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By ESPN Staff

MP calls for Richards probe

A Parliamentary inquiry into football will next week be asked to look into claims that a family firm linked to Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards secured deals with organisations on which he sits.

Tory MP Damian Collins, who sits on the culture, media and sport committee which is currently investigating football governance, said he would raise the issue with fellow members on Tuesday.

The marketing firm Glue Creative Production Solutions, owned by Richards' son David, have carried out work for the Premier League, England's 2018 World Cup bid and the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL).

Richards currently chairs the EPFL as well as the Premier League and was on the board of England 2018.

According to the Yorkshire Post, who have revealed the connection, the Premier League chairman was a director of Glue until December 31 last year.

Collins said the claims raised "serious questions'' and the FA needed to provide answers.

The MP for Folkestone and Hythe said: "The FA have hired this company for the 2018 World Cup bid and we need to know 'were they aware this was a company of which Dave Richards was a director'? The FA and Premier League should reassure people there was no conflict of interest given that someone very high up in those organisations was also a director of a company they were doing commercial deals with.

"The committee are meeting on Tuesday morning and I think we should raise questions with the FA and Premier League about this issue and how it impacts on the financial governance of the game. I am not questioning the integrity of the people involved but there needs to be transparency.''

Fellow committee member Therese Coffey added: "If there are vested interests at play we need to help bring some sunshine into that and that is part of the role of the inquiry.''

The FA have not commented but the Premier League insist all tenders have followed the same process and suppliers chosen on the basis of cost and value.

The league said in a statement: "Glue does not have a contract with the Premier League. They have in the past provided us with an ad-hoc service for small-scale orders of Premier League branded corporate gifts as many other small suppliers have.''

It is understood the Premier League were aware of Richards' connections with Glue. The EPFL said Richards had never taken part in any decisions related to Glue and had no concerns about any potential conflict of interest.

Richards was not available for comment.


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