Ed Harrison from the Newcastle blog writes:
As background to this disturbing story here are the transfers Newcastle were involved in – with the reasons the Stevens inquiry will not sign off on them:
1. The inquiry has not been able to sign off two transfers involving Francis Martin. In the transfer of Albert Luque (to Newcastle United), the licensed agent acting on the club’s behalf was Eugenio Botas. However, the inquiry still has unanswered questions relating to possible payments made by Francis Martin, who Newcastle officials believed was working for the selling club.
2. The following three other transfers remain uncleared: Emre Belözoglu (to Newcastle); Jean-Alain Boumsong (to Newcastle); Amdy Faye (to Newcastle). Again we have found no evidence to suggest any irregular payments by or to club officials relating to the above transfers and Newcastle officials cooperated fully with the inquiry and gave full access to documentation. However, there remain inconsistencies in evidence provided by Graeme Souness (a former manager of the club) and Kenneth Shepherd (apparently acting in an undefined role but not as a club official) as to their respective roles in transfer negotiations.
The actual transfers involving Newcastle that require further investigation by Lord Stevens – after being identified as suspect – are specifically:
1. Alberto Luque, Deportivo La Coruña to Newcastle United, £9.5 million, 2005
2. Emre Belözoglu, Inter Milan to Newcastle, £3.8 million, 2005
3. Jean-Alain Boumsong, Rangers to Newcastle, £8 million, 2005
4. Amdy Faye, Portsmouth to Newcastle, £2 million, 2005
This is troubling news for the Newcastle management, and as I suspected yesterday some of the transfers are between the investigated clubs (such as Boumsong going from Rangers to Newcastle and Faye from Portsmouth to Newcastle).
The upside for Newcastle United here is that because of new ownership any fines or punishment put on them can be reduced on appeal. However, it’s a messy situation for all parties involved and I’m sure it’s really hard on the fans, so let’s stop the snickering at the back and try to figure out what actually went wrong, ok?