Writer: Abe Hawken
Date:Thursday April 23 2009
Southampton Football Club have been relegated to League 1 following the Football League's decision to deduct the club 10 points.
Southampton's parent company entered administration at the end of April, and the question of a points penalty was disputed.
Administrators from Begbies Traynor were appointed and believed that the club could avoid the points deduction as the parent club, Southampton Leisure Holdings was a separate organisation to the football club.
Despite this belief, the Football League today has issued Southampton with a ten point penalty.
The rules state that if the Saints do beat the drop they will be deducted the ten points this season; and if they remain in the bottom three, they will start next season on -10.
Either way relegation to League 1 is inevitable.
However, joint administrator Mark Fry believes that the club has been harshly dealt with:
The football club was not even aware that the investigation had been concluded,' he told the BBC.
'We remain very firmly of the view that the rules do not apply, and that the Football League has stretched the rules to meet the circumstances. The football club is not in administration.
'The Football League is a members' organisation, and with any such body of that nature, you run the risk that if there is any grey area, they can interpret the rules as they see fit.
'I think they've interpreted the rules to suit the conclusion they wanted to reach.
Former Southampton chairman and life-long supporter Leon Crouch has stated that his is willing to fight the case:
'It is expected that an appeal will be launched.'
Date:Thursday April 23 2009
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