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Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Newell arrives at Soho Square for bung summit

Luton manager Mike Newell arrived at 11am for today's meeting with the Football Association.

Newell was summoned to Soho Square by the FA following his recent claims that a `bung' culture still exists in football.

The 40-year-old revealed he had been offered cash by agents and club officials as an incentive to buy players.

Today Newell was being asked to support his claims during the meeting with FA chief executive Brian Barwick.

Newell shocked the game last week when he claimed he had been offered 'sweeteners' by agents and club officials to sell Luton players, and that he would be amazed if former Arsenal boss George Graham was the only manager to have accepted a bung in the last 11 years.

Although Newell insisted he had evidence to support his assertions, he admitted he had nothing recorded or in writing.

'It's word of mouth,' he said. 'It's in my head, so I don't know if it will be any use at all.'

Leading agents hinted they could sue Newell over his remarks.

A recent statement from the Football Agents' Association read: 'So far as we are aware Mr Newell has not named the individuals to whom these allegations are intended to refer, but his comments as they stand cast aspersions over the whole role of agents and indeed licensed agents generally, and are by implication defamatory.'

But Newell - a former Everton and Blackburn striker - promised to 'name names' at his meeting with the FA, and he has no fear of possible repercussions.

He said: 'I have no problem substantiating what I have said - and I have no problem digging people out. I received a fax from the FA, and I am quite happy to meet people and talk to them.

'I can back up everything I have said, and I can sleep well at night.'




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