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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 16, 2007

Newell feels vindicated by Luton charges

Mike Newell insists his decision to blow the whistle on irregular payments cost him his job as Luton manager but believes the disciplinary charges announced by the Football Association vindicates his decision to go public.

Newell made his claim in January 2006 and a 20-month FA investigation has now resulted in more than 50 charges being issued.

The FA have acted on allegations of systematic back-door payments totalling £160,000 made to agents by Luton.

The club, ex-chairman Bill Tomlins and former finance director Derek Peter have all been charged with breaching regulations, as have two current directors and six licensed football agents.

Newell said: 'As a manager of a football club, you have a duty to supporters to make people aware of things like this.

'Over the last seven or eight months, there were times when I thought maybe it was the wrong thing to do because ultimately it has cost me my job.

'This proves now it was totally the right stance.'

Luton have been hit with a total of 17 charges alleging they made payments to agents through holding company Jayten Stadium Ltd rather than the club, and of providing misleading information to the FA.

Tomlins has been charged with 15 rule breaches, Peter with nine, and current directors John Mitchell and Richard Bagehot with failing to report the breaches when they became aware of them.

The agents have been each charged with failing to ensure that payments to them were made and disclosed through the proper channels. All parties have until November 30 to respond to the charges.

The investigation found evidence the six agents - Sky Andrew, Mike Berry, Mark Curtis, Stephen Denos, David Manasseh and Andrew Mills - were paid by Luton's holding company Jayten (also known as J10) Stadium Limited rather than the club in contravention of FA rules.

In the deals, which involved player transfers, loan moves and contract re-negotiations, Luton allegedly made the payments through Jayten Stadium even though none of the agents had a contract saying they were representing the club in those deals.

The agents have been each charged with failing to ensure that payments to them were made and disclosed through the proper channels.

Andrew, agent to a number of Premier League stars including Sol Campbell, Jermaine Pennant and Jermain Defoe, insisted he is guilty of no more than a 'technical breach of paperwork'.

'Everything has been declared to the government, all VAT has been paid, so from our point of view we don't want anyone blowing this out of all proportion - it's very much a technical situation,' he told Sky Sports.

'I don't want people to think I've done something financially wrong. I don't want people to get the wrong end of the stick. With respect to us it's just a technical breach of paperwork.'

He added: 'I can only speak on behalf of myself, and I don't want people to think we haven't disclosed money we've received to the Government. We have worked in the way we were asked to.

'I can't blame the FA because they've got a job to do, whether it's a technical breach or a breach.

'If there's a technical breach and there's a hearing, I'll go along to the hearing and make sure our case is put forward.'