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FA made to wait for Stevens' inquiry clubs

Football Association officials will today be told they will have to wait still longer before they will be given the identity of three clubs found by Lord Stevens' inquiry to have breached transfer rules.

Investigators from Stevens' firm Quest are still putting together the final details of the case against the three clubs.

A meeting between Quest managing director Nigel Layton and the FA's compliance department today will centre instead on the names of eight agents who refused to help the inquiry.

It is the first meeting between the FA and Quest since Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner, last month published the findings of his inquiry into illegal payments.

Stevens revealed before Christmas that eight agents had refused to co-operate with the inquiry, that three Premier League clubs breached transfer rules because they did not know the correct regulations and that 16 clubs failed to document financial arrangements connected to transfers appropriately.

A Quest spokesman told PA Sport: 'This is the first meeting of new stage of the inquiry.

'They will discuss the agents concerned - and the FA, the Premier League and Quest are going to work together to get onto the next stage.

'The names of the clubs who broke the rules will not be handed over yet, because a little bit more work remains to be done on that case.'

Layton has said the 17 transfer deals still under investigation are similar in complexity to the intricate international financial web he had to untangle in five years probing Robert Maxwell's missing millions.

He said: 'We are now going to see the FA, and FIFA with respect to the overseas agents, to see if we can get the assistance we need to get these eight agents to comply.'

All of the 17 remaining transfers have an international element to them, and in places such as South America transfer fees are often split between numerous parties.

The FA were hoping to discover the identity of the clubs to decide whether any should face disciplinary charges for breaching transfer regulations.

Stevens himself branded the clubs' behaviour unacceptable.

He said last month: 'The frequency of these instances shows the clubs neither anticipate nor are concerned by the strictures imposed by the FA.

'It is my view this further erodes the reputation of the game and those involved in it.

'Such scant disregard for the rules and regulations of this great game is unacceptable.'