Premier League launch bung inquiry

January 24, 2006

The Premier League will launch an inquiry into transfers since January 2004, it has been announced.

The chairman of the inquiry will be named on February 16, and the move comes soon after allegations of transfer bungs from Luton boss Mike Newell.

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson was also reported to have told an undercover reporter of transfer impropriety involving Premier League clubs.

'This inquiry has the unanimous support of all 20 clubs, that is very important when you consider that matter,' said Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

'We do not know who will conduct the inquiry but it will be a wholly independent one and it will be chaired by a QC or a professional person of similar standing.'

Scudamore hopes the inquiry will benefit football in the future by making transfers more 'transparent'.

'We have to be very clear about the terms of reference - they are to investigate transfer dealing concluded since January 2004 and to report any findings of irregular payments to and from officials of any club,' he added.

'Clearly, also in doing this we are looking for the chairman of the inquiry to make recommendations as to how the Premier League and its clubs can improve any processes in the future in order to address this situation.

'The inquiry method will be different to how the Premier League would normally work. What we envisage happening is an information gathering phase whereas in the past we have talked about evidence only.

'It will be up to the chairman of the inquiry to then take that 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.

'We are trying to make sure this situation is nailed, transparent and that the inquiry comes up with something.'