“Finally, I have been fully vindicated and cleared,” a relieved Willie McKay told the press after the City Of London Police confirmed that the seedy football agent would face no further questioning over alleged corruption in football.
McKay was investigated as part of Lord Stevenson’s inquiry into corruption allegations that had followed in the wake of the BBC’s infamous Panorama programme. The BBC scrutinized several football clubs wherein FA rules and regulations were allegedly broken.
McKay was specifically questioned over his involvement in the transfer of French defender Jean-Alain Boumsong; the first of those questions being, why on earth did Newcastle pay £8.5m for that manure heap? Well, the fee was thanks in no small part to McKay, who it was alleged had pocketed c.£500,000 for himself.
Unsurprisingly, after a lengthy inquiry, the Scot was cleared of any wrong doing.
Vindicated and cleared in legal terms, perhaps, but any football fan will tell you that morally McKay still has a lot to answer for.
McKay incurred the wrath of Wigan fans after advising Pascal Chimbonda to quit the club after a highly successful season at the JJB Stadium. Having been voted to appear in the PFA’s Team of the Year, McKay and Pascal decided it was time to cash in on the defenders success. To that effect, Chimbonda notoriously handed in a transfer request within minutes of the final whistle of Wigan’s final game of the season.
Disgruntled Wigan fans were keen to make their voices heard as the French defender made his trip southward to White Hart Lane.
By some way of reply, McKay quipped, “Wigan? They should give me the freedom of the place given the profit they made on Pascal Chimbonda.”
Although it is true that Wigan did make a sizable profit on the defender – who had only spent a solitary year at the club, you cannot help but feel that the fee would’ve been far higher had the Frenchman and McKay not publicized their willingness to part ways with the North West club. Wigan had been hoping to receive £6m for the player but, thanks in large part to McKay, Tottenham started their bidding at only £2m. A deal was signed for four.
Not content with angering just Wigan fans, McKay’s representation of Joey Barton also lead him to reach burning effigy status at Manchester City.
Not long after Barton’s sickening and disturbing confrontation with fellow teammate Ousmane Dabo, his Scottish agent had the temerity to ask for a bewildering £100,000 ‘loyalty’ fee to be added to the thug’s contract extension. The miscreant soon left for Newcastle – one of McKay’s favourite haunts, it seems – and continues to be a stain on football, not unlike his representative.
The law did catch up with McKay in 2007 over the consecutive transfers of Benjani from Auxerre to Portsmouth followed by his exchange from Pompy to Manchester City. FA rules clearly state that an agent can not act on behalf of the same player for two consecutive transfers. The agent’s reprimanding included a suspended ban and a severe slapping on the wrist. Oh the malevolent, authoritative power of the FA.
Fully vindicated and cleared indeed.
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