QPR manager Ian Holloway has echoed Luton manager Mike Newell’s claims of rampant shady dealings by player agents, but has further gripes with the Football Association writes The Times’ Ashling O’Connor.
After a week during which Newell went to the FA to dish the dirt on the agents and rival club officials he said had offered him bungs, Ian Holloway (above) was the first of his peers to back him up publicly with the allegation that he was offered £30,000 as an incentive to sign a player.
It is not a new story, however, and if the FA had wanted to take action before now, it needed only to have consulted press cuttings, QPR fanzines and the BBC™s documentary archives.
The alleged incident happened in July 2002, when Holloway signed Gino Padula, an Argentinian, from Jerez, the Spanish club, on a free transfer and was told that his club would have to pay £50,000 to the player™s agent to complete the deal. The suggestion was that the QPR manager would get a £30,000 cut of the money. He rejected the offer and reported it to Nick Blackburn, his chairman at the time. Like Newell, Holloway did not record any conversations.
Paul Taylor, the agent who recommended Padula to QPR, has denied any wrongdoing after being named in newspapers and has instructed his solicitors to defend his name. œPeople in the game who know my reputation know that it is not true, he said.
The FA said yesterday that it would contact Holloway, who said that agents are queueing up with œwhacking great wheelbarrows to œfill up with money for more information. Compliance officers have contacted Blackburn, who said that he would happily repeat a story he has told many times before.
Holloway is also willing to tell the FA his story but appears more anxious to talk to them about the disciplinary proceedings hanging over his club. œSomebody has pulled this bung stuff out of a fanzine from four years ago, he told The Times. œI would be very interested to talk to the FA, but more about two or three different things. Like what happened at Stoke City when my team were attacked and we are the ones being charged with failing to control our players.
This month, the FA charged QPR for failing to control their players after a brawl at the Britannia Stadium on December 3. Fans were arrested after they attacked Simon Royce, the QPR goalkeeper. The situation escalated to a football disciplinary matter after players from both teams ran over to assist Royce but then appeared to fight among themselves. The FA also charged Jake Cole, the QPR substitute goalkeeper, with violent conduct for his involvement.