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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 29, 2006

Premier League chiefs await Stevens' bung report

Lord Stevens is set to reveal the findings of his bungs inquiry within the next two weeks - but only the Premier League's ruling three-man troika will be given the full story.

The former Metropolitan Police commissioner had been expected to present his findings early next week, but is now expected to deliver his final report in the week beginning December 11.

He will present his findings to the Premier League board - chairman Sir Dave Richards, chief executive Richard Scudamore and general secretary Mike Foster - rather than to all 20 club chairmen.

The trio will then decide whether disciplinary proceedings can be brought against any clubs, managers or agents - and only then will the identities of those alleged to have breached transfer rules be made public. They may also pass the allegations on to the Football Association for possible disciplinary action from the governing body instead.

Stevens met all 20 chairmen on October 2 and delivered his preliminary findings - that he had whittled down his investigations into 362 transfers to 39 deals, involving eight clubs.

He was then given another two months to complete his inquiries, but there has been growing unrest among the clubs that, in order to protect the identities of those under investigation, even those already cleared of any misbehaviour have not been named.

One Premiership chairman told PA Sport: 'There was solidarity among us all about the names, but there is a widespread feeling now that we want to bring this to an end so that we can carry on our business without people pointing fingers at us.'

There is considerable pressure for Stevens to produce the goods and come up with enough evidence to bring at least some disciplinary charges, otherwise there are bound to be accusations that the probe by his security firm Quest was an expensive whitewash. The eight-month inquiry will have cost the Premier League a minimum of £600,000.

Stevens and Quest were appointed by the Premier League in March following remarks to an undercover reporter by the then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson that he knew of three Premiership clubs involved in illegal payments.

Quest were asked to look at 362 transfers between January 2004 and January 2006, and have spoken to officials from 29 clubs as well as a number of football agents.

The investigations into domestic transfers were relatively straightforward but in foreign deals involving payments to a number of parties, the Quest team have found it much more difficult to follow a paper trail.

A Premier League spokesman said: 'The investigation is ongoing and we wait to see Lord Stevens' findings within the time-frame identified.'

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