Manchester

Oldham Athletic's bogus scout warning

A football club has warned would-be players to beware of an international scam involving bogus scouts.

Oldham Athletic says it has heard of 12 cases where youngsters from the US and Australia are contacted by men claiming to offer trials for the club.

The players are told the club will pay for flights and accommodation - but they must hand over cash for insurance and other costs.

Oldham Athletic said one family had paid $6,000 to a fake scout.

Alan Hardy, the chief executive of the League One club, said he thought the fake scouts were contacting young players after seeing their profiles on websites.

'Unscrupulous people'

They use a name of a licensed agent on the Fifa approved list, he added.

Mr Hardy said: "I'm disappointed there are unscrupulous people around that will take advantage of a young boy's dream of playing football for a professional club.

"I can only advise anyone who gets an offer to check it out directly with the club first."

He added: "It's been going on for about 18 months but it seems to be getting more regular now, with more people trying it on."

He said he believed other clubs had also been targeted by the bogus scouts.

Mr Hardy said the club generally only recruits from the UK and Ireland.

If players from the EU or beyond request a trial they are asked to pay for their own travel and accommodation and are reimbursed if they are taken on.

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