Bung inquiry to name agents to FA

January 8, 2007

Officials from the Stevens bung inquiry will hand over to the FA the names of eight agents who refused to help their investigations - but the identity of those Premier League clubs who breached transfer rules will not be revealed.

It is the first meeting between the FA and Lord Stevens' firm Quest since the former Metropolitan Police commissioner last month published the findings of his inquiry into illegal payments.

Stevens revealed before Christmas that eight agents had refused to co-operate with the inquiry, that three Premier League clubs breached transfer rules because they did not know the correct regulations and that 16 clubs failed to document financial arrangements connected to transfers appropriately.

Tuesday's meeting will concern the eight agents - Quest want the FA and FIFA to oblige those agents to co-operate with the continuing investigations into 17 remaining transfers by opening their bank accounts.

However the identity of the rule-breaking clubs will be kept secret until the last possible moment.

A Quest spokesman said: 'This is the first meeting of the new stage of the inquiry.

'They will discuss the agents concerned and the FA, the Premier League and Quest are going to work together to get on to the next stage.

'The names of the clubs who broke the rules will not be handed over yet as a little bit more work remains to be done on that case.'

The meeting will take place at the FA's Soho Square headquarters and involve members of the FA compliance department and Quest's managing director Nigel Layton.

Layton has said 17 transfer deals still under investigation were similar in complexity to the intricate international financial web he had to untangle in five years probing Robert Maxwell's missing millions.

He said: 'We are now going to see the FA, and FIFA with respect to the overseas agents, to see if we can get the assistance we need to get these eight agents to comply.'

All of the 17 remaining transfers have an international element to them, and in places such as South America transfer fees are often split between numerous parties.

The FA were hoping to discover the identity of the clubs to decide whether any should face disciplinary charges for breaching transfer regulations.

Stevens himself branded the clubs' behaviour as unacceptable.

He said last month: 'The frequency of these instances show the clubs neither anticipate nor are concerned by the strictures imposed by the FA.

'It is my view this further erodes the reputation of the game and those involved in it.

'Such scant disregard for the rules and regulations of this great game is unacceptable.'