Football: Top Clubs and Agents in Dock over New TV Investigation
Wallace, Sam, The Independent (London, England)
Premiership football will be hit with a new corruption scandal later this month after at least one leading agent and three top- flight clubs were targeted by an undercover BBC sting that will make serious allegations about the probity of transfers and financial dealings in the national game.
The agent involved is understood to be considering leaving the country following the probe while the clubs involved have all been contacted by the investigators on the BBC's Panorama programme to answer questions about allegations of "tapping up" players and corruption. These latest findings are due to emerge as Lord Stevens prepares his report into transfer bungs that was launched last season.
Crucial to the programme's success in breaking into the tightly guarded world of agents and clubs was a whistleblower from inside the agents' industry recruited by the BBC's investigators. It was he who carried out much of the undercover filming that took place at meetings between agents and club officials.
So far no one from the agents' fraternity has been prepared to go to such lengths to expose wrongdoing and the BBC is confident that it has a very strong case against a number of individuals. Lord Stevens' company Quest, which is carrying out the investigation into transfers at the behest of Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, is understood to be eager to see the BBC's evidence.
While the identity of the key agent in question is known by The Independent, it was not confirmed by the BBC, which is still finalising the programme that is scheduled to be aired on 18 September. Lawyers acting on behalf of those with allegations against them are still preparingtheir defence but some details of the charges can be outlined.
At least five agents have been contacted by the BBC via letter detailing serious allegations of corruption. Three officials at Premiership clubs have also been contacted by the BBC over corruption allegations.
As well as those officials, three Premiership clubs have been contacted by the BBC over what is described …
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Publication information: Article title: Football: Top Clubs and Agents in Dock over New TV Investigation. Contributors: Wallace, Sam - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: September 8, 2006. Page number: 72. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.