Mourinho tapping-up evidence was 'rubbish', says Cole

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The Independent Football

The Premier League has no plans to reopen the Ashley Cole "tapping-up" case after the England defender heavily criticised the process in his book.

Cole has hit out at the inquiry into his meeting with the Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and chief executive Peter Kenyon at a London hotel in January last year.

The full-back claims that the trio met by chance and that the evidence given to the inquiry by Mourinho and Kenyon was "rubbish".

Cole said: "For me, the judgment was one mass assumption - it seemed they had filled in the gaps for themselves with a form of justice based on there being no smoke without fire."

The findings, however, will stand. A Premier League spokesman, Dan Johnson, said: "As far as we are concerned, the inquiry was held to the highest possible standards. We are perfectly satisfied with the way the process was run.

"The case was ruled on, appealed and ruled on again. Now let's move on."

Cole was fined £100,000 for his role in the illegal meeting after the England international full-back was found to have approached Chelsea while under contract at Arsenal. The fine was later reduced to £75,000 on appeal.

Mourinho and Chelsea were also punished for their roles in the meeting. Mourinho was fined £200,000, reduced to £75,000 on appeal. Chelsea were fined £300,000 and hit with a suspended three-point penalty. In his book, My Defence, Cole is highly critical of Arsenal and especially the club's vice-chairman, David Dein, for their handling of the episode.

The defender eventually left the Emirates Stadium for Stamford Bridge on 31 August - transfer deadline day, nearly 20 months after his initial meeting with Mourinho and Kenyon.

Everton have denied any wrongdoing in the transfer of their former striker, Ibrahima Bakayoko, to Marseilles in July 1999.

According to reports, the Merseysiders were named in a French court case as one of four Premiership clubs who allegedly "circumvented the rules" with regards to transfers.

The director of communications at Goodison Park, Ian Ross, said: "In keeping with all transfers involving Everton, and that includes Ibrahima Bakayoko, they are above board, transparent and totally legitimate."

Football has come under the spotlight again recently following reports that BBC Panorama investigators duped agents and other top officials into discussing the payment of illegal bungs.

The former Everton striker Mike Newell, now manager of Luton Town, shocked the game in January when he revealed that he had been offered bungs by agents and his comments led to the beginning of the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord John Stevens' inquiry into murky dealings within the sport.

The results of Lord Stevens' investigation will be revealed at a meeting of the Premiership chairmen on 2 October.

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