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Was your club's top players tapped up on deadline day?

It's quite possible that your club's top players were tapped up on deadline day. A YouGov poll conducted on behalf of a top law firm suggests that 'tapping up' or making illegal approaches to players is rife in the game.

Mishcon de Reya's Kick Off Review surveyed board members from 20 clubs across England's four professional divisions and found that only 15 per cent of clubs questioned believed that their players had not been approached illegally.

Speaking on dailymail.­co.­uk, Mischon de Reya's partner and sports law expert, Adam Morallee said: "Tapping up goes on all the time, pretty much with every transfer it happens. Managers moan about it from time to time but we need to get real and abolish the regulations for older players.

"The real problem is not the Wayne Rooneys of this world but the younger players who are brought through by a smaller club and then get poached."

The Kick Off Review has come up with a list of recommendations in the face of these latest findings including:

1. Abolishing the regulations for players over the age of 23 – this brings football into line with the rest of the business world where top employees are approached by head-hunters. Clubs can rely on the civil law if they believe a breach of contract has been procured.

2. Focusing resources on addressing the real wrong – clubs investing in youth and then having the player poached following years of nurturing. Where a complaint is made about the transfer of any player under the age of 23, the FA should establish a dedicated investigative unit which has the power to call evidence and cross examine witnesses to determine whether tapping up has taken place.

3. Formulating appropriate punishment – Where tapping up of a player under 23 is shown, clubs should pay proper compensation equal to the actual loss suffered, together with other appropriate sanctions which would genuinely affect a "big" club – such as a points deduction.

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