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Tottenham 'could face potential points deduction' over transfer that happened 15 years ago

Tottenham 'could face potential points deduction' over transfer that happened 15 years ago

Allegations have been made.

Tottenham are facing allegations over a transfer that occurred 15 years ago, it has been reported - and the club could be sanctioned if found guilty.

The Times report that the transfer in question is Jermain Defoe's move from Spurs to Portsmouth in January 2008, with Pompey paying a fee of £7.5 million.

The same Times report claims that it emerged in a private hearing into the case that Defoe, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp had dealt with an unlicensed agent during negotiations.

A panel at an arbitration hearing over the transfer, it is alleged, found that former Tottenham and West Ham defender Mitchell Thomas was a 'central figure' in the deal. He was named on a list of unlicensed agents by the FA in the year prior to the transfer taking place.

Clubs were banned from 'using the services of an unlicensed agent' as per FA regulations at the time, and potential punishments for serious breaches included points deductions, fines and other forms of disciplinary action.

In 2007, the FA brought 50 disciplinary charges against Championship side Luton Town, relating to payments involving agents.

The Hatters were subsequently deducted 10 points, and although they appealed the sanction, arguing it was excessive and the initial decision was unreasonable, the FA upheld its original decision.

And in 2017, Leeds owner Massimo Cellino was banned from working in football for 12 months, and fined a total of £100,000 for breaching rules relating to an unlicensed agent.

In the Spurs case, the FA decided not to take disciplinary action against the club at the time after evidence was presented by the independent arbitration panel.

The FA said in a statement to The Times that they would, however, review the case again if new evidence appears that 'suggests serious breaches of our rules took place'.

During the hearing, it is reported, Defoe claimed he had represented himself in the deal without the assistance of an agent, and denied ever paying Thomas for his services.

When speaking to The Times, Redknapp gave his version of events: "I remember that transfer well because it's a story I tell as an after-dinner speaker.

"Jermain's mum came down with him that day and she asked about a goal bonus. I looked at her and said, 'It's goals we're paying him for'.

"I had very little to do with the deal but, as far as I know, Mitchell Thomas was his agent."

The former Portsmouth manager added that the FA had not contacted him over a phone call he held with Thomas prior to the transfer being completed.

Portsmouth told The Times: "The signing of Jermain Defoe in 2008 occurred under a previous ownership and those involved in the transfer of the player's registration from Tottenham Hotspur are no longer at the club, having left many years ago.

"The current board and ownership acquired the club in 2017 from the Pompey Supporters' Trust and club presidents, who themselves formally acquired the club in 2013.

"The board and the new executive therefore have no knowledge of any negotiations that led to Portsmouth Football Club's registration of Jermain Defoe in 2008."

Tottenham declined to comment when approached by SPORTbible.

SPORTbible has contacted Jermain Defoe's representatives for comment. SPORTbible has also contacted Portsmouth Football Club for further comment following their statement.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Tottenham Hotspur, Jermain Defoe, Portsmouth, Premier League