By Full Contact News and Views
The latest story to emerge in the ongoing journalist led investigation in to corruption in football concerns former Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup.
Arguably, this is one of the most striking revelations to date – far more so than the Telegraph’s exposes, albeit that they led to the demise of Big Sam. As I commented at the time, that was clearly just the beginning….
What has emerged in regards to Laudrup?
Michael Laudrup’s own agent Bayram Tutumlu is suggested to have had an ‘unhealthy’ control of all over transfers and player contract negotiations whilst Laudrup was the manager of Premier League club Swansea City. Documents have been leaked that reveal, for example, that Tutumlu entered into a “Collaboration Agreement” with the agent for the defender Ben Davies, that saw Davies’ agent agree to pay to Tutumlu 67% of all agency income that he generated in relation to his own client. Why would he do that, one might ask? Well, the date of the Agreement was September 4th 2013 and very shortly afterwards Ben Davies was awarded a lucrative new contract by Swansea with a substantial salary increase (meaning substantial agency fees became due to his agent). The strong inference would be that either Ben Davies’ agent took the view that such was the generosity of the new contract retaining 33% of the agency income still represented a good deal for him, or that unless he entered into this Agreement his client would not be awarded the new contract – such was Tutumlu’s influence.
Incidentally, the Collaboration Agreement entered into between Ben Davies’ agent and Tutumlu reveals a clear breach of the relevant FA Regulations and it will be interesting to see if charges are brought. More seriously, there is a risk that criminal offences relating to bribery and fraud have been committed in cases where an agent of the first team manager has a close involvement in transactions that – frankly – ought to have had nothing to do with him. There really was no good reason at all for Laudrup’s agent to be involved in the negotiation of a new contract to be awarded to Swansea’s existing player Ben Davies, who he did not represent.
Numerous other transactions that took place under Laudrup’s tenure are worthy of scrutiny, a fact that Swansea themselves admitted (in a leaked letter sent to the League Managers’ Association) when they parted company with the Dane.
The suggestion that a football manager has encouraged or required the involvement of his own agent in transfers and contract renegotiations is not a new one and many football agents will have anecdotes and tales of woe that could entertain long in to the night. But here, perhaps for the first time, in this documented agreement between Laudrup’s agent of some 20 years and the agent of Ben Davies we have unequivocal evidence.
Once again I say this: over to you Mr Clarke.
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Full Contact News and Views includes articles contributed by Associates and professional contacts within the Full Contact team and includes opinion on sports law, PR and media, football agency and more.
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