Bung inquiry will ask Eriksson to name clubs

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The Independent Football

Sven Goran Eriksson will be among the first managers interviewed as part of the Premier League's new inquiry into transfer bungs and the Swede will be asked to name the three clubs he and his agent, Athole Still, claimed were corrupt in the News of the World's "fake sheikh" sting.

The Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore started an investigation into transfer bungs - alleged kickbacks paid to managers by third parties for buying certain players - after a week in which the England manager has added to the speculation that corruption is rife in the game.

Speaking to an undercover reporter Eriksson confirmed the identity of one manager - as yet unnamed - and Still suggested two more who were involved in corruption. His comments came soon after the Luton Town manager Mike Newell and Queen's Park Rangers' Ian Holloway both claimed they had been offered bungs by agents.

Scudamore launched the inquiry in bullish fashion yesterday in what he regards as an opportunity to finally lay to rest unproven allegations of corruption in the Premier League. However, those who hope that this is English football's chance to finally rid itself of the whiff of wrongdoing may be disappointed.

Only transfers going back to January 2004 - five transfer windows - will be investigated and the independent commission will look only at potential illegal payments between employees or officials of clubs. That will be under the remit of the Premier League rulebook and Scudamore was vague about how agents registered in England - there are more than 250 - will be brought to book by the inquiry.

Scudamore said that it would be headed by a QC who would be given "forensic" powers of investigation. He continued to resist any form of outside regulation and claimed the most efficient method was to allow clubs to police themselves.

There was a determination, Scudamore said, to "nail" any allegations, specific or otherwise, that English football's élite was involved in corruption. Whether an investigation of the clubs, by the clubs, achieves that remains to be seen.

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