Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Old Harry's Game

Portsmouth Chief Executive Peter Storrie, manager Harry Redknapp, former Portsmouth Chairman Milan Mandaric, agent Willie McKay and former Portsmouth midfielder Amdy Faye were arrested today by police in connection with alleged corruption in football.

The media have reported that the arrests relate to an incident that goes back to 2003 and are connected to a charge of money laundering. Amdy Faye transferred to Portsmouth in August 2003. His subsequent transfer from Portsmouth to Newcastle United in January 2005 was one of those about which the Stevens inquiry report in June 2007 expressed concerns,

"There remains 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.

The inquiry is still awaiting clarification from agent Willie McKay".

Willie McKay was involved in three other transfers being considered by the Football Association's compliance unit after the Quest investigation: Jean-Alain Boumsong's move from Rangers to Newcastle United, Aliou Cissé's switch from Birmingham City to Portsmouth and Pascal Chimbonda's move from Bastia to Wigan Athletic.

Pascal Chimbonda was arrested on 10th September of this year by officers from the City of London police's economic crimes unit on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud. Whiter than white Wigan chairman, Dave Whelan, was also believed to have been questioned on the matter during the Quest inquiry.

Peter Storrie and Harry Redknapp have both played a role at West Ham in the past and Willie McKay is the agent of Henri Camara (on loan at West Ham from Wigan) and of Tyrone Mears (at West Ham July 2006 - July 2007). However today's arrests all seem connected with the transfer of Amdy Faye to Portsmouth in 2003.

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