League set to appoint Cole panel

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The Premier League is expected to appoint an independent disciplinary commission to deal with Chelsea's alleged "tapping up" of Ashley Cole.

The inquiry into the affair has finished taking evidence and the Premier League's lawyer Nick Fitzpatrick is set to recommend that there is a case for Chelsea to answer.

It is understood that as Chelsea, Ashley Cole and his agent Jonathan Barnett have all confirmed to Fitzpatrick that a meeting took place he will recommend that a disciplinary commission be set up.

The Premier League chairman Dave Richards and chief executive Richard Scudamore will take the final decision, perhaps as soon as the end of this week, but Arsenal will be incensed if the matter is not taken further.

The next step will be to appoint a three-man panel to hear the case, where the Premier League would act as the prosecution and Chelsea as the defence.

A source within the Premier League said: "It would be beyond belief if an independent disciplinary commission were not appointed after all the evidence that has been heard. It is important for football."