Rooney agent fails with appeal

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The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney's agent Paul Stretford has lost an appeal against an 18-month ban and £300,000 fine imposed by the Football Association for breaking regulations when he signed up the England striker.

Stretford had appealed against a regulatory commission's sanctions imposed in July after seven of nine charges of breaching Fifa and FA regulations were found proved.

An independent appeal board today announced that they have upheld the original punishment.

A statement on www.thefa.com read: "The board dismissed Mr Stretford's appeal in its entirety and the decisions of an independent regulatory commission in July 2008 were confirmed."

Stretford can still go to an arbitration panel to contest the findings and his ban will be suspended until he has made that decision.

In their findings, the appeal board said: "We are entirely satisfied that the overall penalty was not excessive and was well within the range open to a reasonable regulatory commission considering matters of this seriousness."

The commission had ruled Stretford, founder of Proactive Sports Management which became the Formation Group four years ago, "muscled in" to persuade Rooney to breach his representation contract with previous agents Pro-Form.

Some of the other charges were for improper conduct, in relation to Stretford's "making of false and/or misleading witness statements to police and giving false and/or misleading testimony to Warrington Crown Court" about the circumstances of how he came to represent Rooney.

After the hearing in July, Stretford labelled the verdicts "a travesty".

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