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FA to Investigate Agents' 'Mafia' Behavior
Telegraph , August 28th, 2007 5:30PM
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The English Football Association, wracked last year by a report that exposed the shady dealings of player agents and certain team managers, is set to make a fresh inquiry into the matter after agent Jess Learoyd-Hill pointed to the hidden money trails and mafia-like behavior of some of his peers. Learoyd-Hill added that some agents used "coercing" tactics to guarantee illegal inclusion in some transfer deals.

Learoyd-Hill said that some agents hire middlemen to eliminate a paper trail leading back to them. "Agent A says to agent B, 'Make sure I get paid and I'll get this deal done - but don't pay me, pay agent C. He works with me and I'll get the money from him," Learoyd-Hill explained. "It's a smokescreen. The paperwork might say an agent has not done 15 deals at one club, but in reality he probably has. This scenario has been put to me on several occasions, including when dealing with Premiership clubs."

The new allegations come at a time when the FA is set to introduce new transparency rules for transfers-especially those involving foreign agents, who must now be registered with the FA. Learoyd-Hill, who professed to becoming disenchanted with the business, has represented players like Birmingham City's Radhi Jaidi. "It's about being coerced into working with someone - 'do business with us or you won't have a business'," he said.

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