While claims of financial chicanery continue to fly around English soccer, particularly in regards to player transfers, Manchester United captain Gary Neville (above) has a unique solution — get rid of the agents. From the Guardian’s Daniel Taylor.
I’d like to see the removal of agents in the game,” said the England international. “There is a concern for me and there always has been: how a guy can go in and ask for [a player's] wage and expect to be given hundreds of thousands of pounds and sometimes millions? In this day and age I can’t personally see it. That money is going out of the game and the clubs should keep that money; if the player’s due it, he should keep that money.”
Neville, the PFA representative at Old Trafford, was asked whether there were any good agents working in the game and he replied that he did not know many. “When we have a union as strong as we have, the PFA could help with the correct education of young players and make those players not so reliant on people who want to take money from you,” he said.
Neville’s remarks will ingratiate him with Gordon Taylor, the PFA’s chief executive, and there will be many in the game who agree with the right-back after a season in which BBC’s Panorama programme has filmed a documentary probing the dealings of several agents and club managers such as Sam Allardyce.
One agent, Mel Stein, last night defended his profession, saying: “It’s a free country, with freedom of choice. If a club are willing to pay an agent on behalf of a player, why should they not pay it? There are a lot of good agents in the game who put money back into it. I hear what Gary Neville says about the PFA, but they are a trade union, generally ex-professional footballers. If you’re buying a house, would you want a bricklayer to do the conveyancing for you?”
Luton Town manager Mike Newell has been fined £6,500 for his comments regarding match referee Amy Rayner following last November’s 3-2 loss to QPR. The Stupor Hoops for their part, have suspended assistant manager Richard Hill over his role in last week’s brawl with the Chinese Olympic team. The Belfast Telegram’s Jasper Gerard (good luck with that moniker, dude) calls his beloved ‘R’s “the maddest club in world football.”
Rangers say they are too gifted to go down; but Rangers always say that. Even Kevin Gallen, who has hung around Loftus Road like a pair of comfy old slippers as the side pinged between three divisions, has finally had enough and departed. Is John Gregory safe? Well, could the club afford to pay off yet another manager?