Stevens: 17 transfers need more investigation

23 Apr 2008

By: Sport Industry Group

Lord Stevens’ report into illegal payments in Premiership football has been revealed with 17 of the total 362 transfers investigated requiring further analysis for wrongdoing.

The Premier League, through Lord Stevens, will now review the 17 outstanding transfers, which have not been named, to find out the exact nature of the illegalities although the league’s chief executive Richard Scudamore said that the investigation had not been helped by a ‘small but significant number of agents’ who would not co-operate.

Stevens said that the further inquiries were focused on the agents and not the clubs stating that 'eight major agents' had not complied with the initial review. 

In addition to highlighting the 17 transfers, Lord Stevens' team made 38 recommendations to safeguard the game's integrity.

Among the recommendations was the creation of a new body to handle the audit of transfers, rather than the Football Association.

‘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 said punishment for anyone who does not comply with the financial regulations must be severe.

‘Punishments must have a significant deterrent. Money alone may not be appropriate as a sanction alone. Seasoned investigators and forensic accountants are required to trace the money flows. They must have that expertise available to it or they will fail.

‘They must have access to accounts with club and agent and must make books available to the audit.’