Rooney's agent banned

Image: Rooney: Represented by Stretford

Wayne Rooney's agent Paul Stretford has been fined £300,000 and banned for 18 months.

Representative has right of appeal

Paul Stretford has been fined £300,000 and banned from working as a football agent for 18 months by a disciplinary commission, the Football Association has announced. The independent regulatory commission's sanctions follow charges brought by the FA against Stretford, who represents Wayne Rooney, relating to how he acquired the right to represent the England striker in 2002. The charges were also for improper conduct in relation to Stretford "making of false and/or misleading witness statements to police and giving false and/or misleading testimony to Warrington Crown Court" in a case about the circumstances of how he came to represent the England striker. The ban will not come into force until after any appeal or move to go to arbitration by Stretford. The second nine months of the suspension will not be invoked if he is found to have not broken any other regulations.

Lengthy battle

Stretford has fought a long legal battle against the FA over whether they had the jurisdiction to charge him, and then whether he could go to an arbitration panel before a disciplinary hearing had dealt with the case. 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. An FA statement read: "The commission found that Mr Stretford did encourage Mr Rooney and his parents to enter into a representation agreement with Proactive Sports Management Limited on July 17 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. In relation to the Warrington Crown Court case, the commission found proven two improper conduct charges . The 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 July 17 2002 and September 19 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.

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