FA cracks down after transfer revelations

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The Independent Online
TRANSFERS INVOLVING foreign footballers could come under the scrutiny of the Football Association because of a number of controversial deals revealed by The Independent.

The FA announced yesterday that it was examining proposals that would result in tighter controls over the way agents and clubs buy and sell players. If adopted by the Premiership and the football leagues, the plans being considered could result in the FA acting as a clearing house for the transfers of foreign players, where the amounts paid, sums received and agents' fees would all be publicly recorded.

The FA was forced to take action in response to revelations in The Independent over transfer deals involving two Chinese players, who arrived at Crystal Palace in the summer, and one Swedish striker who went to Portsmouth.

Inquiries in China revealed that the authorities there were expecting to receive $1.5m (pounds 950,000) for Fan Zhiyi and Sun Jihai , pounds 400,000 less than Crystal Palace, managed by the former England coach Terry Venables, had agreed to pay. Both sides in the deal have now resolved their differences after the Chinese agreed to accept the higher figure.

It is understood that concern at the FA's Lancaster Gate headquarters reached a peak yesterday afater The Independent's disclosure that one agent, Tom Lawrence, of Strata Sports Marketing, attempted to cream off pounds 125,000 from a pounds 200,000 deal involving the Swede, Mathias Svensson.

The FA spokesman Steve Double said: "We are looking at proposals for transfer arrangements where all parties would be obliged to sign up to a new form of transfer agreement.

"This would remove a lot of the grey areas that are seen in some transfer deals."