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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 15:48 GMT
Kelly calls for corruption review
By Simon Austin and John May

Graham Kelly
Former Football Association chief executive Graham Kelly hopes allegations of corruption within the game will spark a major review.

Luton boss Mike Newell claims transfer bungs are rife in football and will voice his concerns to the FA next week.

"It's an absolute scandal that there is no proper financial regulation system within football," Kelly told BBC Sport.

"Agents have a licence to print money and have had since before I went to the FA in 1988."

Kelly, who was chief executive of the FA from 1988 to 1998, said that although he had no proof of any specific bungs, it was possible for corruption to emerge within the game.

"Agents are the biggest sore, the biggest cancer in the game," he added.

Clubs are hypocritical - they condemn agents and then work with them
Graham Kelly

"Millions and millions have gone out of the game to agents over the last 20 years - they're printing their own money.

"The Premier League doesn't require its clubs to declare what commissions they give to agents. Manchester United is the only club that chooses to.

"In contrast, the Football League requires all its clubs to.

"But still nobody knows what the agents do with the money because they are outside the game."

However, Sky Andrew, who represents Arsenal defender Sol Campbell and Birmingham midfielder Jermaine Pennant, feels agents get a raw deal.

"In any profession there are people who do a good job and there are people who don't," he told the BBC.

What we don't want is a situation where people criticise agents just because they didn't get a player
Sky Andrew

"The authorities can't do any more. I think they've done a great job and brought in all the rules and regulations they can to make sure agents conduct themselves in the right way."

Kelly tried to introduce tighter regulations following George Graham's ban for accepting an "unsolicited gift" from Norwegian agent Rune Hauge following the transfers of John Jensen and Pal Lydersen to Arsenal.

But Kelly says his attempts to set up a compliance and monitoring unit during his reign were thwarted by the Premier League and the Football League.

"They said the clubs were already subject to company law and didn't need a new bureaucracy crawling all over the club's books," he told BBC Sport.

"It was like trying to play keepy-uppy when 10 players are kicking you in the shins."

The FA eventually appointed a compliance officer in January 1999.

But the man handed the task of cleaning up the game, former police officer Graham Bean, resigned in frustration after five years in the job.

The FA should seize the moment and show they mean business
Graham Bean
Former FA compliance officer

Bean told BBC Sport: "For such a multi-million pound business, football is a cottage industry.

"It's a small, close-knit community where everybody knows everybody and what everybody else is doing.

"That makes the investigative procedure harder because people are reluctant to come forward and give information.

"The problem I found was that you constantly went down dead ends and what you had was never enough to put somebody in front of a commission."

Bean hopes Newell's comments will urge a major rethink.

"The FA should seize the moment and show it means business," he said.

"If FA officials can't get this one right you have to question whether they want to do anything about it."

Interview: Former FA chief executive Graham Kelly

Interview: Luton boss Mike Newell

FA to meet Newell over bung claim
12 Jan 06 |  Luton Town


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