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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 17:24 GMT
Scudamore announces bung inquiry
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore
Scudamore says all clubs support the inquiry
An independent inquiry is to take place into alleged transfer bung payments, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has announced.

The inquiry is backed by all 20 clubs and will be headed by an eminent QC "or someone of similar standing".

Scudamore added: "The Premier League has not been presented with anything to substantiate the speculation.

"Due to their frequent and persistent nature, allegations of wrongdoing, real or perceived, must be addressed."

The inquiry will examine transfers concluded since January 2004 and look for details of any irregular payments.

Recent comments by Luton boss Mike Newell about irregular payments relating to player transfers have brought the issue to public attention.

But Scudamore denied the inquiry was in response to this, or comments by England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"It's been building and building," he said.

"Not since Mike Newell, or Sven's revelations but before then.

We're going to clean this thing up one way or the other, in terms of perception and in terms of turning it into reality
Richard Scudamore

"I think the clubs are fed up with the continued speculation that goes on unchecked.

"It will be up to the chairman of the inquiry to then take the information and convert it from investigation into evidence.

"We want evidence put into two categories - evidence to support wrongdoing or to prove there is no wrongdoing."

However, Eriksson will be invited to speak to the inquiry.

Scudamore said: "I am sure the inquiry will wish to speak to him and anybody else who has raised similar comments."

Scudamore added that it was the ongoing rumours of a culture of bungs that had provoked the Premier League to take action.

"One of our problems is that it's almost accepted as a given that these things go on," he said.

"We do not believe that people are in a position to make those statements as categorically as they do. What we're trying to do is to establish if there is even first base to deal with the issue.

"There is absolutely no tolerance of that culture in the way the Premier League conducts its business centrally.

"I'm not talking about football over the last 20 or 30 years, I'm talking about the here and now.

"We're going to clean this thing up one way or the other, in terms of perception and in terms of turning it into reality."



SEE ALSO
Newell optimistic following talks
20 Jan 06 |  Luton Town
Eriksson says players forgive him
16 Jan 06 |  Internationals
Holloway cynical about FA action
23 Jan 06 |  Football


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