Offices of Newcastle United, Rangers and Portsmouth were raided yesterday, the latest in a series of allegedly crooked transfer dealings to attract the attention of the authorities. From the Guardian’s Matt Scott :
The inquiry is focused on two transfers made in January 2005: Amdy Faye from Portsmouth to Newcastle at a cost of £2m and Jean-Alain Boumsong (above) from Rangers to Newcastle at a cost of £8.2m. Although a French international defender, the price paid for Boumsong raised eyebrows since only six months previously he had arrived at Rangers from the French club Auxerre on a free transfer.
The manager at the time was the former Scottish international Graeme Souness, who is no longer with the club. Both players were represented by the same agent, Willie McKay. There is no suggestion either man is being investigated .
Officers turned up at St James’ Park just before 8am yesterday. Employees found they could not log on to the computer system; police later took away some machines. Police visiting Portsmouth’s offices at 10am asked for paperwork relating to the £2m transfer of Faye to Newcastle. The transfer was conducted before the current chairman, Alexandre Gaydamak, took control of Portsmouth last year.
Although the police said yesterday that the investigations were unconnected to Lord Stevens’ inquiry into football transfers, which concluded last month, he refused to sign off both of these Boumsong and Faye deals. They featured in his final report as transfers that required further investigation.
“There remain inconsistencies in the evidence provided by Graeme Souness and Kenneth Shepherd (apparently acting in an undefined role but not as a club official) as to their respective roles in transfer negotiations,” Lord Stevens concluded.