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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 19, 2006

Chelsea to avoid points penalty over tapping

Chelsea will not face any possible points deduction even if TV claims they made an illegal approach for an England youth player are substantiated.

The Blues were given a suspended three-point deduction by the Premier League following the Ashley Cole 'tapping up' case.

Chelsea are currently the subject of a joint investigation by the Premier League and Football Association over claims by Leeds of illegal approaches for three academy players last season.

The BBC's Panorama programme has now alleged Chelsea's director of youth football Frank Arnesen offered Middlesbrough's 15-year-old midfielder Nathan Porritt £150,000 over three years to move clubs.

However, even if Chelsea are found to have breached any regulations with regard to the academy players the suspended points deduction from the Cole case will not apply.

It is understood one Premier League regulation covers illegal approaches for contracted players, and a separate regulation covers approaches for academy players.

Chelsea would have to be found guilty of another breach of the rule regarding contracted players for the points deduction to come into force.

With regard to the Arnesen allegations, Chelsea told the BBC no industry rules had been breached. It is understood Arnesen was approached by Porritt's agent Peter Harrison rather than Chelsea making the initial inquiry.

The Panorama programme said: 'In a meeting with the agent Peter Harrison he [Arnesen] offers a financial inducement to one of the game's brightest prospects, Middlesbrough's England youth star Nathan Porritt.

'At the meeting, also attended by undercover reporter Knut auf dem Berge, Arnesen says he is willing to offer the Teesside club's 15-year-old £150,000 spread over three years to induce him away.'

Porritt's agent also offers the player to Liverpool, and a club official talks positively about signing him when he is 17. Liverpool too have told the BBC they have not breached any industry rules.