By Chris Wright
Shaun ‘The Cat’ Wright-Phillips
You might want to sit down for this one, as it contains a shocking ‘some football transfers may possibly be corrupt’ revelation.
Anyway, Chelsea are looking at a potential points deduction from the FA (although a slap on the wrists/paltry fine is more likely) relating to issues with SWP’s transfer from Man City in 2005.
Apparently Chelsea dealt with an unlicenced agent when negotiating the transfer. Apologies for the cut-and-paste nature of this – but it doesn’t really need re-wording – these are the details of the allegations as reported in The Guardian;
“The Football Association is considering whether Shaun Wright-Phillips and Chelsea could face charges for dealing with an unlicensed agent, Mitchell Thomas, when Wright-Phillips moved to Stamford Bridge from Manchester City in July 2005. The investigation by the FA follows the outcome of a case brought by the Law Society against a solicitor, Timothy Drukker, who signed off the paperwork in the Wright‑Phillips deal but paid Thomas part of the £1.2m fee which Chelsea paid him.
The Wright-Phillips transfer is the 17th deal, previously unidentified, handed over to the FA by Quest, the investigators the Premier League hired to conduct the so-called “bungs inquiry” into transfers by its clubs between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2006. Quest cleared all the other deals, but said more inquiries should be made into No17. At the time, the Wright-Phillips deal was not identified because the Law Society had begun proceedings.
They only reached their conclusion in January, with a finding by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal that Drukker was guilty of “conduct unbecoming a solicitor” during the transfer and in “misleading” Quest when they made inquiries. He was fined £15,000, the tribunal having decided there was no dishonesty on his part but that Drukker’s actions “had resulted in the undermining of the Fifa regulations”.
Drukker himself told the tribunal he had been asked by “parties close to Shaun Wright-Phillips” to act as his agent when the details of the move to Chelsea had been agreed. Drukker was paid a fee understood to be £1.2m, did not keep any of it and paid it to others including Thomas.”
Chelsea are of course denying any knowledge of Thomas’ involvement in the negotiations but it is they (and SWP) who will face punishment from the FA should any charges be levelled, as Thomas is not liable due to him being unlicensed and therefore not considered to be operating within the laws of the game.