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Old 9th July 2008, 16:34   #1
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Default Rooney's agent given 18-month ban

Rooney's agent given 18-month ban
BBC, 9 July 2008

Wayne Rooney's agent Paul Stretford has been fined £300,000 and banned for 18 months in the wake of charges brought by the Football Association.

The charges relate to how Stretford acquired the right to represent Rooney and making false and/or misleading statements to police and in court.

Stretford described the verdict of the independent commission as "a travesty" and has already said he will appeal.

The ban will not come into force until after any appeal has been heard.

The second nine months of the suspension will not be invoked if Stretford is found to have not broken any other regulations.

The commission ruled as "proved" seven of nine charges brought by the FA against Stretford for breaches of the Fifa players' agent regulations.

The charges included failing to protect Rooney's interests and failing to respect the rights of third parties when he came to represent the Manchester United and England star.

An FA statement read: "The commission found that Mr Stretford encouraged Mr Rooney and his parents to enter into a representation agreement with Proactive Sports Management Limited on 17 July 2002 although he knew Mr Rooney was still then under contract with Pro-Form Sports Management Limited."

A charge of enticing Rooney away from his previous agent was not proven.

However, the FA statement added: "The commission found that Mr Stretford had made a misleading witness statement and had given untruthful evidence in court in criminal proceedings in Warrington Crown Court, particularly in relation to the existence, dates and nature of those representation agreements dated 17 July 2002 and 19 September 2002."

A further charge of entering into a representation contract with Rooney for eight years - six years longer than the two-year limit for written contracts between agents and their clients - was also proved.

Two other charges of failing to lodge representation contracts with the FA were also proved, but a third was not.

"I believe the verdicts of the disciplinary panel against me are a travesty of the facts heard by its members during the hearing," said Stretford.

"I will be lodging an immediate appeal against the verdicts and continue to maintain my complete innocence of the charges brought against me.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
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