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Archived News from March 2009

POINTS DEDUCTION:SUPPORTERS TRUSTS WRITE TO THE FA
30th March 2009 0:11


Media coverage: Nottingham Evening Post, Mansfield CHAD, Bognor Regis Observer.

24 March 2009
Supporters Trusts write to the FA

A letter has been sent on Tuesday to Lord Triesman, Chairman of the Football Association, asking that the FA take action to encourage/instruct the Football Conference to complete and announce the results of its Review immediately.

The letter was written by Trevor Lambert on behalf of OxVox, Martin Shaw on behalf of Stags Fans United, and Ian Guppy on behalf of the Bognor Regis Town Supporters Club.

Oxford, Mansfield and Bognor are 3 clubs who have fallen foul of the Conference registration system this season and suffered points deductions.

We hope that the letter produces an early response, that the FA takes active steps to resolve the confusion surrounding the Conference's administrative problems, and that the Review findings will be publicised well in advance of the end of the current season.

Some of the points covered in the letter are:

- the need for the Review findings to be made public
- the inadequacy of the Conference registration process
- unfair penalties
- lack of an open and transparent regulation process

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FA chief again urged to act in Stags' points deduction row
CHAD.co.uk, 25 March 2009, By Tim Morriss
MANSFIELD Town's supporters trust - Stags Fans United - is one of three groups again urging the Football Association to step into the Conference points deduction row.
http://www.chad.co.uk/stags/FA-chief-again-urged-to.5109756.jp

Three clubs in the Blue Square Premier and one in Blue Square South have seen various amounts of points snatched away this season for breaches of player registrations.

But even though the Conference changed its procedures for checking players' registrations and held a recent internal inquiry, it is not promising to make the results public - as first pledged.

Now Stags Fans United (Mansfield Town Supporters Trust), OxVox (Oxford United Supporters Trust) and Bognor Regis Town Supporters Club have called - for a second time - for Lord Triesman to intervene.

In a new letter to the FA chief they say the points penalties - the Stags were deducted four - were 'unfair and disproportionate and that the process was not open and transparent'.

In extracts from the letter, the fans' groups say: "The unfairness arises because the lack of a full, weekly, registration check applying to each and every player in each squad, enabled player non-registration to be discovered only by chance many weeks after it occurred. This resulted in the penalties varying for each club, for what was essentially the same offence.

"The disproportionate nature of the penalties is clear and self-evident: entering administration attracts a ten point penalty whereas not registering a player potentially has unlimited numbers of points as the penalty.

"Please take a view and act. As the highest regulatory authority in English football, the FA must in our view rule on the competence of the current Conference Board to manage these matters."

The Stags were deducted four points in October - sparking a slide from top of the table to the relegation zone - after it emerged that several players were not properly registered for the first two matches of the season, when they gained four points.

The Conference never received faxed details from the Stags and failed to spot the discrepancy when the players featured in the 16 for the pening match of the season at Ebbsfleet - so the Stags again fielded some of the players in the 16 at home to Histon on the following Tuesday.

Recently Conference chairman Brian Lee told the protesting supporters groups that their use of the word fiasco 'does not help' and added that the 'internal review results will be kept in house and remain private, but a statement will be made at the appropriate time'.

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Stags group writes to FA over points docking
Nottingham Evening Post, March 25, 2009

STAGS Fans United and other supporters groups have written to the FA calling for them to look into the 'confused' way the Football Conference has issued points penalties this season.
http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/football/Stags-group-writes-FA-points-docking/article-843506-detail/article.html
Mansfield Town are one of four clubs – Oxford United, Crawley Town and Bognor Regis Town are the others – to have been docked points for failing to register players correctly.
A letter from supporters of three of the four – Stags Fans United, OxVox and Bognor Regis Supporters' Club – has already been sent to Conference chairman Brian Lee.
But after receiving an unconvincing reply, they have taken their concerns to Soho Square and the game's national authority.
The supporters are worried the Conference may not make public their findings of a recent review into the points deductions – and are urging the FA to ensure they are.
The letter submits that the points penalties were disproportionate from club to club – Oxford were deducted five points while Crawley, on appeal just one – for similar offences.
They argue that the process should be clarified and made transparent in future seasons.
And they have also urged all offending clubs should have their points returned.
Written by OxVox chairman Trevor Lambert and Stags Fans United's Martin Shaw, the letter says: "We as supporters and supporters' organisations are convinced that the review findings must be made public immediately in order to restore public confidence in the Football Conference as a fair competition.
"Clubs surely accept that if rules have been broken there will be a penalty to be paid, but they have a right to expect fair treatment and an open and transparent system.
"We submit that the penalties imposed in these cases were unfair and disproportionate and that the process was not open and transparent.
"The unfairness arises because the lack of a full, weekly, registration check applying to each and every player in each squad, enabled player non-registration to be discovered only by chance many weeks after it occurred.
"This resulted in the penalties varying for each club, for what was essentially the same offence.
"Please take a view and act. The end of the season is approaching fast and we do not want to hear talk of further reviews, which will simply have the effect of kicking the matter into the long grass.
"We remain convinced that a restoration of the points deducted, and a clear review statement describing the changes for next season, which will avoid a recurrence, would restore full confidence in the Conference and its Board.
"We hold no animosity towards any individual involved. They do not have an easy job and we appreciate some of the problems.
"But supporters and clubs deserve better. This may appear a small matter in the wider context of English football but the Conference leagues and their administration, the clubs, and their players and supporters are important aspects of the national game.
"As the highest regulatory authority in English football, the FA must in our view rule on the competence of the current Conference Board to manage these matters."

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FA asked to intervene in Rocks points row
http://www.bognor.co.uk/bognor-sport/FA-asked-to-intervene-in.5109162.jp
25 March 2009
ROCKS fans are taking the fight to the very top to win back the seven points the club had deducted by the Conference.
They have joined forces with supporters of Oxford and Mansfield in writing to FA chairman Lord Triesman to demand bosses intervene in the long-running saga over punishments given out over unregistered players.

Bognor were docked seven points in January for playing defender Sam Pearce when he had not been registered.

The club accepted it was their responsibility to make sure he was registered initially, but argued the league should have picked up the lack of the relevant paperwork as soon as Pearce made his debut three weeks into the season.

Instead, it took Conference officials until the middle of November to notice the error – and they took away all the points the Rocks had gained while Pearce was playing while ineligible.

Fans have been angered by the fact the Conference were relying on spot-checks to ensure players were registered – and by the league's refusal to answer questions about it since.

Now a group called Roxvox have been set up for Bognor fans to throw their weight behind the joint effort to get clubs' points back.

To add your voice to the campaign and find out the latest, click here

If the Rocks were to get their seven points reinstated, it would add new impetus to their efforts to stay in Conference South.

Fan Ian Guppy, who is helping to spearhead the campaign, said in a letter to Conference chairman Brian Lee the league had changed their registration system without telling clubs and should now accept they were in the wrong.

He said: "Teams who have worked hard all season in very tough economic circumstances have had their season decided by falling foul of a poorly-constructed checking system. This is incompetence on your part."

Mr Lee has declined to speak to the media about the saga but said in a letter to the other clubs' fans' groups that calling the episode a 'fiasco' was 'unhelpful'.

And he added that he agreed with fans that 'points should be gained by playing the game on the field and not lost in the committee room'.

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http://www.rivals.net/news/pgarticle.aspx?artid=13770_5108119&id=51

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Earlier stories:
PERRY: POINTS DEDUCTION STILL RANKLES
YOU STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!
Other earlier stories here.
Chris Bird on BBC Non-League Show here.
YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

 

Latest | March 2009