Football agent charged with transfer violations

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The Independent Football

Dennis Roach, one of the highest-profile agents in football, was charged yesterday with breaches of Football Association regulations after an investigation into two transfers. If found guilty, Mr Roach could be banned from acting as an agent in future.

The charges relate to two big transfer deals in which Mr Roach was involved last year. Duncan Ferguson, a Scottish international striker, left Newcastle United to rejoin Everton for a fee of £3.75m, while Paulo Wanchope, a Costa Rican international, moved from West Ham United to Manchester City for £3.65m.

At the time Mr Roach, who numbers the former England coach Glenn Hoddle among his clients, was severely criticised by Bobby Robson and Joe Royle, the managers of Newcastle and Manchester City respectively, for his conduct in the transfer negotiations. Both transfers became protracted, for which Mr Roach was blamed, and Newcastle subsequently banned him from their ground. The FA investigation began last year.

The FA and Fifa, the game's world governing body, have been trying for years to regulate transfers. All agents have to be licensed and if Mr Roach is found guilty he could have his licence withdrawn.

The FA has given Mr Roach 14 days to respond to the charges. The agent was out of his office yesterday and failed to respond to a request to comment on the charges.

He made his breakthrough as an agent when he befriended the Dutch international Johan Cruyff.