Football: Illegal payments inquiry: Corruption probe planned

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THE Football Association is to investigate allegations of under-the-counter payments being made to agents and managers involved in transfer deals following a decision by its executive committee in Bournemouth yesterday.

Graham Kelly, the FA's chief executive who will head the inquiry, said: 'The executive committee was concerned about adverse publicity over alleged corruption and would like to have better details.

'They have asked me to consult with Premier League chief executive Rick Parry and Football League secretary David Dent on the matter.' The decision comes after the High Court hearing into the sacking of Terry Venables as Spurs' chief executive. During the hearing the Tottenham chairman, Alan Sugar, alleged such payments had been made to facilitate the transfer of Teddy Sheringham from Nottingham Forest, a claim strongly denied by Venables.

Barnet will have their future decided by Football League rivals next month. League officials decided to call an extraordinary general meeting of clubs at Forest's City Ground on 19 July to resolve the issue after meeting representatives of a 10-man consortium interested in taking over the debt-ridden club.

During the 90-minute meeting in Bournemouth consortium representatives told the League's board that a pounds 250,000 cash injection could be made immediately into a club believed to be pounds 1.3m in debt. This, though, did not satisfy the League after Barnet's failure yesterday to meet a noon deadline for raising bank bonds worth pounds 500,000.