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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 16:24 GMT
Football in denial?
Luton boss Mike Newell

The claims of Luton Town boss Mike Newell that transfer bungs are rife in football has triggered another bout of soul-searching within the game.

BBC Sport gets the reactions of an agent, a manager and a former corruption investigator as well as two guardians of the game - past and present.

Gerry Francis
Former Tottenham and QPR manager

Gerry Francis
I was offered money a few times, particularly on foreign transfers, but there were penalties in place.

I'd advise any young manager not to go down that road (of accepting bungs).

Agents soon found out those people who would take inducements and those people who wouldn't.

But if you want to do things the right way, it does restrict you and you do lose out on players.

Sky Andrew
Players' agent

Players' agent Sky Andrew
In any profession there are people who do a good job and there are people who don't, but the public keep hearing it one way about agents and there's no balance.

There are so many rules and regulations that have come in over the past few years and every payment to an agent has to be declared. What else can be done?

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

Do we want agents to do a job just to suit the managers, chairmen or chief executives and not represent their clients?

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.

Richard Scudamore
Premier League chief executive

Premier League chief executive
I've always said that if anyone has any evidence of this going on, the FA's compliance unit should get straight on to it.

Mike Newell may well have done us a favour, if he can substantiate what he's saying.

He can't criticise the authorities for not investigating something he didn't tell us about, though.

But I welcome anyone who's prepared to out any of this wrongdoing, if indeed it is going on.

Perhaps the fact we haven't had any hard evidence points to the fact it isn't as prevalent as people make out - there's an awful amount of gossip and conjecture in the game.

Graham Kelly
Former FA chief executive

Former chief executive Graham Kelly
It's an absolute scandal that there is no proper financial regulation system within football. Agents are the biggest sore, the biggest cancer in the game.

Millions and millions have gone out of the game to agents but those concerned don't have to declare where their commission goes.

Clubs generally are hypocritical about this, because they condemn agents and then they work with them.

Graham Bean
Former FA compliance unit chief

The FA should seize the moment and show they mean business, or you would have to question whether they want to do anything about it.

Football is a close-knit community where everybody knows what everybody else is doing - and that makes the investigative procedure harder because people are reluctant to give information.

There are some very good, professional agents who do their business entirely properly. I think the real problems came with the influx of a large number of foreign players.

The best way forward would be for the investigative arm of the FA to be a completely independent body.

Interview: Luton boss Mike Newell

Interview: Former manager Gerry Francis

Interview: Former FA chief executive Graham Kelly

Interview: Former FA compliance officer Graham Bean

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


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