it could be fantastic evidence."

Newell also criticised the Football Association for failing to control players' agents.

He said: "The FA must play a much bigger role than they are doing - agents are the scourge of the game."

And when asked if he had been offered money when conducting transfer negotiations, Newell responded: "Of course I have. I wouldn't even entertain the idea - never.

"If I was open to it, it would be a regular occurrence. All I would have to say is, 'What is in it for me?'."

Millions of pounds have gone out of the game that will not be seen again
Mike Newell

In 1995, George Graham was sacked as Arsenal manager and banned from football for a year after allegations he accepted an illegal payment as part of a transfer deal.

Newell believes it is far from an isolated incident.

He added: "If George Graham is the only one guilty of taking a bung in the last 10 years, I would be absolutely amazed.

"If the governing bodies don't eradicate some of the things that are happening, it will kill the game.

"Hopefully the Football League and the Premier League will come to their senses and bring in stricter laws."

Newell is concerned that resources are being drained from football and suggests there is only one winner as things currently stand.

He added: "I've seen the money agents make at Championship level and I can only imagine what they make at the top level.

"So many players have come and gone who have been absolutely no good to the game or the clubs who bought them.

"But the agents will have made money once again and the game in this country will have suffered.

"Millions of pounds have gone out of the game that will not be seen again."

During the 2004-05 season Championship clubs spent nearly 7m on agents' fees.

And last summer Football League chairman Lord Brian Mawhinney called for tighter regulations governing the behaviour of agents.

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