PERRY: POINTS DEDUCTION STILL RANKLES
Stags chairman: Points deduction still rankles
Evening Post, March 18, 2009
ANDY Perry says Mansfield Town's four-point deduction by the Football Conference still rankles with him.
Full story at Evening Post website here
The Stags were hit with the penalty for fielding ineligible players in their first two games of the season.
But the league has since put in place measures which will help flag up any errors – namely checking the registration of any new players on every team sheet issued.
That frustrates chairman Perry who says Stags' penalty would have been less severe had the practice been in place from the start of the campaign.
His comments on the issue come after Crawley's penalty – for a similar but not identical offence – was reduced from four points to one on appeal.
Oxford are the third club to be affected, being deducted five points. Like Mansfield, they have chosen not to appeal.
"What still sticks in my throat has nothing to do with the Oxford and Crawley scenario," said Perry.
"It's to do with the Conference changing their way of working that would have benefited us had it been in place at the start of the season.
"Surely, the policy of checking all teams sheets, which I am now led to believe happens for every game, should have been the case at the start of the season?
"If that had been the case then our error would have been spotted after the first game and means we would have only had one point deducted.
"Because of the differences in operational procedures at various points of the season, surely all teams should be given their points back?
"If the Conference did that it wouldn't make them a bad league, even if this incident has highlighted some of the deficiencies."
Supporters group, Stags Fans United, along with their colleagues at Oxford United, OxVox, collected more than 5,000 signatures on a petition urging the Conference to give the two clubs their points back.
They feel the league were as much to blame as the clubs because of the outdated system of registering players by fax rather than using computer technology.
Perry praised their efforts saying: "I appreciate what the supporters are doing and I thank them for it.
"Next season we all want to be playing in a fair league and this can only help. I think it's in everyone's interests that the Conference publish their findings."
But Perry has no regrets about not appealing against Mansfield's punishment – despite Crawley's success in getting three points back.
He said: "Crawley were appealing for something different. We didn't get penalised for substitutions as they did. They rightly appealed for something that was wrong.
"Ours was a difference case and that is what we based our decision on when we decided not to appeal."
Latest | March 2009