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Hunger is back at Barca

Barcelona
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By ESPN Staff

Newcastle deny misleading FA over role of agents

Newcastle have 'emphatically rejected' claims they had deliberately sought to mislead the Football Association over agents' involvement in their transfer deals.

According to a national newspaper report today, a VAT and Duties tribunal report has alleged Newcastle 'falsely stated' the agents had acted solely for the club in order to avoid contravening FIFA regulations.

A spokesman for the tribunal today refused to confirm the exact nature of the report's conclusions, adding it had been temporarily withdrawn to correct 'clerical errors'.

However Newcastle are eager to clarify their position over an issue which is also believed to affect a number of other top clubs, and which revolves around a regulation they believe is fundamentally unworkable.

FIFA rules state that an agent can only act for one party on a transfer. The tribunal reportedly accuses Newcastle of lying, by declaring on their transfer forms to the FA that the agents had acted solely for the club, when in fact they represented the players.

Newcastle said in a statement: 'Like every other club when a player is signed the standard forms of the FA invite an answer to the question regarding agency representation.

'Since the club engaged the services of an agent and continues to believe that it engaged the services of the agent to represent it in all the cases before the tribunal, registration forms were completed accordingly.'

The club have called for a clarification of the broad issue of the rules governing players' representation, contending that the basic principle of the existing FIFA law is routinely flouted out of necessity.

The statement added: '...the regulations regarding agents must be finally amended to allow clubs and agents to carry out their legitimate business affairs given clear guidlines.

'Numerous versions of the agents' regulations have been presented and only now is progress being made to achieve this clarity.

'Newcastle United does not accept the tribunal's findings and, following discussions with the club's legal and professional advisers, intends to lodge a further appeal to the High Court.'

An FA spokesman said they had no comment to make on the issue while they believed a Newcastle appeal was pending.