OXFORD MAY FACE POINTS DEDUCTION
Oxford facing points punishment
07:05 GMT, Sunday, 11 January 2009
Oxford United could face a points deduction after being charged by the Football Conference for fielding an unregistered player.
BBC Oxford understands the charge relates to the registration of midfielder Eddie Hutchinson.
The club has issued a statement refuting the charge and a hearing is set for Monday in Birmingham.
Oxford chairman Kelvin Thomas said: "We are glad to have the chance to talk to the Conference at a personal hearing."
Even though Hutchinson, 26, has been an Oxford player for three years, clubs are obliged to re-register players at the start of every campaign.
United gained 11 points from matches in which he played before the problem came to light in November.
In October Mansfield had four points docked for a similar offence.
A points deduction would almost certainly mean the end of United's fading play-off hopes.
Oxford United statement
Posted on: Sun 11 Jan 2009
The Club can confirm that we have been charged with rule breaches by The Football Conference in relation to player registration. The Club have appointed football disciplinary experts, Football Factors Limited to conduct representation on our behalf.
The matter is due to be heard before a Football Conference Disciplinary Panel on Monday 12 January, 2008 and no further comment can be made by the club until after the hearing.
Chairman Kelvin Thomas said "We are refuting the charges and are glad to have the opportunity to talk to the Conference on Monday at the personal hearing. I will be representing the club along with Graham Bean of Football Factors, who is very experienced in these matters, and we will await any outcome and respond appropriately.
"The general feeling around the football club is positive at the moment and we are starting to see improvements on and off the pitch. The charges relate to an issue at the beginning of the season and we will be working to present our case in a professional and detailed manner. I will keep fans informed as quickly as possible when more information is available, however, as I am sure you can understand I cannot comment any further until after the hearing"
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