Football has never been cleaner

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Stoke City chairman Peter Coates says Football is not corrupt

Stoke chairman Peter Coates says football “has never been cleaner” but would back an agents’ fees limit in the wake of financial malpractice claims.

Sam Allardyce left as England manager after apparently offering advice on how to avoid third-party ownership rules.

Barnsley assistant boss Tommy Wright was sacked over claims he took cash for trying to engineer certain transfers.

“We can do things better but I don’t accept the game is corrupt,” Coates told BBC sports editor Dan Roan.

“The game has never been cleaner and I have been in this game a long time.”

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Coates – who first joined the Stoke board in 1985 and, apart from a seven-year absence after fan protests forced him to walk away in 1989, he has been at the club ever since – hopes a limit of 10% can be set on transfer commission for agents.

Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola reportedly earned more than £20m from the France midfielder’s £89m summer move to Manchester United through legitimate commission and a clause fixed in the 23-year-old’s deal at previous club Juventus.

While Coates admits a “fear factor” exists that leads to clubs paying high fees to agents to maximise their chances of signing a player in a competitive transfer market, he is hopeful that clubs will mutually agree to restrict payments.

“The amounts are extraordinary, but strangely lots more went on when there was less money in the game,” said the 78-year-old.

“I wondered whether collectively we could agree that we would not pay more than 10% and try and bring some better order into it.

“I think transparency is very important. I would have everything about every transfer deal recorded and the FA and the Premier League or the Football League have a copy.”

The allegations against Allardyce and Wright were both made by The Daily Telegraph on Monday and Wednesday respectively.

Wright was dismissed by Championship club Barnsley on Thursday. A spokesman for the 50-year-old said: “Any suggested acts contrary to criminal law or those of the Football Association and Fifa are categorically denied.”

On Tuesday, the same newspaper claimed eight current or former Premier League managers had taken bribes for player transfers.

The FA, Premier League and EFL have pledged to investigate this week’s allegations.

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