Stevens set to unveil findings

Lord Stevens will today reveal the findings of his nine-month inquiry into illegal payments in football transfers.

Lord Stevens will today reveal the findings of his nine-month inquiry into illegal payments in football transfers.

The former Metropolitan Police commissioner will detail how many of the 39 outstanding transfers he has been able to sign off and how many – if any – he believes warrant disciplinary charges from the Football Association or Premier League.

In a news conference in London at 2pm, he will also announce his views on the state of the transfer market and recommend a number of improvements.

Given the £600,000 (€895,000) bill for the nine-month inquiry by the Quest team, Stevens is under some pressure from Premiership chairmen to clear the names of those clubs who are clean and to come up with some concrete evidence of wrongdoing.

One of Stevens’ recommendations is expected to be that all transfers and associated payments go through an independent body rather than, as currently, the FA.

Stevens’ firm Quest may even offer themselves as an independent clearing house for transfer deals.

Such a move would be resisted by the FA, whose chief executive Brian Barwick rejected suggestions their compliance unit does not have the resources to police transfers.

Barwick said: “We not only have the people, we’re going to get more people. I have great confidence in our own compliance unit. We’re putting more people and more money into it.”

Stevens has been investigating 362 transfers between January 2004 and January 2006, and his team have spoken to officials from 29 clubs as well as a number of football agents.

The Premier League say the report was commissioned to discover exactly where money in those transfers went – to clubs, players or agents – and if there were illicit payments involved.

This inquiry was launched when the issue of ’bungs’ had come into the public eye again through the claims of Luton manager Mike Newell and former England head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who told an undercover reporter certain Premiership managers were known to take illegal payments.

In October, Stevens announced he had whittled down his investigations from 362 to 39 transfers, involving eight clubs. He was then given another two months to complete his enquiries.

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