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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 20, 2006

Agent calls on FA to tighten up on cowboys

Football agent Jon Smith has called for new regulations from the Football Association to avoid the allegations of transfer bungs to managers.

Three agents accused Bolton boss Sam Allardyce of being willing to accept illegal payments over transfers, while his son Craig was accused of accepting money for his part in two deals, even though the sums were never registered with the FA.

Smith, who set up the First Artist company, believes the FA can make the working relationship between clubs and players' representatives smoother with changes.

Smith said: 'The big issue from the programme is a lack of regulation. The FA's regulations do not work and are not enforced properly, and no-one gives a damn about them. In fact, we don't think they are legal.

'Until they get real and get proper departments to deal with this then there will always be allegations.'

He added: 'The FA made a complaint to us about us about a recent transfer being against FIFA regulations - a very small matter in the paperwork - but why bother when there are other fundamental things wrong with the regulations'

Allardyce was accused on BBC's Panorama show, although Smith felt the investigation did not live up to expectations.

'I think they got near to the edge of the cliff but didn't fall off,' Smith said. 'There was allegation and innuendo but there wasn't actually any meat on the bone.

He added: 'Had it just been a programme things might be different, but it was hyped up beyond belief.

'At the end of the day there was around £300million worth of Premiership transfer deals last year, the big boys accounting for around 70 per cent of that. The ones in the programme were very low down on the food chain and, if there has been something wrong, let's put the handcuffs on them.'

Barry Silkman, also an agent, was critical of the expose, adding on BBC Radio Five Live: 'All that happened was two people talking together like idiots.

'I've never had a manager offer so much as a cup of coffee.

'The bottom line is that nobody apart from the individual knows. I only know my own experience and I've never come across a manager whose asked for anything.'

Of Teni Yerima, one of the agents who accused Allardyce, Silkman added: 'I did a deal with Teni Yerima. At the end of it I said to the guy who put him in the deal 'do not put him in a deal again because he's the biggest liar I've ever met'.'

Sky Andrew, who represents Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant among others, believes it is a minority of agents who break the rules.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: 'Football's going through `deal, deal, deal' culture where some agents think it is all about deals.

'Surely it is about a player joining a club and honouring his contract, if he wants to stay he stays and if he wants to go he goes.

'I think it is the minority, most people abide by the rules. The amount of rules is unbelievable, every year there are new ones and it's getting more stringent.

'We must not forget that there are many very honest managers, people like Alan Curbishley and Arsene Wenger.

'I've had the privilege of dealing with those two and they are guys of high integrity, good moral fibre and because there is a programme (claiming) managers are a certain way, we can't think all managers are like that.'