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21st Nov 2023

Spurs at risk of points deduction for transfer made 15 years ago

Callum Boyle


The transfer was made in 2008

Tottenham are facing allegations over a transfer made 15 years ago that could result in severe punishment.

The Times reported that the deal to sign Jermain Defoe from Portsmouth in 2008 is under scrutiny.

In the report it’s claimed that Defoe, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp used an unlicensed agent to get the deal completed.

During a panel arbitration hearing over the transfer, it was suggested that ex-Tottenham and West Ham defender Mitchell Thomas was a “central figure” in the deal, despite appearing on the FA’s list of unlicensed agents.

FA regulations at the time banned clubs from using unlicensed agents and warned that they would impose serious punishments such as points deductions, fines and other actions.

While other clubs faced punishment for similar cases, the FA opted not to impose any sanctions on Spurs after a lack of evidence, however a statement from the governing body said that they would revisit the case if new evidence “suggests serious breaches of our rules took place”.

Speaking to The Times, Redknapp said: “I remember that transfer well because it’s a story I tell as an after-dinner speaker.

“Jermain’s mum came down with him that day and she asked about a goal bonus. I looked at her and said, ‘It’s goals we’re paying him for’.

“I had very little to do with the deal but, as far as I know, Mitchell Thomas was his agent.”

Redknapp added that he had never received a call from the FA in relation to the contact he had with Thomas.

Portsmouth also sent a statement to The Times: “The signing of Jermain Defoe in 2008 occurred under a previous ownership and those involved in the transfer of the player’s registration from Tottenham Hotspur are no longer at the club, having left many years ago.

“The current board and ownership acquired the club in 2017 from the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and club presidents, who themselves formally acquired the club in 2013.

“The board and the new executive therefore have no knowledge of any negotiations that led to Portsmouth Football Club’s registration of Jermain Defoe in 2008.”

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