FORMER England star Gareth Barry could still be hit with an FA rap over a secret deal to buy a stake in Swindon Town.
His agent Michael Standing was charged with breaking club-ownership rules on Wednesday – almost a year after a court heard how Barry stumped up £800,000 to buy into the Robins.
Standing claimed Barry lent him the money to land a half-share in the Wiltshire outfit, who are currently in League One.
But Swindon chairman Lee Power insisted at the High Court the money had come directly from Barry, whose tally of 653 Premier League appearances remains a record.
Barry may not yet be in the clear, with the FA still scrutinising court documents from the case last year.
And an FA source told SunSport: “The investigation remains ongoing.”
The hearing was told a further £6m had been pumped into Swindon after the apparently illicit deal, with Standing claiming to be owed a staggering £7.5m.
Former midfielder Standing, who joined Aston Villa on the same day as Barry in 1997, and his company First Touch Pro Management were charged with breaching intermediaries regulation E4, relating to owning/seeking to own Swindon Town.
Power and Swindon have been charged with FA rules E1.2 and E9 (agreement to breach rules/regs) in having an agreement for Standing and First Touch to have an interest in Swindon (contrary to intermediaries reg E4).
If the Independent Regulatory Commission finds the rules were breached then Standing and Power are facing bans and fines, while Swindon could be hit with a points deduction.
Barry, 40, who won 53 caps for England, and Standing both refused to hand over financial records to FA investigators, while Power let them see heavily redacted ones.
SunSport has also seen incredible claims made in court by former Norwich striker Power, 48, during his High Court battle with Standing last May.
A meeting was claimed to have been held at Barry’s house in March 2013.
Power insisted Barry knew full well he would be breaking FA rules.
The same applied to Standing, as he was a football agent, with both sure to fail the “fit-and-proper test”.
So they came up with an oral deal with the idea Power “would sell his shares in the club in around five years after he hoped to have turned around its fortunes and would share the profits arising from any increase in the value of Swindon with Barry, in exchange for Barry providing funds”.
Losses at the club would be funded 50-50 by Barry and Power and the pair would share equally any profits on player sales.
Power also claimed Barry insisted on going to great lengths to keep his involvement secret.
Court documents claimed: “As part of his determination to keep it confidential, not only did Barry say he wished to provide the funding through corporate vehicles, but because they were associated with him he did not want the funding to be provided directly to the club.
“Instead they requested the defendant [Power] provide the banking details for his personal account and the account of a company owned by him, Power Bloodstock Ltd, into which the funding payments could be made, and from which the defendant [Power] could transfer them to the club.”
Barry also asked for Power to use Standing as a middleman so there was no ‘direct contact between Gareth Barry and the defendant concerning the club’.
Standing and Power are still locked in a legal dispute, with the agent battling to block any sale of Swindon without his consent.
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