Cole appeals £100,000 fine ‘to clear name’

ASHLEY COLE’S agent, Jonathan Barnett, last night vowed to clear the names of himself and his client as the Arsenal defender’s legal team finalised an appeal against his £100,000 Premier League fine.

Cole was found guilty of approaching Chelsea when the Premier League’s independent commission gave their verdicts in the ‘tapping-up’ row earlier this week.

While the Arsenal full-back’s conduct was deemed to have been “unacceptable”, the commission ruled that he had been “manipulated to a large extent by his agent.”

Barnett and ‘super-agent’ Pini Zahavi were duly labelled “two of the most involved participants”, with a recommendation that they should be investigated by the Football Association and FIFA.

This paved the way for the FA to start gathering evidence on Barnett’s alleged role in the affair, with a misconduct charge possible in the future.

Barnett nevertheless said: “We are not prepared to accept what has happened and we will do what it takes to clear our names.

“This is the most important thing in our lives at the moment.

“The easiest thing now would probably be to accept the fine, but we feel so strongly about this that we will appeal and fight on. We will not stop.

“I am actually more determined to clear Ashley’s name than my own. But I have always maintained that I am innocent of any wrong-doing.”

While it is up to FIFA to take any action against Zahavi, Barnett comes under the auspices of the FA.

If found guilty of wrong-doing by the governing body, he could face a range of potential penalties, from a warning to a suspension or even revocation of his agent’s licence.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox