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Probe on football's ugly side.

FANS are to take part in a Europe-wide probe into problems blighting football.

Proposals to rein in players' multi-million wage packets with salary caps will be investigated in the wide-ranging review.

It will look at agents alleged to take "bungs" for transfers, and the ownership of clubs by billionaire businessmen like Chelsea's Roman Abramovich.

The plight of less wealthy clubs will also be on the agenda, along with the future development of home-grown talent.

Former Portuguese sport minister JosA Luis Arnaut will lead the investigation.

He plans to hold open hearings with fans, who can also contribute views on the web.

Sport minister Richard Caborn, who helped launch the review in London yesterday, said: "There needs to be some control of the excesses.

"What we're addressing are some of the major changes over the last 50 years. Football is watched by billions - it is now global by any definition.

"And across football, there has been concern about the excesses there are. This is an opportunity to bring football back to centre stage."

The review is being funded by the European Union and backed by UEFA and FIFA.

Mr Arnaut insisted: "This will not be a closed shop. There will be openness and transparency."

Officials hope to report back by the end of the year.

Fans who want to have their say should visit www.indepen-dentfootballreview.com
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 23, 2006
Words:226
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