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 By PA Sport

Wolverhampton Wanderers cleared over ties to agent Mendes

Ruben Neves celebrates after scoring a goal for Wolves in a 1-0 Championship defeat of Cardiff City.
Wolves will play in the Premier League next season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have been given the blessing of the English Football League to continue their relationship with high-profile agent Jorge Mendes.

A number of Wolves' Championship rivals, with Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani at the forefront, expressed concern at the influence of Mendes at Molineux.

The "super agent" has no official title at Wolves but has a number of clients at the club, including boss Nuno Espirito Santo, £15 million midfielder Ruben Neves, attacker Diogo Jota, who is on loan from Atletico Madrid, and £7m winger Ivan Cavaleiro.

It led to worries Wolves were circumventing Financial Fair Play rules by not paying players the going rate but an EFL investigation has concluded the club have no case to answer.

"The EFL has met with Wolverhampton Wanderers to ensure compliance with the requirements of its regulations," the EFL said. "At that meeting, a request for information was made by the EFL and following a comprehensive review of the detail subsequently provided by the club, it has been determined that Mr Mendes holds no role at the club and, as such should not be categorised as a 'relevant person' as defined by league regulations.

"On this basis there is no requirement for him to submit to the owners' and directors' test."

Wolves, who have clinched the Championship title, staunchly maintained their innocence throughout and welcomed the EFL's stance following its enquiries.

"After meeting with EFL representatives and providing further written detail, a comprehensive review has concluded with confirmation that the EFL is satisfied there has been no breach of its regulations," said the club in a statement. "We have always maintained our clarity on both FA and EFL regulations, which have been complied with explicitly since the change of ownership at the club in July 2016.

"We believe the release of these findings will bring to a conclusion any speculation surrounding the club's operation and extinguish any concerns held by other clubs."

Mendes advised Fosun on the takeover of Wolves in 2016, shortly after the Chinese conglomerate bought a stake in his agency.

Under Football Association rules, club owners are prohibited from holding an interest in agencies and agents are not allowed to have an influence on the running of a football club.

An FA spokesperson said: " The FA has strict regulations in place for all football activities involving intermediaries. We obtained confirmation from Wolves and all relevant parties, including Mr Mendes, regarding the sale of the club in 2016 and their ongoing compliance with the FA's regulations on working with intermediaries.

"The Premier League and the EFL primarily regulate matters of club ownership and will continue to do so through their owners' and directors' test."

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