Tottenham are at risk of a points deduction amid an investigation into alleged breaches of agent rules.

The London side are the latest Premier League club to be put under the microscope following Everton's 10 point deduction for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations, and amid ongoing investigations into Manchester City's and Chelsea's finances. According to The Times, Tottenham committed serious breaches of FA rules while selling Jermain Defoe to Portsmouth in 2008.

It's understood that Defoe, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and Harry Redknapp, who was Portsmouth manager at the time, all dealt with an unlicensed agent during negotiations. It has also emerged that the FA were aware of the rule breach but did nothing about it, despite the fact Luton Town were docked 10 points that same year for breaking similar rules.

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The unlicensed agent involved in the Defoe deal was former West Ham and Tottenham player Mitchell Thomas, who was even named by the FA on a list of agents who had been operating in football without a licence in 2008. It was also heard that Levy hired Stuart Peters, an agent who was licensed, to act for Tottenham but that a representation contract - required under FA rules - was not in place at the time of the deal.

Tottenham declined to comment when contacted by the Daily Star.

Breaching agent rules can lead to punishments ranging from a transfer ban to a points deduction and even relegation to a lower division. Failure to comply with the regulations, according to independent experts, should be regarded as an extremely serious matter, potentially leading to heavy sanctions.

What punishment should Tottenham receive if they're found guilty? Let us know in the comments section below.

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe's move from Tottenham to Portsmouth in January 2008 is under review following accusations of agent rule breaches
Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp, who was Portsmouth manager at the time, was present at the meeting along with Jermain Defoe and Daniel Levy

The FA have now confirmed they're prepared to review the case and potentially dish out retrospective punishment if Spurs are found guilty. It comes with Man City and Chelsea nervously waiting for reviews of their financial past to conclude.

In February, City were charged with 115 separate violations of FFP rules following a four-year investigation. The Manchester club has continually pleaded its innocence and insists it has "irrefutable evidence" that it has not fallen foul of regulations, though experts say relegation is a very real threat if the charges stand.

Defoe playing for Portsmouth in 2008
Defoe playing for Portsmouth in 2008

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Chelsea, meanwhile, are under the spotlight after leaked documents revealed a series of payments worth tens of millions of pounds made over a decade, routed through offshore vehicle belonging to former owner Roman Abramovich.

Defoe, 41, had two spells at Tottenham. He joined the club from West Ham in 2003, and scored 64 goals in 176 games before leaving for Portsmouth mid-way through the 2007/08 season. He returned to Spurs a year later, however, weeks after Redknapp made the same move.

Defoe and Redknapp
Redknapp brought Defoe back to Tottenham in 2009

He spent a further five years at the club, racking up another 186 appearances and scoring a further 79 goals before leaving for Toronto FC in 2014. The striker later had spells with Sunderland, Bournemouth and Rangers before hanging up his boots in 2022.

Players found guilty of breaching FA agent rules are liable to be banned from the game for a period. However, as Defoe is no longer a player, it's likely he'll be fined if found guilty.