English FA to investigate bungs allegations

January 12, 2006

LONDON -- The Football Association (FA) will talk to Luton Town manager Mike Newell next week about his bungs allegations, English soccer's governing body said on Thursday.

British newspapers reported on Thursday that Newell said he had been offered bungs, or under-the-table financial inducements, while negotiating transfer deals.

"We have contacted Mike this morning and will meet with him early next week. If he provides us with evidence we will investigate fully," FA chief executive Brian Barwick said.

"These are very serious claims that Mike Newell has made," Barwick told the FA website.

Newell was quoted as saying: "Have I been offered the chance to take money? Yes, of course I have and I wouldn't even entertain the idea ... Never.

"What you'll find is, a lot of people involved with the agents and doing the deals are getting backhanders," he said.

"What I suspect is that people in high places are also involved with the agents."

Barwick added: "We welcome the fact that he has said that he is willing to provide names and details of people who have breached the rules.

"The FA takes this issue very seriously. If people have evidence we would expect them to come forward and provide it to our Compliance Department, who thoroughly investigate evidence of wrong-doing."

The FA website said the body had brought in new regulations from January 1 governing the activities of agents, to improve transparency, address conflicts of interest and increase protection for young players.