Chelsea and Liverpool face questions over Porritt

September 20, 2006

Chelsea and Liverpool face an investigation by the Football Association and Premier League into BBC Panorama's allegations that they breached regulations in trying to tempt an England youth player away from Middlesbrough.

The programme showed Nathan Porritt, then 15, being touted to the clubs by agent Peter Harrison.

The Premier League want some of Panorama's more serious allegations to be passed on to Lord Stevens' bung inquiry, and the evidence about illegal approaches for players to be given to themselves and the FA.

A Premier League spokesman said: 'There are allegations concerning other potential breaches of industry rules in the programme that fall outside the terms of reference of Lord Stevens' inquiry.

'Again we request the BBC pass on their evidence in order that the FA and ourselves can examine all aspects of these allegations in order to determine the most appropriate course of action that each body should take.'

However, Chelsea will not face any possible points deduction even if Panorama's claims are substantiated.

The Blues were given a suspended three-point deduction by the Premier League following the Ashley Cole `tapping up' case.

Chelsea are currently the subject of a joint investigation by the Premier League and FA over claims by Leeds of illegal approaches for three academy players last season.

The BBC's Panorama programme has alleged Chelsea's director of youth football Frank Arnesen offered Porritt £150,000 over three years to move clubs.

However, even if Chelsea are found to have breached any regulations with regard to the academy players the suspended points deduction from the Cole case will not apply.

It is understood that one Premier League regulation covers illegal approaches for contracted players, and a separate regulation covers approaches for academy players.

With regard to the Arnesen allegations, Chelsea told the BBC that no industry rules had been breached.

It is understood that Arnesen was approached by Porritt's agent Harrison rather than Chelsea making the initial inquiry.

Porritt's agent also offers the player to Liverpool during the programme, and a club official talks positively about signing him when he is 17. Liverpool too have told the BBC they have not breached any industry rules.