Fact: Lord Stevens Finds No Wrong Doing by Newcastle or Bolton


The latest findings by Lord Stevens of the Quest team into alleged irregular payments from transfer dealings was released on Friday.
The inquiry is not prepared to sign off on 17 transfers and we look at the 4 transfers involving Newcastle United.
We will include in this article those transfers involving Sam Allardyce and Bolton – because Sam is now manager of Newcastle. There are also 4 transfers in this case.

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Lord Stevens

Before we go further in this it is important to note that the report had the following to say about the investigation:

The clubs, club officials and players listed cooperated fully with the inquiry and provided full documentation. There is no evidence of any irregular payments to club officials or players and they are identified only as a consequence of the outstanding issues the inquiry has with the agents identified.

The inquiry therefore is suggesting that any illegal activity is with the agents rather than the clubs. Newcastle and Bolton have cooperated fully with the inquiry and nothing has been found to be illegal with anything either club has done. While it is still possible that some wrongdoing will be found this has to be very unlikely.

We have seen wild comments in the press suggesting the managers and teams are rogues – but a cold hard look at the report does not suggest this. Let’s look further at the transfers still not passed by the inquiry.

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Graeme Souness

Here are those transfers Newcastle are involved in with the reasons the 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.

Transfers involving Newcastle that require further investigation 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

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Sam Allardyce

Here are those transfers Bolton are involved in with the reasons the inquiry will not sign off on them:

  1. Despite his cooperation, the inquiry has concerns regarding the involvement of Craig Allardyce (at the time a licensed agent) in a number of transactions at Bolton Wanderers. Mr Gartside and officials at the club have fully cooperated and the inquiry has found no evidence of irregular payments to them. However, the following three transfers in which Craig Allardyce was involved remain uncleared: Ali Al-Habsi (to Bolton); Tal Ben Haim (to Bolton); Blessing Kaku (to Bolton). The inquiry remains concerned at the conflict of interest that it believes existed between Craig Allardyce, his father Sam Allardyce (the manager of Bolton at the time) and the club.

Transfers involving Bolton that require further investigation after being identified as suspect are specifically:

  1. Ali Al-Habsi, Lyn Oslo to Bolton Wanderers, undisclosed, 2006
  2. Tal Ben Haim, Maccabi Tel Aviv to Bolton, free, 2004
  3. Blessing Kaku, MS Ashdod to Bolton, undisclosed,2004
  4. Júlio César Correa, Valladolid to Bolton, free, 2004

There is one transfer in the 17 that requires further investigation – but the clubs and player involved have not been released for some reason.

Following the publishing of the findings of the Quest Report, Newcastle United issued the following statement yesterday:

Newcastle United has noted the contents of the final Quest Report compiled by Lord Stevens and his team for the Premier League.
The report makes clear that Newcastle United officials have done nothing wrong and have at all times offered their full cooperation, willingly providing full access to all documentation and information requested by the Inquiry team.
The club firmly supports the Inquiry and calls on those agents referred to in the report to assist the Inquiry in resolving their outstanding queries as soon as possible.

For completeness here are the other 8 transfers that have not yet been signed off on.

  1. Collins Mbesuma, Kaizer Chiefs to Portsmouth, £750,000, 2005
  2. Yakubu Ayegbeni, Portsmouth to Middlesbrough, £7.5 million 2006
  3. Fabio Rochemback, Barcelona to Middlesbrough, £1 million, 2005
  4. Didier Drogba, Marseilles to Chelsea, £24 million, 2004
  5. Petr Cech, Rennes to Chelsea, £7 million, 2004
  6. Michael Essien, Lyons to Chelsea, £24.4 million, 2005
  7. Benjamin Mwaruwari, Auxerre to Portsmouth, £4.1 million, 2006
  8. Aliou Cissé, Birmingham City to Portsmouth, £300,000, 2004

So the bottom line as far as we can see is there is still no evidence that any of the clubs involved have done anything wrong. From reading the reports yesterday you wouldn’t have thought that – for one minute.

Comments welcome on this one.



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4 comments so far

  • Lin

    Jun 16, 2007 at 8:12 AM

    Comment #1

    Hello, I am a student in China. I like NUFC. I’ve been one of the fans of Newcastle for several years. I find this blog very good and want to join the family of the toonarmy.
    I wish the investigation can be done in a short time. The sooner, the better. And Sam can forget it and focus on the tranfer market.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 16, 2007 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #2

    Lin – great to have you as one of our readers 😀

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  • craig chisholm

    Jun 16, 2007 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #3

    its just like i said yesterday, much to do about nothing. two of the ones for bolton we free transfers too i see. there is certainly nothing that points the finger at newcastle in any shape or form. all this time its taken lord stevens and the sum total is a few small issues over agents – not clubs. i think its pretty much like when any audit is conducted by a promenant seperate body- they have to find something, just to justify the whole point of it, that is what it appears stevens has done. i cant stand souness, shit manager really but even he said he was scratching his head as he gave them all the info that was asked of him and that he never heard from the quest team again. now they say that they require some additional clarificaion form him – its all a load of pap.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 16, 2007 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #4

    Craig – yes i saw your comment and then got stuck in and read all about it – you were right – but the sensationalized headlines – even today – try to pinpoint blame on clubs and managers – where there isn’t any.

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