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Fans need answers.

In many ways, Lord Stevens' inquiry into the alleged bungs in football raises more questions than it answers.

What's clear is that during his two-year probe into the allegations, Northumbria Police's former chief constable has left no stone unturned.

That his Quest inquiry has been extensive and wide-ranging is not in doubt. He and his team have clearly pursued many lines of inquiry.

But exactly what, if anything, has been going on in our national sport remains something of a mystery.

No evidence of money wrongly changing hands has been produced, no evidence of backhanders is there, no proof of wrongdoing is exposed ( there's not a smoking gun in sight.

But on the day that Mike Ashley has finally taken over control of Newcastle United a nasty whiff remains in the air.

It all must leave Toon chairman Freddy Shepherd deeply embarrassed.

Two men he has employed as manager, Graeme Souness and new boss Sam Allardyce, have been drawn into the whole sorry saga, while his own son Kenneth is also singled out and four Newcastle United transfers remain at the centre of the investigation.

Newcastle United fans are the finest in the country. They loyally turn out week in and week out and pay their hard-earned cash at the turnstiles too often for very little return.

They deserve better than to be tainted by any suggestion that the club they follow so devotedly has somehow been implicated in this mess.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 16, 2007
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