Cohen takes press role for football 'bungs' inquiry

The firm handling the inquiry into Premier League football transfers is using Shimon Cohen to keep the press at arms length.

The PR Office founder, who advised Real Madrid on how to handle the media during the transfer of David Beckham, will attempt to keep leaks to a minimum.

'We're not going to suggest which clubs are being investigated or give the press a schedule,' said Cohen. 'But information always gets out when clubs are involved.'

Because the inquiry is private, findings will not necessarily come into the public domain as a matter of urgency. Cohen will bid to satisfy press expectation without hindering the inquiry itself.

Quest, a firm which specialises in fraud investigations, is overseeing the probe on behalf of the Premier League. It hired The PR
Office early last year.

Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Stevens leads the inquiry as chair of Quest. The probe will pick apart more than 320 individual transfers.

The Premier League announced the inquiry in January following England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson's comments about transfer corruption to an undercover News of the World reporter.

Cohen has a football background, having worked with Arsenal, Newcastle United and Southampton FC on various projects.

Cohen set up The PR Office at the beginning of 2004. He was previously a director at Bell Pottinger, where he worked for 13 years.

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