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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 23, 2006

Fergie: Bungs not a problem at Old Trafford

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Manchester United have been given a clean bill of health by Lord Stevens' bungs inquiry.

Stevens' work is continuing, with 17 transfers still being investigated following the refusal of eight agents - including Willie McKay - to co-operate.

Ferguson is yet to read the full text of the report but he has spoken extensively with United chief executive and FA board member David Gill and has been reassured the Red Devils have nothing to worry about.

'There is nothing in it that concerns us,' said Ferguson.

'I know they inquired at every club and in a lot of cases took telephone records, so I am pleased we are not mentioned.'

While United have a clean bill of health, Ferguson accepts the ongoing talk of illegal payments is having a detrimental effect on the game.

The blame, he feels, lies with the agents, believing the need for more rigorous regulation is paramount.

However, Ferguson's more pragmatic side means he stops short of following the lead of Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who has called for the agents who have failed to comply with the Stevens' inquiry to be thrown out of the game.

'The reason the report hasn't come out with anything is because the agents have refused to talk to them,' he said.

'Everyone has been talking about managers, chief executives, chairman and players but the crux of the problem lies the people who are holding the baton. That is the agents and that is where the control has to go.

'It is a problem because most players prefer people to speak for them now. Say for instance one of those agents is an agent for one of my players and his contract is coming up, what do you do?'

Although Stevens' findings have been branded a whitewash amid suggestions from some quarters, which have been denied, the report was deliberately watered down.

However, Ferguson does feel an element of change is inevitable.

'Hopefully what comes out of this is for the good of the game,' he said.

'Even though nothing has been forthcoming in terms of charges, we could end up with some sensible new procedures, which is probably what will happen.'