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Cole Agent Slapped with Suspension, Fine

Another of English soccer's lingering scandals came to resolution Tuesday after Jonathan Barnett, Ashley Cole's agent, was fined $190,000 and had his license suspended for his part in the infamous "tapping-up" affair of 20 months ago. An independent Football Association committee found sufficient evidence that the secret meeting between Chelsea manager Mourinho, chief executive Peter Kenyon, Cole and the agent while the player was still contracted at Arsenal breached England's transfer protocol, which requires the permission of the third party club (in this case, Arsenal). Barnett's license has been suspended for 18 months, although the second nine months will be on a probation basis. Barnett has 14 days to appeal the FA committee's decision. In June 2005, Cole was fined $190,000 for his role in the illegal meeting, later reduced to $142,000 on appeal. Mourinho was fined $378,000, which was also reduced to $142,000 on appeal. Chelsea Football Club was fined $568,000 and hit with a three-point penalty, which would have been imposed if the club was found guilty of tapping-up any contracted players during last season. It was not, so the point-penalty was never instated.

Read the whole story at Times Online »

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