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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Lawyer plays down Arsenal fears
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Arsenal say they do not have control of any other clubs
Leading sports lawyer Mel Goldberg claims Arsenal have little to fear from a Fifa probe into their dealings with Belgian club Beveren.

Fifa is investigating whether a 1m payment made by Arsenal to Beveren breaches conflict of interest rules.

Goldberg told Five Live Sport: "Uefa and Fifa have rules about clubs owning shares in foreign teams.

"I don't think that's happened here because Arsenal say, rightly, they have no control of a foreign club."

BBC's Newsnight learned that the Fifa probe arose from a Belgian police investigation into money laundering.

Arsenal have a public arrangement with Beveren to play friendly matches and loan players to them to gain experience.

The Gunners also signed Emmanuel Eboue from Beveren for 1.5m.

Goldberg added: "There are two sets of rules you need to look at.

"One is the Premier League rules which prevent clubs owning shares or an interest in another Premiership or Football League club. That hasn't happened here.

"Then there are Uefa and Fifa rules which are similar, about clubs owning shares in foreign teams, and I don't think that's happened either."

The Belgian police investigation forced Arsenal to admit they had indirectly loaned Beveren 1m, although previously they had denied putting any money into the club.

A statement from the Gunners said: "Arsenal confirms it has never owned, directly or indirectly, any shares in Beveren or had any power whatsoever to influence its management or administration."

Arsenal face Fifa investigation
01 Jun 06 |  Newsnight Home
Arsenal face Fifa investigation
01 Jun 06 |  Newsnight Home
Statement from Arsenal FC
01 Jun 06 |  Newsnight Home


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