Nigel Layton is the new villain

Pini Zahavi, the Israeli super agent is back in the news after being implicated in the bung report by Lord Stevens. He was one of the 17 agents named and the most prominent. Amongst his big name transfers that came under scrutiny are Chelsea’s Petr Cech and Didier Drogba. Zahavi has not been forthcoming in disclosing some of his bank accounts.
This has ticked off Zahavi who now threatens to counter sue Quest, the team that carried out the bung investigations. In particular his wrath has been targeted at Nigel Layton, the MD of Quest and the lead investigator. An arrest has already been made for a 61 year Manchester man charged with money laundering. So the police and the FA mean business and are taking this report seriously. Zahavi and the other agents as well as managers Sam Allardyce and Graeme Souness could face possible repercussions from FIFA, the FA, and the British police. Zahavi could face suspension of his license or disbarred from doing business in England. There is a perception that Layton was already after Zahavi and he has geared his largely circumstantial evidence to confirm the guilty verdict.
The question is whether this will chill the transfer market with agents complaining of doing business with English clubs. I think whatever effects might take place will be temporary, certainly amongst the agents that drive these sort of thing. Premiership clubs are amongst the highest paying in the world and even with its relative transparency agents stand to make much more money. But the soccer world is inherently one driven by self gratification so look for managers to benefit from kickbacks and agents who are only happy and willing to give them a cut in lieu of a millions of pounds transferee. I don’t think a manager like Sam Allardyce will ever be begrudged his success because his son benefited from his association to make a few illegal pounds. Stamford Bridge fans won’t complain about Zahavi’s bank accounts being a bit dodgy on account of Didier Drogba. In the end, fans demand players and managers who make a difference to the club.
As for Layton, his profession demands him to be over zealous and a vigilante to boot.
Casual disposal of waste and careless talk can all cost profits. As well as being vigilant over their temporary staff, companies need to educate their permanent staffers. β€œI was on the Manchester train to London, sitting in first class,” says Layton. β€œIn the course of that one journey I heard about a takeover bid, a football transfer and a FTSE company director who was about to resign. That sort of thing should not be allowed to happen.”
A bit creepy having someone check your bar stool ramblings. But Layton seems to have made a career of tracking Albion’s perfidy. If Transparency International’s 2007 report pushes the UK into the top ten, Layton perhaps might have no mean part to play in it.

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