Dumitrescu `was paid £600,000'

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The Independent Online
Ilie Dumitrescu's former club, Steaua Bucharest, said last night that the Romanian international had received a payment of around £600,000 as part of his transfer to Tottenham Hotspur last year. Steaua said that of the £2.8m fee paid by Tottenham, £1.2m had been shared between the player and agents who had brokered the deal.

Responding to press inquiries, Steaua defended the transfer, saying that it had earned the club, which is owned by the Romanian army, £1.6m. However, the club admitted that it had received £2.8m from Tottenham. It said that 22 per cent of the fee had been paid to agents and 20 per cent to Dumitrescu, who is currently on loan from Tottenham to Seville.

There is no suggestion that Tottenham were aware of the payments or that there was anything improper in the way the English club had conducted the deal.

The Steaua president, Major-General Cornel Otelea, said in a written statement: "By deducting the amounts given to the player and the amounts given as commission to the foreign agents one could find the difference [£1.2m]."

The statement continued: "We agreed with the player that in case his financial demands were not satisfied by his new club, we would give him compensation of up to 20 percent of the total transfer sum."

Otelea said that after negotiations between Dumitrescu and one of the agents involved in the transfer "our club agreed to a 22 per cent commission for the foreigners who searched for a club for the player. This is in accordance with international practice."

At issue, however, is how much Steaua told the Romanian authorities they had received for Dumitrescu. Clubs in Romania are required to inform the country's tax and football authorities of transfer fees received for players.

A senior Romanian football federation official said yesterday that Steaua had officially reported selling Dumitrescu for £1.6m. "The contract Steaua sent us is clear," the official said. "It stipulates the amount of the contract is £1.6m."

The official said that, if asked, his organisation would check whether the deal had breached rules on contracts and transfers. "Nobody has asked us to look into the transfer, but if someone asks we will do so," he said.

Dumitrescu's current agent in Romania, Ioan Becali, who was not involved in the transaction, declined to discuss the issue of the transfer payment to Steaua. His previous agent, Sica Puscoci, was unavailable for comment.

Dumitrescu is due back in Romania this week to prepare for a European Championship qualifying match against Azerbaijan in Turkey next Wednesday.

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