The Premier League yesterday sought to regain the initiative from the Football Association as the most proactive body in the fight against corruption. It has been stung by allegations of impropriety and announced an inquiry into the claims.
Yet the measures Premiership clubs will take to limit the "reputational damage" that the allegations from those ranging from Mike Newell to Sven-Goran Eriksson have wrought appeared to be little more than an attempt to ringfence their own territory from outside scrutiny
"Clearly the people most able to get nearest to good or bad in this issue are the people who know most about it," said the Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. "That is why the clubs are absolutely keen. They've supported it, they've said we're the people who know most, we want to be absolutely sure this is clean."
But the Premier League's inquiry panel will rely on the goodwill of interviewees rather than any specific powers. The inquiry's remit will also be limited to the past two years - "five transfer windows".
It will not have the authority to demand the cooperation of agents, or to subpoena employees and officials at clubs outside the Premiership. "We have under the rulebook the powers to investigate our clubs and their employees and officials," said Scudamore. "The only bit we can manage is the behaviour of those people.