More Premier League clubs face police raids

More Premier League clubs are in line for a visit from the City of London Police after the arrests of Birmingham co-owner David Sullivan and managing director Karren Brady signalled a twist in the football corruption probe, claims the Daily Mail.

Previous raids at Birmingham, Portsmouth, Newcastle and Rangers were linked to transfers of players which fell within the two-year period investigated by Quest for the Premier League, and which involved Scottish agent Willie McKay.

Last week's developments confirm the investigation has much wider scope and suggest police are following up leads generated by two ongoing inquiries in France.

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In the anonymous letter which sparked one of those probes, three more Premier League clubs, yet to be raided, were named as being involved in suspect deals.

Birmingham owner Sullivan said he and Brady were innocent of any wrongdoing and had been questioned merely about the tax arrangements of two players.

One of those is understood to be Senegal international Ferdinand Coly, who joined Birmingham on loan from Lens in January 2003.

In the same anonymous letter sent to French police and football authorities by an agent in early 2004, Coly is just one of a host of past and present Premier League players alleged to have received, or been promised, tax-free payments.

The letter led to the ongoing Marseille-based investigation into Richard Bettoni, an unlicensed agent whose clients include Manchester United striker Louis Saha and France defender Jean-Alain Boumsong.

The transfer of Boumsong from Rangers to Newcastle was among the 17 deals Quest chief Lord Stevens refused to sign off and, as the letter claimed, involved McKay.

The other player linked to last week's arrests is understood to be another Senegal midfielder, Aliou Cisse, whose £300,000 move to Portsmouth in August 2004 was also in the Quest 17.

Brady and Sullivan are believed to have been questioned also about the period after Cisse's initial move to England, when he signed for Birmingham from Montpellier for £1.5million in July 2002.

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