El of a shock for United
30 August 2008
Leeds United are deciding whether to fight a Football Association charge alleging the club used an unlicensed agent during the transfer of striker Anthony Elding to Elland Road in January.
Leeds were included in a long list of separate charges issued by the FA yesterday against clubs and individuals accused of breaching the governing body's strict rules regarding the use of agents in transfer negotiations.
United's charge relates to Elding's move from Stockport County to Elland Road on January 31, 2008 – the final day of the winter transfer window – and accuses Leeds of using Lorenzo Paolo, an unlicensed representative, to help complete the deal.
The FA has given Leeds until next Wednesday, September 3, to respond to the accusation, and the matter has been placed in the hands of the club's legal team.
United declined to comment on the details of the charge, other than to confirm receipt of the allegation from Soho Square and to state that no payment was made to Paolo during or after the signing of Elding.
A statement released by Leeds read: "Leeds United can confirm that we have been charged by the Football Association for using an unlicensed agent in respect of the transfer of Anthony Elding from Stockport County in January 2008.
"The charge is being considered by the club and our advisors at the current time, therefore it would be inappropriate to make any further comment other than to confirm that no payment has been made or is alleged to have been made to the agent involved in respect of the transfer."
United would be likely to face a financial penalty if found guilty of breaching FA rules, and Crystal Palace were among the other parties charged by the governing body yesterday.
Elding moved to Elland Road from Stockport for an undisclosed fee but the transfer was ultimately unsuccessful and he left Leeds to join Crewe Alexandra in a deal worth around £160,000 last month.
The 26-year-old made only nine appearances for Leeds, and the charge brought against United does not relate to his move to Gresty Road.
A short statement published on the FA's website read: "Leeds United AFC have been charged with using an unlicensed agent – Lorenzo Paolo – in the signing of Anthony Elding from Stockport County in January 2008.
"The club have until 3 September to respond to the charge."
FA regulations concerning the use of agents state that "a player or club must not at any time use the services of, or seek to use the services of, pay, or seek to pay, either directly or indirectly, an unauthorised agent in relation to any agency activity" and require that players and clubs take "all reasonable steps" to ensure an agent is licensed.
The full article contains 463 words and appears in EP Leeds First & County newspaper.
30 August 2008 7:00 AM
EP Leeds First & County