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4pm update

Stevens names and shames 17 transfers in bungs inquiry

'Whoever he is, Lord Stevens, he is a liar. They will rue the day they were ever born,' fumes implicated agent

James Dart and agencies

Friday June 15, 2007

Guardian Unlimited

Lord Stevens

Stevens's findings will now be sent to the FA and to Fifa. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Five Premiership clubs have been named by Lord Stevens in his final report into Premiership transfers. Chelsea, Newcastle, Bolton, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth have all been named by the former Metropolitan police commissioner in his findings.

The clubs are set to face a further investigation from the Football Association but it is understood that Newcastle and Bolton are viewed as the most serious offenders. Stevens has also expressed concern about 15 agents and third parties involved in some 17 transfers. Lord Stevens's report specifically lists concerns about two managers.

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One is Sam Allardyce, and a conflict of interest with his former agent son Craig and Bolton Wanderers. The other is Graeme Souness, with Stevens reporting "inconsistencies in evidence" provided by the former Newcastle manager and Kenneth Shepherd, son of Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd.

Of the 17 transfers, four relate to Newcastle signings (Emre Belozoglu, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Amady Faye and Albert Luque), four to Bolton (Ali Al-Habsi, Tal Ben Haim, Blessing Kaku and Julio Correia), three to Chelsea (Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and Michael Essien), three to Portsmouth (Collins Mbesuma, Benjani Mwaruwari and Aliou Cisse) and two to Middlesbrough (Aiyegbeni Yakubu and Fabio Rochemback) while one transfer has not been disclosed.

"Many lessons have been learned and strict adherence to and enforcement of the recommendations should ensure that the game and the transfer market can proceed in an untainted and transparent manner," said Lord Stevens.

The Premier League will now send the findings to the FA and Fifa. "The FA has provided full co-operation and support to the Premier League and Quest and will now go through their information as part of our governance and regulation process," said a spokesman. "This will determine what action is required."

Agents Pini Zahavi and Barry Silkman were named in the report, which said: "There has also been a lack of responsiveness by Zahavi. There remain questions relating to his relationship with and payments to Barry Silkman (LA) and Barry Silkman's failure to initially disclose his involvement in all the transactions in which he received fees."

Silkman reacted with indignation to the report, particularly references to Rochemback's move to Middlesbrough. "It's an absolute, total lie," he thundered. "A complete lie. Whoever he is, Lord Stevens, he is a liar. The people who have done this are liars. I challenge them now to take me to court and let them say that I've done something wrong in the Fabio Rochemback deal. I promise if they do, I will begin litigation and do everything in my power not just to close them down, but I will discredit them like you cannot believe. They will rue the day they were ever born. They are total liars." He reiterated his threat to sue, adding: "Every bit of money I win will go to the NSPCC."

Zahavi's lawyer Ehud Shochatovitch issued the following statement: "My client believes he has been targeted because he is successful and enjoys a high profile in the football world. They could not find any wrong-doing by Mr Zahavi because there is none. If Fifa wish to investigate further he will co-operate fully with them too because he has nothing to hide."

Newcastle and Portsmouth also denied any wrongdoing. A Magpies club statement read: "The report makes clear that Newcastle United officials have done nothing wrong and have at times offered their full cooperation, willingly providing full access to all documentation and information requested by the inquiry team. The club firmly supports the inquiry and calls on those agents referred to in the report to assist the inquiry in resolving their outstanding queries as soon as possible."

A statement from Fratton Park added: "We are not at all surprised that both the club and our officials have been exonerated from the Lord Stevens Quest report. Although there are transfers involving Portsmouth FC, the continuing investigations are into the agents and not the club."

No clubs or officials have been found to have taken illegal payments, and all clubs co-operated with the investigation. The Premier League and the FA also admitted to Lord Stevens some responsibility for failing to check transfers sufficiently. The League says in its report to clubs: "Both the Premier League and the FA have already accepted partial responsibility for not having effective checking and verification systems at the front end of the transfer process. However, this does not excuse the prevalence of slack administration and lack of understanding of complex rules by some clubs that have led to an unacceptable level of compliance."

Lord Stevens was appointed head of the Premier League's bungs inquiry in March 2006, in the wake of claims made by the then Luton manager Mike Newell, who criticised the role of agents and suggested that offers of illegal payments were not uncommon. His team of forensic accountants examined 362 transfers which took place between January 1 2004 and January 31 2006.

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england ist das neue italien.

Nicht, dass ich das bestreiten möchte, aber gerade der von dir doch so, auch in deinem Avatar, verehrte Mourinho trägt da auch sein Scherflein bei. Äusserst spassig.

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