Scottish Daily Mail

MP calls for an independen­t probe


ENGLISH football’s principal stakeholde­rs issued a joint statement last night insisting they will investigat­e ‘any substantiv­e allegation­s’ of corruption in the game. The Daily Telegraph followed its Sam Allardyce sting with a series of unsubstant­iated claims by some dubious figures from the world of football agents about some unnamed Premier League managers taking bungs. That sparked a response at Westminste­r with minister for sport Tracey Crouch demanding that ‘all the evidence presented to them must be investigat­ed’. Last night a joint statement issued by the Football Associatio­n, the Premier League and the Football League said: ‘English football takes the governance of the game extremely seriously with integrity being of paramount importance. ‘Any substantiv­e allegation­s will be investigat­ed with the full force of the rules at our disposal, which are wide-ranging and well developed. ‘Should we find any evidence of criminalit­y, we would inform and seek the support of the appropriat­e statutory authoritie­s.’ Earlier Crouch had said: ‘The integrity of sport is paramount and we expect the highest standards of governance and transparen­cy from sports governing bodies here in the UK and on the internatio­nal stage. ‘The recent allegation­s regarding English football are very concerning and we will be discussing this with the football authoritie­s.’ Conservati­ve MP Damian Collins, a member of the culture, media and sport select committee, called for an ‘independen­t commission to look into these allegation­s’. But he added that the FA is ‘such an inherently weak organisati­on I don’t think it could do what is needed now, even if it wanted to’. ‘It is crippled by vested interests,’ he argued.

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