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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 20, 2006

FA to investigate Holloway's 'bung' claim

Football Association investigators are to pursue discussions with a second club manager into allegations of a widespread 'bung culture' in the game.

The FA have contacted QPR manager Ian Holloway's after he claimed that he was offered a bribe to push through a player's transfer.

It comes in the week Luton boss Mike Newell met FA officials to give evidence about his claims that illegal payments have been offered to him by agents and even club directors.

An FA spokesman told PA Sport: The Football Association has this morning contacted QPR manager Ian Holloway following allegations that he was offered an illegal payment by an agent.

'The FA will hold further discussions with Holloway and will thoroughly investigate any evidence of breaches of FA regulations.'

He added: 'We take these matters very seriously and our compliance department will thoroughly investigate any evidence of wrongdoing or breaches of regulation.

'We would expect anyone who has evidence of any wrongdoing to come forward.'

As the transfer was an international one, it will almost certainly fall under FIFA's jurisdiction.

The spokesman said: 'If necessary we will pass on any information to FIFA and other national associations.'

Former Rangers chairman Nick Blackburn has backed up Holloway's claims.

Holloway said: 'I thought I was getting a certain player on a free transfer. His agent then came back to me and said `my fee is this amount and you will get that from it'.

'I went back to the board and said 'You must be joking'. I earn my money through my contract, not any other way. I've got nothing to hide.

'There are agents out there with whacking great wheelbarrows who say, 'Fill that up with money'.'

Blackburn, who was in control of QPR at the time, said such incidents were not isolated.

He said: 'Ian called me and said the agent of the player we were interested in wanted £50,000 - and Olly [Holloway] was going to get £30,000 of it.

'We didn't think the player in question was worth £50,000, never mind that amount for his agent. In the end we settled on a £4,000 handling fee.

'I heard stories all the time when I was chairman. I'm very disappointed that the game has to endure this.'

Newell has already been quizzed by FA officials after revealing he had been offered cash by agents and club officials as an incentive to buy and sell players.

Blackburn added: 'Ian told me because he is an honest guy, but how many more of these deals happen behind the scenes when people are not so honest? It is an appalling state of affairs and it leaves me sickened.

'I applaud Mike Newell for coming forward - and yet what happened to him? People turned on him.

'We need to try to clear up the game.'