Football: Premier League backs Arsenal over Silvinho

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The Independent Online
FOLLOWING REPORTS that Arsenal made a $1.5m payment to Silvinho's agent, the Premier League said yesterday that the club did nothing wrong during the purchase of their Brazilian defender.

The Gunners paid the agent Bernardo Chlaem Fihlo almost pounds 1m as part of the deal which brought the Brazilian to Highbury from Corinthians in the summer. Fihlo handled Silvinho's pounds 4m move to Highbury but Fifa regulations state that a licensed agent should "represent the interests of only one party in one and the same transfer" - which suggests that Silvinho should have been making payments, not the club. But the Premier League spokesman, Mike Lee, dismissed any need for an investigation into the transfer.

"There is no breach of Premier League rules so there is nothing further to investigate," Lee said. "Agents do get paid and he is a licensed so, on the basis of the story itself, there is no breach of the rules."

Tottenham fans yesterday backed manager George Graham despite revelations that he owns pounds 83,000 worth of shares in Arsenal, one of his his former clubs. Bernie Kingsley, a Tottenham Independent Supporters' Association spokesman, said: "George owns only 32 shares from his time as manager at Highbury so it is not as if he holds a major stake. Lots of people have shares in companies they work for and hold on to them after they leave, so George is entitled to hold on to what appears to be a good investment."

Martin Allen could pick up pounds 200,000 from Portsmouth after a Football League tribunal upheld his appeal for unfair dismissal. Allen was sacked in February, after signing a four-year contract as player coach.

He was dismissed for "gross misconduct" but the former West Ham midfielder fought the charge and was vindicated on appeal by a League tribunal. Portsmouth must pay up the rest of his four-year contract, which could amount to as much as pounds 200,000.

"I am naturally delighted to have my name cleared," said Allen. "But I knew the truth all along and that gave me strength."

Allen, who runs successful football schools, hopes to find a coaching job at another club.