Derek Davis' Football Chatter

QUEST, the body sent in by the Premier League, may not have got very far in investigating bungs but at least the FA have been luckier after former Luton chairman Bill Tomlins reportedly confessed to 13 separate illegal payments to seven named agents.

QUEST, the body sent in by the Premier League, may not have got very far in investigating bungs but at least the FA have been luckier after former Luton chairman Bill Tomlins reportedly confessed to 13 separate illegal payments to seven named agents.

The expose of Tomlins vindicates Mike Newell, who has been the most vocal of managers claiming corruption is rife in football, and it is ironic that he was sacked by Luton. Tomlins owned up to making £150,000 of payments which were outside the rules and is waiting to hear what sanctions he faces, even though he stood down last month, while Luton - who were relegated from the Championship - wait to hear if they will be docked points and fined.

Amazingly Tomlins, a former second-hand car salesman, was handed a golden handshake of around £650,000 by the Hatters when he stepped down. Worryingly, though, he claims in a national newspaper that he could return to a Championship club as either chairman or chief executive.

IT may be a buyer's market but Ipswich Town will be hoping Charlton can tough it out when it comes to selling Darren Bent for top dollar.


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It was widely reported in January that Charlton were quoting clubs £17million for Bent but Alan Pardew would accept £15m.

Bent then injured a knee so no one took the plunge and the transfer window closed with the striker also signing a new four-year deal.

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If Charlton had stayed in the Premiership then they may have got near to the £15m they wanted but now they have dropped out Bent will seek a move and the price, understandably, will drop unless a bidding war starts between Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs.

Town will watch with keen interest as they get 20% of everything over the £2.8m they have received for the home-grown talent. They would have got another £200,000 for each of the first two competitive England games he played but he has only appeared in friendlies so far and if he were to make an appearance in a European qualifier, or at the tournament, when he is at a new club, Town won't get that bonus.

I KNOW Neil Warnock is not everyone's cup of tea but, as I have said before in this column - which apparently someone sent him a copy of and he was most gracious for my support - he is the sort of character this game needs.

Perhaps not more people like him, as Warnock is a one-off, but certainly people like him make this entertainment business that we love so enjoyable.

Once Sheffield United get over the disappointment of being relegated and struggle next season to go straight back up then they, and a certain Hollywood actor called Sean Bean, will realise just what they are missing.

No doubt Colin, as he is affectionately known in the game, will turn up somewhere else soon. Perhaps not at Manchester City whose new owners seem to be after a big European name.

BLUES first team coach Bryan Klug has been clocking up the air miles in his quest to help Town. After spending a few days in Valencia with fellow coach Steve Foley watching how things are done at the Spanish giants, Klug was this week in Glasgow training with Kevin Keegan in a soccer skills circus.

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