Having just watched the press conference regarding the exhaustive enquiry into bungs, the Premier League has targeted 17 transfers that need further investigation following Lord Stevens’ look into illegal payments in football. Lord Stevens was initially investigating a total of 362 transfers and has not given details of the 17 questionable deals.
Premier League top-cat, executive Richard Scudamore said a "small but significant number of agents" would not co-operate.
Lord Stevens’ team, which has made 38 recommendations to safeguard the game’s integrity, will begin a new inquiry which he assures will be dealt with "quickly".
The findings of the nine-month inquiry were revealed at a news conference moments ago and among the recommendations was the creation of a new independant body to handle the audit of transfers, rather than the FA.
"The FA and the compliance unit does not have the credibility of the public or the clubs," said Lord Stevens.
"The proposed regulation and compliance unit must be established with expertise and independence to take on this work. Part of the FA’s problems has been the lack of forensic investigators and accountants. The work must be preventative."
Lord Stevens referred to the accounts as "a complete mess".
Lord Stevens said every one of his recommendations had to be implemented as "failure to do so will result in the game remaining under attack and its remaining members subject to allegations and innuendo," he said.
Lord Stevens also attacked the lack of co-operation from some agents during the course of his team’s investigation.
"Agents’ failure to respond has resulted in delays to this inquiry," he added.
"We will be providing the Premier League with a number of incidences where mandated processes have not been followed."
The press gathered at the meeting were frustrated by a lack of names given out by Lord Stevens and Richard Scudamore, but as the investigation is essentially ongoing, legality scuppers any chance of a "naming and shaming". Lord Stevens went on to talk about "conflicts of interest" before mentioning that any transaction that involved "father and son; or whoever", which will again shine the spotlight on Sam Allardyce after his involvement with his son, Craig who was a football agent until recently.
Lord Stevens added that most of the difficulties are due to "international transfers". When questioned about whether this meant transfers involving international players or international money transfers, Lord Stevens flatly replied "both". Lord Stevens continued by saying "This is no witch hunt. This is no whitewash. The reason why we are not naming names is the inquiry is ongoing. I know you would like us to name and shame but I can’t do it at the present stage. The game, in relation to the majority of what we have seen, is clean but the accounting processes and monitoring of the clubs is in a mess."
Scudamore added: "People will only be named when there is evidence which will lead to a charge. The concentration is now on a number of agents and other parties – not clubs and club officials. [Mof Gimmers]