Key recommendations first:
· The player is the only person who is allowed to remunerate an agent representing the player's interests in negotiations.
· The player must discuss or negotiate the setting of the amount of the fee payable to his agent with no involvement of the buying club in those discussions.
· Whilst we understand the evolution of the PFA [Professional Footballers Association] as advisers to players we do not believe it should be remunerated by players for its role in transfers. The PFA should not act as agents to players in respect of transfers.
· Managers should ensure that they have a clear understanding and agree with the written procedures concerning the processes and defined roles and responsibilities in the recruitment process of players and in their conduct with agents.
· Managers should ensure that they disclose any potential conflicts of interest to their clubs.
· An agent who is a close relative of a club official cannot be the manager's agent or receive any remuneration from any transaction associated with the respective club of the official concerned.
· An agent who is the agent for the manager of a club cannot act for any players at the club. Recommendations for clubs
· Each club should ensure that it has clear and unequivocal written procedures that detail how transfer negotiations are handled and how the appropriate authority is obtained.
· Each FAPL [Premier League] club should submit an annual return to the FA identifying all the amounts paid by that club to agents (for any purpose not just transfers) by reference to individual players.
· Clubs should not be involved in any discussions or negotiations concerning the setting of the amount of a fee payable to an agent representing the player.
· A manager's agent should not act on a transfer involving that club.
· Clubs should not take loans or financial assistance from agents in order to assist the clubs in buying players.
· Clubs should inform all new players of the financial arrangements made in connection with their transfer prior to their starting employment with the club.
· There must be a separation and clear distinction between the appointment of agents acting on behalf of a player and clubs who may utilise the services of a broker or, in effect, a modern day 'scout'. (The practice termed 'duality' of the role of agents (acting for both the club and player) must stop.
Recommendations for agents
· An agent, if acting for a player, can be employed and remunerated only by that player.
· The fee paid to the agent must be agreed solely between the player and the agent, with the club having no influence on those discussions or negotiations.
· An agent acting for a club (either as an intermediary, introducer or scout) must confirm in writing to the club that he does not have any financial arrangements with the player's agent involved in the transaction.
· An agent must keep a written record of the negotiations he conducts on behalf of his principal (be it the club or player). The record must be maintained for six years as with other business records of the agent.
· An agent who is a close relative of a club official cannot be the player's agent or receive any remuneration from any transaction associated with the club of the official concerned.
· An agent who is the agent for the manager of a club cannot act for any players at the club.
· The written agreement between the club and agent must be entered into prior to execution of the transfer.
Recommendations for governing bodies
· The performance of the FA compliance unit (or the newly constituted regulation and compliance unit) needs to be reviewed by an independent party on an annual basis.
· The FA needs to determine and publicise a sanctions framework which contains indicative penalties for breaches of different rules.
Richard Scudamore was last night involved in a row over the report into corruption in football after it emerged that he sent a memo to Premiership club chairmen yesterday which suggested that Lord Stevens' text had been influenced by Premier League representations.
The memo, which was leaked to Channel 4 News last night, included the following passage: "... in respect of the [Stevens] recommendations we did feed back in the strongest possible terms the sentiments expressed by the clubs in our meeting of November 9. It would appear that these have been taken on board ... save for the concern regarding the agents of managers not being allowed to act for players at the same club. Lord Stevens was 'not for turning' on this and we will have to consider it in due course."
Earlier in the day Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, had been asked whether Stevens' report had been watered down under Premier League influence. He replied: "Certainly the FA and ourselves have had no discussion about the wording of this report. It is Lord Stevens' report."
A Premier League spokesman confirmed that the email was genuine but stressed that at the November 9 meeting of Premiership chairmen no recommendations had been formulated and discussions revolved around Stevens' observations rather than any findings he may have made. The spokesman explained that Scudamore's "technical advice" had been requested by Stevens.
"Clubs have had no opportunity to influence or water down Lord Stevens' recommendations," said the spokesman. "It is an independent report, full stop."
A spokesman for Quest, the corporate intelligence agency run by Stevens, echoed the sentiment. "At no time during the process have the clubs tried to lobby Lord Stevens or anyone in the Quest team," he said.
The Football Association hit back last night at claims in the Stevens Report that there were flaws in the historical procedures of its compliance department.
Lord Stevens, at the launch of his report in the afternoon, singled out the FA in this respect but Brian Barwick, the association's chief executive, responded that, though "Lord Stevens highlighted various criticisms of the FA and its compliance department at the news conference", there was actually "little detail in the report concerning irregular transfer activities".
Barwick went on to speak out in defence of his organisation's own recent record in reforming its compliance processes. "The overwhelming majority of these recommendations had already been formulated by the FA prior to his inquiry," he said.
"Many were introduced as part of the existing domestic agents' regulations and others will form part of the new regulations which come into force next summer. We are confident that that the 'arm's-length' regulation and compliance unit foreseen by Lord Burns will further
strengthen our ability to govern this area of the game. We trust that the FA's shareholders will support these proposals when they vote on the structural review in March."
The FA will now conduct a review of its compliance department's processes and personnel early in the new year before launching a recruitment drive to have in place a full team of investigators before next summer's transfer window.
More still, this with an agent's perspective:
Mel Stein, the acting chairman of the Association of Football Agents, last night rejected any allegation that leading agents did not co-operate with the Lord Stevens inquiry into transfer irregularities.
According to Stevens, the Premier League clubs and their officials are clean, yet with 17 of 362 deals yet to be resolved, it is agents who remain in the dock - eight in particular. Stein said: "Lord Stevens must like reading Shakespeare because this was much ado about nothing.
"He has shown the game is not corrupt, that obviously there are a few people in it who don't obey the rules, but generally speaking, nothing is as bad as it was." But he added: "The one thing we do take exception to is that there hasn't been cooperation with some of the leading agents. All of the leading agents are represented on the board of the Association of Football Agents. Every single one has fully cooperated with Lord Stevens.
"This effective innuendo that has covered us all is unacceptable. He needs to say which agents didn't co-operate. I've no idea who they are. They are probably running for cover, but they are not ours."
Stein believes his association should be given a voice in the efforts to prove the game is clean, saying: "The other thing that concerns me about this report is the indication that at the end of the day everything is all right because there are new agents' regulations in place and they are going to solve all the problems, but they are going to create problems.
"It has been mooted, and I know all the agents would welcome it, that someone like Quest comes in and objectively administers payments and transfers. But they can't administer them against the background of the regulations that the FA want to bring in in May of 2007 because they are unadministerable.