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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 18, 2006

FA to ignore calls to change transfer system

The Football Association will resist any pressure to strip them of their role as the watchdog body for transfers.

It is expected that the Lord Stevens' inquiry into illegal payments will this week suggest that all transfers and associated payments go through an independent body rather than, as currently, the FA.

Stevens' firm Quest may even offer themselves as an independent clearing house for transfer deals.

The FA however would fiercely defend their role and argue that the changes recommended by the Burns' review - to have a semi-autonomous compliance unit with its own ruling board - are all that are necessary.

Stevens' long-awaited bungs inquiry will make several recommendations on Wednesday but it remains unlikely that any the identity of any 'dodgy deals' will be made public.

The former Metropolitan Police commissioner's remit is to make recommendations rather than name and shame any deals where he believes illegal payments were involved.

Those transfers that have not satisfied his scrutiny are likely to be passed on to the FA for further investigation.

Stevens has been investigating 362 transfers between January 2004 and January 2006, and his team have spoken to officials from 29 clubs as well as a number of football agents.

In October he announced he had whittled down his investigations from 362 to 39 transfers, 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.