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The start of the new Premier League season might still be a while off, but the fixtures are already out and we’ve got all the early match betting – Aug 16th!

Paul Stretford, the agent of Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, has been fined £300,000 and banned from working as a football agent for 18 months by a disciplinary commission.

The independent regulatory commission’s sanctions follow charges brought by the FA against Stretford, relating to the methods used to acquire 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 concerning how he came to represent the England striker.

Seven of the nine charges brought by the FA against Stretford for breaches of the FIFA players’ agent regulations were proved.

The charges included failing to protect Rooney’s interests and failing to respect the rights of third parties.

Stretford will appeal against the decision which he decribed as “a travesty”.

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.”

The start of the new Premier League season might still be a while off, but the fixtures are already out and we’ve got all the early match betting – Aug 16th!

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