Southhampton to take action

2009-04-24 18:57

London - Southampton is set to appeal against the 10-point deduction that has guaranteed its relegation at the end of the League Championship season.

Clubs in the English Football League face the automatic sanction if clubs go into administration because of financial problems, but the Saints contend that they should not be punished because it was the club's holding company that is troubled.

"The administrators are of the opinion that an incorrect conclusion has been reached," the holding company, Southampton Leisure Holdings, said Friday. "The football regulations do not apply to the circumstances surrounding Southampton Football Club.

"This is a view shared by the lawyers and advisers to both the club and the administrators."

Southampton Leisure Holdings added that the club was only informed of the league's decision this week to impose the sanction five minutes before it was made public.

It also rejected the league's allegation that it had not cooperated with an investigation into its finances.

"A different scope of investigation was issued to the club and to the accountants instructed by the league, which resulted in questions being raised outside of the scope of the investigation," Southampton Leisure Holdings said. "Both the club and the administrator were unaware that the investigation had been concluded."

If the appeal does not go ahead or is unsuccessful, Southampton, which is next-to-last in the second tier of English football, will definitely be relegated even if it finishes outside the bottom three places.

If the team finishes the season in the relegation zone and drops to League One, the 10-point penalty will not be imposed by the Football League until next season.