Manchester United should not be vilified over Paul Pogba transfer, says FA Chairman Greg Clarke

This week it was announced that Pogba's world-record transfer from Juventus to United was the subject of a Fifa inquiry, but Clarke has insisted it is not helpful to single out the club

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Football Association Chairman Greg Clarke has said that Manchester United should not be singled out by Fifa over payments made to agents, and insisted that the club should not be “demonised” over Paul Pogba’s world-record transfer last summer.

Pogba moved to Manchester United from Juventus last summer, in a deal worth £89.3m. But this week it was announced that the sport’s most expensive transfer was the subject of a Fifa inquiry, with the world governing body writing to United to “seek clarification on the deal”.

The inquiry is believed to concern the various parties involved in the transfer and how much money was paid to them. The transfer was first called into question by reports claiming that Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, will earn up to £41m from the deal.

It is not the first time that a Premier League club has been criticised for their dealings with football agents, with the Football Association revealing only last week that top-flight clubs paid agents a record £174m this season.

However, Clarke feels it is unhelpful for Fifa to “demonise” United and instead feels a wider conversation about the role of agents in football is required.

United's Pogba transfer is currently under investigation (Getty)

“If that’s what they’re going to pay, that’s what they’re going to pay,” Clarke said in an interview with BBC Sport.

“They are accountable to their owners; they’re accountable to their fans.

“How much should we pay for players? How much should go to agents as a commercial transaction?

“I just think picking on one transfer and demonising it is not that helpful. Knee-jerk reactions don’t often yield good outcomes. What we want is some thought about how much money stays in the game so it can be invested in long-term productive things.”  

Manchester United paid a flat-rate of £19m to agents in the summer 2016 and January 2017 transfer windows, behind only Manchester City (£26.3m) and Chelsea (£25m).

The league total of £174m is a 34% increase on the £130m Premier League clubs spent on agents’ fees in 2015, leading Clarke to believe that now is the time to scrutinise the role of agents in football.

“If football wants to change that and limit the amount of money that agents get we’re going to have to sit down as a game, led by the professional game, the Premier League and the EFL and the clubs and talk about that,” he added.