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Crisis clubs face new penalties

PUBLISHED: 20:00 23 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

FOOTBALL League chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney is to recommend tomorrow that clubs should be penalised for going into administration.

Sir Brian will suggest at the meeting of the 72 Nationwide League clubs that the penalties could range from points deduction to relegation – even elimination from the Football League.

FOOTBALL League chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney is to recommend tomorrow that clubs should be penalised for going into administration.

Sir Brian will suggest at the meeting of the 72 Nationwide League clubs that the penalties could range from points deduction to relegation – even elimination from the Football League.

His suggestions coincide with strong comments made over the weekend by a prominent club boss who pulled no punches when talking about clubs who go in to administration.

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock said "people have used the situation for their own reasons and manipulated it. It's not a level playing field any more"

Mr Warnock said Leicester had behaved in an "immoral" fashion for spending much of this season in administration.

He added: "I have to say that having gone into administration I find it quite immoral that they have been allowed to do what they have done off the field.

"It leaves a bitter taste and I am sure it will be a catalyst for rule change within both the Premier and Nationwide leagues.

"Otherwise, everyone with huge debts will do exactly the same and it leaves clubs like ourselves – who run a tight financial ship – at a huge disadvantage."

The administration situation of Ipswich Town was mentioned also and Mr Warnock said he looked at all clubs taking this route as a bit of an easy option.

Clubs in Leicester's position – being a step ahead of Town and just coming out of its administration period – should be docked points or relegated, he added.

"It's a laugh that they went in to administration and they've come out of it with the same squad of players and wage bill, even though they had offers for players like Muzzy Izzet.

"It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It's a ridiculous situation and I hope it's sorted out sooner rather than later," he added.

Ipswich Town chairman, David Sheepshanks said he was concerned over the proposals to penalise clubs who had gone into administration but accepted rules need to be introduced to close loopholes.

He is angry, however at Ipswich being lumped in with criticism of Leicester.

"I believe every club should be under an obligation to do their very best for their creditors.

"I know we have done our very best for everyone. Clubs have not only a legal obligation but a moral obligation to their creditors. We have tried to do it right," he said.

Ipswich Town Football Club has been in administration since February 10 with debts now reported to be £54 million.

A creditors' meeting is scheduled for Friday May 2 at Portman Road which should see Town's debt wiped and unsecured creditors getting 5p in the pound.

nDo you think Ipswich Town should be docked points, relegated, or thrown out of the league for going into administration? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.


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