The Football Association levelled an unprecedented list of 55 charges against current and former directors of Luton Town and a string of leading football agents after a seven-month inquiry into alleged irregular payments made by the League One club.

If found guilty the club face severe financial penalties and may be banned from player transactions for at least one transfer window. If found guilty the agents - who include David Manasseh, a partner in Stellar Group, which represents Ashley Cole; Jermain Defoe's representative Sky Andrew; and Mark Curtis, who has worked closely with Bolton Wanderers - face fines and possibly the loss of their licences.

The charges, the most ever laid against a single club, come after the former manager Mike Newell went to the authorities with information that implicated his former employer.

"Luton acknowledged the charges but made no comment."