Rivals hit out at Saints for exploiting loophole
The row over whether Southampton FC should be docked points for their parent company entering administration has provoked an angry reaction from a number of their rivals.
The club could potentially avoid the normal 10-point deduction faced by teams going into administration, based on the fact that it is Southampton Leisure Holdings, the club's parent company, that has entered administration as opposed to the club itself.
A Football League spokesman told The Daily Echo, "The league rules are very specific, it has to be the club which goes into administration for points to be deducted."
However, while the news is a major boost for Southampton, their main relegation rival have hit out at the loophole which allows the club to escape the usual penalty for "bad management".
The club is currently sitting second-bottom in The Championship, two points below 17th placed Plymouth Argyle. Saints would leapfrog the Devon based club should they win their game in hand.
But if Southampton were deducted 10 points, then they would instantly slip to just two points ahead of bottom club Charlton Athletic, who already look consigned to League One football next season.
Such is the controversy surrounding the situation, it is understood that it will be discussed at the next Football League board meeting, scheduled for Tuesday.
Last night, Barnsley FC's general manager Don Rowling said he believes it is wrong that clubs can use a parent company to escape penalties when things go wrong.
"I think it would be wrong for any football club in the lower reaches of the division to look to survive through another club's demise from off the pitch activities.
"Obviously, if Southampton did go into administration and were docked points we would probably breathe a little easier, but I think it would be morally wrong for clubs to look to benefit from that.
"But I do also think it's wrong that a parent company can be set up to run a football club and do what they want to do, and push into administration as it suits them, through bad management.
"And we are talking about bad management. A lot of clubs have suffered from that because in football we often don't live in the real world.
"But they do have a responsibility to shareholders and the company, to the Football League and to other clubs to run it in a proper manner."