What the papers say: Agents draw fire over footie bungs

Luton Football Club boss Mike Newell dropped a bombshell at the launch of Coca-Cola’s ‘Win a Player 2’ competition last week.

He claimed that 'bungs' – illegal cash sweeteners to influence transfers – were rife and that he himself had been offered money by agents to sell his best players.

The newly formed Football Agents' Association hit back, demanding that Newell provide hard evidence for his accusations. 'Put up or shut up, agents tell Newell'(Daily Mail, 12 January).

Several top managers and senior members of the football fraternity came out in support of the under-fire manager, but said he would find his claims hard to prove. Newell admitted he had no written proof: 'It's in my head so I don't know if it's going to be any use at all' (skysports.com, 15 January).

Coverage was mainly confined to the sports pages and The Independent reported that a higher-profile manager would need to stand up and be counted if the story were to make front-page news (16 January).

Newell's admission may mean that something is finally done about a shady side of football. According to a 'ministerial source', 'we will not allow this to be brushed under the carpet' (Daily Mirror, 14 January).
Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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