Football has a million and one stories and just as many facts and figures. Here are a few of them - the record-breaking, unusual and bizarre. 

More Did You Knows...  
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2021/22 Reading Champ Results

6 points deducted for breaching financial rules.

Shortly after Derby received their 9 point penalty (see below) it was the turn of Reading to found guilty of breaching EFL financial rules. Because of overspending the Championship club had been under a transfer embargo since the summer but with the EFL stating that the club had lost £57.8 million between 2017 and 2021 - the maximum loss in that period should have been £39m - it was a points deduction this time. Six points were immediately deducted from their points total - leaving them just above the relegation zone - with another six point deduction hanging over them until the end of 2022/23 if they failed to comply with an agreed business plan. They finished the season four points and one place above a relegation position.


2021/22 Derby County Champ Results

12 points deducted for entering administration and a 9 point deduction for breaching financial rules.

It came as no shock when financially troubled Derby County finally called in the administrators on September 22nd 2021 which resulted in an immediate 12 point penalty. Club owner Mel Morris said that owning the club had cost him personally over £200 million with the coronavirus pandemic costing the club itself over £20 million. The deduction took the Rams to the foot of the table and they also faced the possibility of another 9 point deduction for breaching financial rules relating to the valuation of their Pride Park ground. Sadly for the Rams that further 9 point penalty was imposed in November 2021 and at the same time the hoped-for appeal against the earlier 12 point penalty was dismissed. That left Derby on -3 points in the Championship table with relegation looking a certainty and indeed that is what happened with the Rams finishing the campaign just one place above the bottom spot.

2020/21 Sheffield Wednesday Champ Results Table

6 points deducted for breach of financial fair play rules.

On July 31st 2020 it was announced that Sheffield Wednesday had been docked 12 points - later reduced on appeal to 6 points - for a breach of profitability and financial sustainability rules. Under those rules Championship clubs were not allowed to post losses of over £39m over a three year period. Wednesday had posted losses of £9.8m, £20.8m and would have had a loss of £35.8m for the third year had they not included the profit from the sale of their Hillsborough ground which turned the substantial loss into a £2.5m profit. But there were problems which brought Wednesday to the disciplinary panel  - the ground was sold to the owner of the club and hadn't been sold in the period for which the profit was declared. Them's the facts which saw Sheffield Wednesday suffer the 12 point penalty but those points weren't to be taken off Wednesday's 2019/20 points total but carried forward to the 2020/21 season. There was a great debate in the press and amongst fans about the injustice of that decision. The 2019/20 season had only finished a little over a week before the punishment was handed out, the original charge had been made in November 2019 while the overspending which Sheffield Wednesday had been guilty of - and which they had unfairly benefited from with regards to paying higher wages etc - had taken place over the previous 3 years. Had the punishment been applied in 2019/20 with the original 12 point penalty Sheffield Wednesday would have been relegated from the Championship while Charlton would have been saved from the drop. OK, seeing clubs relegated because of a breach of rules is a tad sad but looking back at the other points deductions since the start of 2019/20 - which saw Bolton relegated, Wigan relegated, Bury losing their League place and Macclesfield being relegated from the League - Sheffield Wednesday's punishment seemed to be lacking the same level of justice!

2019/20 Wigan Athletic Champ Results Table

12 points deducted for entering administration.

Not anyone can own a Premier League or EFL club with the football authorities having a 'fit and proper' test to see if potential owners are worthy of that particular honour. Sadly that test doesn't always seem to work. At the start of the 2019/20 season Wigan Athletic were owned by a company based in Hong Kong, the International Entertainment Corporation. On June 4th 2020 a change of ownership was completed with the new owners being Next Leader Fund who were also based in Hong Kong but registered in the Caymen Islands. Less than a month later, on 1st July 2020, Wigan became the first league side to be put into administration after the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The standard 12 point penalty was applied which saw the Latics drop into the bottom three of the Championship and suffer relegation. Their was much speculation in the press - and amongst fans! - as to why anyone would buy a club and then see them enter administration less than a month later. 'Shadowy' was a much used description of the owners and there was even speculation that the adminstrators were called in to see Wigan lose 12 points as there had been some hefty bets made in the Far East on Wigan being relegated. Whatever the truth, the overwhelming conclusion was the footballing authorities need to be a little more thorough in vetting potential new owners of our football clubs.

2019/20 Macclesfield Town League 2 Results Table

17 points deducted for various breaches of rules.

Following on from Bolton and Bury sadly Macclesfield Town became the third club from the north-west to suffer serious financial problems in 2019/20. Continuing problems with paying staff on time - both players and non-playing staff - saw the first team go on strike for their FA Cup tie with Kingstonian on November 10th 2019. Macclesfield fielded a team of youth players and loanees - and lost 4-0. Worse was to follow though on December 7th when their League 2 match against Crewe was postponed because of another players strike while a fortnight later their next home match v Plymouth was called off when their Local Safety Group banned any spectators from attending the match because of the lack of crowd safety staff. Macclesfield were docked 11 points for the two postponements and then in June another 2 points were lost as a result of not paying staff in March with a further four point penalty being suspended. The 13 points they lost almost saw them loose their place in the League - they finished just one point and one place above relegated Stevenage. Or so they thought! On August 11th 2020 an appeals tribunal declared that the four point suspended penalty from June should in fact be applied to the 2019/20 season which saw Stevenage reprieved from relegation with Macclesfield being relegated. Full details.

2019/20 Bolton Wanderers League 1 Results Table

12 points deducted for entering administration.

The 2018/19 season had been a diabolical one for Bolton Wanderers. Heavily in debt - including an unpaid £1.2 million bill from the taxman - and not paying the staff wages a food bank for staff was set up at the ground and the players went on strike forcing the postponement of their match against Brentford scheduled for April 27th 2019 (that match was never played - see postponements). And they were relegated! Shortly after that relegation was confirmed the club went into administration resulting in Bolton starting the 2019/20 season with minus 12 points to their name in the League 1 table.

2019/20 Bury League 1 Fixture List

12 points deducted for arranging a CVA with creditors, followed by expulsion from the League.

Unlike their near neighbours Bolton (see above) Bury had a successful season on the pitch in 2018/19 gaining promotion to League 1 after finishing in second spot in League 2. Off the pitch, however, their finances were in a terrible state with the PFA having to pay the players' wages in March and April and fans donating shopping vouchers to the unpaid staff. Although Bury didn't go into administration they agreed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with their creditors which the Football League deemed to be an 'insolvency event' and so they started the 2019/20 season with minus 12 points to their name. Sadly worse was to follow. The League required Bury to provide them with proof that the club could pay their creditors and be viable financially during the new season. This they couldn't do to the League's satisfaction and so Bury had their first six League and Cup matches 'suspended' (postponed) before their membership of the Football League was suspended on 27th August 2019.

2018/19 Birmingham City Champ Results Table

9 points deducted for a breach of financial rules.


In March 2019 Birmingham City
became the first club to fall foul of the profitability and sustainability rules introduced by the Football League at the start of the 2016/17 season. They suffered a nine point deduction as a result. The rules stated that over any three year period no club should lose more than £39 million. Birmingham almost managed to do that in one year when they announced a loss of £37.5m for the year to the end of June 2018 but added to the loses of the previous two years the total loss was a rule-breaking - and eye-watering - £48.8m. Much of the blame was aimed at managers Gianfranco Zola and Harry Redknapp. Although they were only at St Andrews for nine months in total in 2016 and 2017 they managed to spend over £31m in transfer fees for new players, Added to that came the considerable extra cost of paying those new players and then the costs involved in sacking both managers! 

2018/19 Brentford Champ Results Table
3 points added when fixture v Bolton went unplayed.

Bolton had a terrible 2018/19 season dominated by financial problems and relegation. Unpaid wages saw the Bolton players take strike action which resulted in their home Championship match against Brentford on Saturday April 27th 2019 being postponed. The fixture was re-arranged for Tuesday May 7th but with that being after the scheduled end of the season and with the Bolton security staff threatening their own strike action the Football League cancelled the meeting and awarded the three points to Brentford with a nominal 1-0 victory. It was only the second time in the history of the League that the season had finished with an unplayed match - the previous case being the Division 4 fixture between Scunthorpe and Exeter in 1973/74. Full Story of both unplayed matches.

2014/15 Rotherham United Champ Results Table

3 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player.


Rotherham United suffered a points
deduction for the fourth time after the Football League found them guilty of fielding an ineligible player. The club played defender Farrend Rawson for the whole 90 minutes of their 1-0 home Championship victory over Brighton on April 6th 1995 despite his 28 day loan period from Derby having ended the day before. They also suffered a £30,000 fine, half of which was suspended.

2013/14 Coventry City League 1 Results Table

10 points deducted after failing to reach an agreement to emerge from administration with a Company Voluntary Agreement.

Coventry's problems continued.
The bad news was after being docked 10 points in 2012/13 for entering administration they started the new season with another 10 point deduction when they couldn't agree a CVA with their creditors and went into liquidation. The good news was that the Football League permitted a transfer of club ownership which allowed them to continue as a League club and that it was only a 10 point deduction - it could have been more. The really bad news was that the creditor they had the biggest problem with - Arena Coventry Limited - was the owner of their Ricoh Arena home and the fall-out with them saw Coventry City having to relocate to Northampton, 35 miles away. Their first League 'home' match at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium - against Bristol City on Sunday August 11th 2013 - attracted an attendance of just 2204.

2013/14 AFC Wimbledon League 2 Results Table

3 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player.


Jake Nicholson came on a sub
for the start of the second half for AFC Wimbledon's home game with Cheltenham Town on Saturday 22nd March 2014 and scored a goal in the 4-3 victory. Nicholson had joined Wimbledon from Morton on a renewable monthly contract and his first month ended on March 19th. Unfortunately a bout of illness at the club meant that officials overlooked extending the contract on March 20th and so when he played two days later he was unregistered and so ineligible to play.

2012/13 Coventry City League 1 Results Table
    10 points deducted after entering administration
2012/13 Portsmouth League 1 Results Table

10 points deducted after leaving administration with a Company Voluntary Arrangement not fully compliant with the Football League's insolvency policy.


So Portsmouth's misery was complete. In 2010 they played in the FA Cup Final as a Premier League side and in 2013 they will be in League 2 thanks to a three point deduction and three relegations in four seasons.

2012/13 Aldershot Town League 2 Results Table

10 points deducted after entering administration


Just days after Aldershot Town had played their last match of the 2012/13 season, a 2-0 defeat at Rotherham United which saw them finish bottom of the League 2 table and so relegated from the Football League, the club went into administration. They suffered the standard points deduction but those 10 points were taken off their points total at the start of the 2013/14 season when they kicked off in the Conference.

2011/12 Portsmouth Champ Results Table
    10 points deducted after entering administration
2011/12 Port Vale League 2 Results Table
    10 points deducted after entering administration
2010/11 Plymouth Argyle League 1 Results Table
    10 points deducted after entering administration
2010/11 Hereford United League 2 Results Table
  3 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player
2010/11 Torquay United League 2 Results Table
    1 point deducted for fielding an ineligible player

When Torquay met Hereford in a League 2 match on Tuesday 1st February 2011 points were vital for both clubs but the end result was minus one point from the match. The visitors won 3-1 but both clubs fielded ineligible players - Jake Robinson for Torquay and Rob Purdie for Hereford. Both played for the full 90 minutes - Robinson scored for Torquay - but although both players had signed for their clubs the previous day - transfer deadline day - neither signing had been registered with the Football League by the midnight deadline. Hereford were docked the 3 points they had won and Torquay had one point deducted.

2009/10 Portsmouth Premier Results Table
    9 points deducted after entering administration
(the first Premier Leaguer side to suffer this penalty)
2009/10 Crystal Palace Champ Results Table
    10 points deducted after entering administration

With Palace reputedly £30 million in debt and finding it difficult to pay players' wages the Londoners entered administration in January 2010, followed swiftly by a 10 point penalty. That saw them sink from the edge of the play-off area to the edge of the Championship relegation area but administration also has another damaging consequence - players need to be sold to raise cash. Of course the best players raise the most cash and so Victor Moses made an immediate move to Wigan for £2.5 million. As a consequence of the problems only an away draw at Sheffield Wednesday on the last day of the season saved them from relegation (although the draw saw Wednesday relegated).

2009/10 Hartlepool United League 1 Results Table
    3 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player

Hartlepool had three points deducted for fielding an ineligible player. Gary Liddle played for them in their 2-0 home victory over Brighton on 5th April 2010 when he should have been sitting out the first of a two-match suspension after picking up his 10th booking of the season in United's previous game. Hartlepool lost the three points earned against Brighton and also suffered a suspended fine of £10,000.

2009/10 Southampton League 1 Results Table
    10 points deducted after entering administration

Although Southampton's holding company, Southampton Leisure Holdings plc, went into administration in April 2009 Southampton FC argued that it shouldn't have received a points penalty as the football club itself wasn't in administration. The argument failed as the Football League considered the football club and its holding company were 'inextricably linked as one economic entity'. So the Saints received a 10 points penalty at the end of the 2008/09 season but as they were relegated from the Championship without that punishment the deduction was carried forward a season and Southampton started 2009/10 on minus 10 points. But for that deduction they would have been promoted from League 1 in 2009/10.

2008/09 Stockport County League 1 Results Table
    10 points deducted after entering administration
2008/09 Darlington League 2 Results Table
10 points deducted after entering administration
2008/09 Bournemouth League 2 Results Table
    17 points deducted for breach of insolvency rules
2008/09 Luton Town League 2 Results Table
    30 points deducted for breach of insolvency rules and misconduct
2008/09 Rotherham United League 2 Results Table
    17 points deducted for breach of insolvency rules

Bournemouth, Luton and Rotherham were found guilty of breaching the Football League's insolvency policy by failing to exit administration with a Company Voluntary Agreement - CVA. Bournemouth and Rotherham each had 17 points docked and Luton lost 20 points (the differing punishments taking account of each clubs' past financial misdemeanours). Luton had 10 another points deducted after being found guilty by the Football Association of 15 charges of misconduct concerning payments to agents by irregular means. With all three clubs suffering the deductions at the start of the season it gave an unusual look to the early-season table, the bottom of the League 2 table after a couple of matches being shown above.

2007/08 Bournemouth League 1 Results Table
10 points deducted after entering administration
2007/08 Leeds United League 1 Results Table
15 points deducted for breach of financial rules

After suffering a 10 point deduction in 2006/07 for entering administration Leeds started the 2007/08 season with a 15 point penalty for leaving administration without a Company Voluntary Agreement. A CVA  is an agreement an insolvent company has with its creditors about what will be repaid and when. A CVA is a  Football League requirement for a club exiting insolvency and without it Leeds became the first club to suffer the penalty of a 15 point deduction.

2007/08 Luton Town League 1 Results Table
10 points deducted after entering administration
2007/08 Rotherham United League 2 Results Table
10 points deducted after entering administration
2006/07 Leeds United Champ Results Table
10 points deducted after entering administration

Just 6 seasons after they were Champions League semi-finalists!
2006/07 Rotherham United League 1 Results Table
10 points deducted after entering administration
2006/07 Boston United League 2 Results Table
10 points deducted after entering administration

At the end of the season a loophole in the administration rules which saw clubs manipulate the timing of entering administration was closed. Leeds went into administration just before their final match of the season when they were doomed to relegation. Boston United were even more blatant. Going into their last match they still had a chance to avoid relegation from the Football League but when defeat at Wrexham looked inevitable they went into administration before the final whistle went.  With both clubs going down anyway the 10-point penalty for going into administration was no real punishment - but if they had waited to go into admin after the season finished the points deduction would have applied at the start of the following season, a far greater punishment. At their AGM the 72 Football League Chairman voted unanimously to change the rules. From then on any club going into administration after the fourth Thursday in March had the ten point deduction suspended until it was known whether the punishment would have a 'material effect'. If a club was outside the relegation area before the points deduction was made then the 10 point penalty would be made during that season (and they might suffer a forced relegation). If they were going down anyway the points deduction would apply at the start of the following season.

2004/05 Wrexham League 1 Results Table
10 points deducted after entering administration

For the start of the 2004/05 season both the Premier League and Football League passed new rules for clubs entering administration after suffering financial problems. Apart from showing poor financial control entering administration was seen as a way of manipulating insolvency rules by shredding debt and then carrying on borrowing on the same scale as before. Some 33 clubs over the previous 20 or so seasons had entered administration but from  now on those doing it would suffer a footballing penalty - a 10-point deduction for Football League clubs and 9 points for Premier League clubs (they play fewer matches). In December 2004 Wrexham entered administration with debts of about £2.5million and so became the first club to suffer such a penalty, being relegated as a result.

2004/05 Cambridge United League 2 Results Table
10 points deducted after entering administration
2002/03 Boston United Division 3 Results Table
4 points deducted for financial irregularities

Boston United's pleasure in playing their first season in the Football League was diminished a tad by starting the campaign with minus four points to their name. While in the Conference the Lincolnshire club, their manager Steve Evans and former chairman Pat Malkinson faced a total of 16 FA charges relating to financial irregularities. The club were found guilty of the six charges they faced, relating to irregularities in the contracts with players Paul Bastock, Ken Charlery, Jim Dick, Paul Wilson, Simon Weatherstone and Mike Marsh. Contract details given to the FA bore no relation to what the club were paying the players - for example the contract with former Liverpool and West Ham player Marsh stated a salary of £100 a week when he actually received £1000 a week. Boston were fined £100,000 and docked four points from the start of the new season. While the club unsuccessfully appealed against the severity of the sentence many thought Boston got away lightly believing as the offences occurred when they were a Conference side the punishment should be as a Conference side. Most vocal were Conference runners-up Dagenham & Redbridge - had Boston had the four points deducted in their championship-winning Conference season Dagenham would have been champions and promoted to the Football League and Boston would have finished second.

2000/01 Chesterfield Division 3 Results Table
9 points deducted for financial irregularities

A Guardian reporter summed up Darren Brown's ownership of Chesterfield thus - he 'emptied the club of cash and drove it to the edge of ruin in a few hair-raising months'. Chesterfield's dodgy finances came to the attention of the FA and Football League who looked into every aspect of the clubs' finances although they were found guilty of only two. These related to irregularities in the transfer of Luke Beckett from Chester to Chesterfield (Chester hadn't been paid!) and the under-reporting of gate receipts. Although there was a move to expel Chesterfield from the Football League in the end it was a 9 point deduction. Chesterfield were still promoted, Darren Brown later ended up in prison, and the Football League introduced a 'fit and proper' person test for club owners.

1997/98 Leyton Orient Division 3 Results Table
3 points deducted for the fielding suspended players

Club secretary David Burton failed to keep up with details of players who had been booked resulting in three players - Mark Warren, Simon Clark and Stuart Hicks - playing in matches when they should have been suspended. The O's received a £20,000 FA fine (£12,500 of it suspended) but were then hit with a 3 point deduction from the Football League. Burton accepted full responsibility and resigned as club secretary.

1996/97 Middlesbrough Premier Results Table
3 points deducted for the unauthorised postponing of a match

Middlesbrough were due to play
at Blackburn in December but manager Bryan Robson claimed he was unable to field a competitive team as they had 23 players unavailable because of injury, illness or suspension. Middlesbrough postponed the match - but without the permission of the Premier League. As a result they were fined £50,000 and were docked three points, the loss of points seeing them relegated at the season's end. Full story - postponed matches.

1996/97 Brighton & Hove Albion Division 3 Results Table
2 points deducted for pitch invasions

When Brighton fans, protesting at the proposed move from their Goldstone ground home, invaded the pitch for the match against York City on Saturday April 27th 1996 they forced the abandonment of the match. The club suffered a suspended three point penalty. In 1996/97 Brighton fans again protested with a pitch invasion in the match against Lincoln City on Tuesday 1st October 1996 and were punished with losing two of the three points from that suspended sentence. It almost cost them a place in the Football League - full story.

1992/93 Maidstone United Division 3 Fixtures Table
Maidstone United resigned from the Football League

Just five moths after Aldershot resigned from the League financial problems forced Maidstone United to quit the competition as well. Their opening-day fixture at Scunthorpe on Saturday August 15th 1992 was postponed because of those financial problems and the Football League gave them to the following Monday to make guarantees that they could complete their fixtures. This they couldn't do so on Monday 17th August they resigned from the Football League.

1991/92 Aldershot Division 4 Results Table
Aldershot resigned from the Football League

Aldershot's financial plight was no secret and many considered it a miracle that they managed to survive until March 1992. A succession of people with plenty of ideas but not so much money came and went at the Recreation including 19-year-old 'property developer' Spencer Trethewy who became a director after promising the earth. He lasted just three months before being exposed as skint himself. Aldershot's last match in the Football League was a 2-0 defeat at Cardiff City on Friday March 20th 1992 and five days later they had to resign from the Football League after being declared bankrupt. So they became the first club since Accrington Stanley, almost exactly 30 years earlier, the leave the League before the end of the season. The 36 League matches they had played were declared void.

1990/91 Arsenal Division 1 Results Table
    2 points deducted for bringing the game into disrepute
1990/91 Manchester United Division 1 Results Table
    1 point deducted for bringing the game into disrepute

I don't think that you would ever get bored at a match between Manchester United and Arsenal and that was certainly true when the two sides met at Old Trafford in a First Division match on October 20th 1990. The 'Battle of Old Trafford' - or is that one of many 'Battles of Old Trafford!' - erupted when a clash between Arsenal's Nigel Winterburn and United's Brian McClair developed into a full-scale brawl involving 21 players, only Arsenal's 'keeper David Seaman watching on. As a result both clubs were charged with, and found guilty of, bringing the game into disrepute. Manchester United were docked one point and Arsenal - because they had been involved in a similar brawl the previous season against Norwich - lost two points.

1989/90 Swindon Town Division 2 Results Table
    Swindon Town were denied a place in the First Division

After having beaten Sunderland in the play-off final to win promotion to the First Division for the first time Swindon admitted at a Football League hearing 36 breaches of League rules. Initially their punishment was relegation to the Third Division although on appeal that was reduced to relegation back to the Second Division. Sunderland were promoted to the top flight in their place. Full story.

1987/88 Halifax Town Division 4 Results Table
1 point deducted for fielding an unregistered player
1987/88 Tranmere Rovers Division 4 Results Table
2 points deducted for not fulfilling a fixture

Hard-up Tranmere
objected to the amount of policing they were required to have - and pay for - for their League match at Prenton Park on Tuesday September 24th 1987 against Bolton, the most local of their derbies. An appeal to the police and the courts proved unsuccessful and although the courts gave permission for the match to be played behind closed doors this Tranmere declined to do, postponing the match instead. A Football League disciplinary committee fined Tranmere £2000 and deducted 2 points from their total for the unauthorised postponement

1982/83 Blackpool Division 4 Results Table
2 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player

After signing John Butler
at the start of the 1982/83 season Blackpool played him in two Division 4 matches and a League Cup tie before his registration had been approved by the Football League. Blackpool claimed that they had immediately sent the relevant forms but they had been delayed in the post. Ironically the club were the closest to the Football League's Lytham St Annes HQ, just three miles away, and John Butler only ever made four League starts in his whole career. The two points lost by Blackpool put them into a League re-election position at the end of the season.

1981/82 Bristol Rovers Division 3 Results Table
2 points deducted for fielding an unregistered player

By missing the
registration deadline for upgrading apprentices to full professionals Bristol Rovers were guilty of fielding an unregistered player, Steve Bailey, in their 1-1 draw at Newport County on 16th March 1982. They were deducted 2 points.

1981/82 Mansfield Town Division 4 Results Table
2 points deducted for fielding an unregistered player

For the same reason as Bristol Rovers (above), Mansfield Town were found guilty of fielding an unregistered player, Colin Calderwood, who was making his League debut in their match at Crewe on 13th March 1982. They also had 2 points deducted but as they had won 2-0 at Crewe the one point they were left with from that match was enough to keep them above Rochdale and prevent them needing to seek re-election.

1974/75 Aldershot Division 3 Results Table
1 point deducted for fielding an ineligible player

John Sainty's debut as substitute for Aldershot at Hereford United on August 17th, the opening day of the 1974/75 season, was memorable for the wrong reason. He hadn't been registered with the League so Aldershot were fined and suffered a one point deduction. Aldershot lost the match 2-0.

1973/74 Preston North End Division 2 Results Table
1 point deducted for fielding an ineligible player

Dave Carrick made a substitute appearance for Preston at Oxford United on November 17th 1973 after having signed the same week from non-leaguers Witton Albion. However his registration hadn't been endorsed by the Football League at the time of his Preston debut against Oxford.

1973/74 Newport County Division 4 Results Table
1 point deducted for fielding an ineligible player

When David Jenkins moved on loan from Hereford to Newport County in March 1974 he went on to play only 6 League matches for Somerton Park club - and was substituted in half of them. But when he made his debut for The Ironsides away to Peterborough on Saturday March 9th, a 0-2 defeat, his registration hadn't been completed and Newport were docked one point by the Football League for fielding an ineligible player.

1973/74 Scunthorpe United Division 4 Results Table
2 points added when opponents Exeter refused to play them

Well hardly a points deduction but I think worthy of a mention in this section. Exeter called off - without League permission - their scheduled Division 4 fixture at Scunthorpe because nine of their players were unwell or injured - and had medical certificates to prove it - leaving the club with just nine fit players. Two of those nine were goalkeepers but the Devon club were still charged with failing to fulfil a fixture. They were fined and ordered to compensate Scunthorpe for lost gate receipts but the match was not ordered to be played with Scunthorpe being awarded the two points. It was the first time in Football League history that a match was never played and has only been repeated once more - that match being the Bolton v Brentford League 1 fixture in 2018/19. Full Story of both unplayed matches.

1967/68 Peterborough United Division 3 Results Table
Peterborough were demoted to the 4th Division

Peterborough were demoted from Division 3 to Division 4 after being found guilty of financial irregularities. It is one of the harshest penalties in League history - they were told of the punishment in November so had to play the majority of the season knowing however well they did they would still be relegated. Full story - Posh Miscellany.

1967/68 Port Vale Division 4 Results Table
Port Vale were expelled from the Football League

Like Peterborough, Port Vale were found guilty of financial irregularities and like Peterborough received a harsh sentence - expulsion from the Football League at the end of the season. But in reality it wasn't that bad - at the League AGM they were voted straight back into the League, 40 votes for and 9 against.

1961/62 Accrington Stanley Division 4 Results Table
Accrington Stanley resigned from the Football League

Accrington Stanley became only the second club to resign from the Football League without completing their fixtures. Their last match was on Friday 2nd March 1962 at Crewe Alexandra - they lost 0-4 in a snow-storm. The following week a creditors' meeting was held but with debts approaching £60,000 it was almost impossible to find even £400 to pay the electricity, gas, water and telephone bills. A letter of resignation was sent to the Football League and although a week later another letter was sent changing their mind their resignation had been accepted. The 33 League matches they had played - from which they had taken 18 points - were declared void and deleted from the records.

1931/32 Wigan Borough Division 3N Results Table
Wigan Borough resigned from the Football League

Wigan Borough resigned from the Football League on October 26th 1931 due to financial problems. They had played 12 League matches but their playing record was declared void.

1926/27 Stockport County Division 3N Results Table
2 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player

Joe Smith was a sensational signing for Stockport County. A legend at Bolton, the five-time England international signed for County on March 17th 1927 and when he made his debut two days later a then Edgeley Park record crowd of 22,622 witnessed him play his part in the 2-2 draw with Stoke City. Sadly though when that match was played the Football League hadn't received his registration. Stockport were found guilty of fielding an unregistered player and were fined £100, had two points docked and for the remainder of the season Smith was banned from playing against opponents who had a chance of finishing in promotion or re-election positions.

1919/20 Leeds City Division 2 Results Table
Leeds City were expelled from the Football League

Leeds City were expelled from the Football League after 8 matches and their fixtures were taken over by Burslem Port Vale. Full story,

1890/91 Sunderland League Results Table
2 points deducted for fielding an ineligible player

Goalkeeper Teddy Doig made his debut for Sunderland at WBA on September 20th 1890 and soon established himself as a leading player in Sunderland's 'Team of all the Talents' which was set to dominate the English football scene. But his debut was not remembered so much for his part in Sunderland's 4-0 victory but for the fact that he shouldn't have played! The Scotsman had been previously signed up by Blackburn - his one game for them was a 9-1 League victory over Notts County in November 1889 - but for his Sunderland registration to be valid the League needed seven-days notice before playing his first match. It seems the letter was delayed in the post and Doig's debut was before the registration period was complete and as a result Sunderland became the first League club to suffer a points deduction, two points being knocked off their total.

1889/90 Notts County League Results Table
1 point deducted for fielding an ineligible player - this penalty was later overturned on appeal

The second season of the Football League
saw the Management Committee impose a points penalty for the first time with Notts County fielding an ineligible player against Aston Villa on November 9th 1889. County had found themselves a player short for the Villa match and so borrowed a player from their near neighbours, non-leaguers Nottingham Forest. The match ended 1-1 at Trent Bridge but Villa successfully argued that the borrowed player wasn't registered to play for Notts County and so was ineligible. The League Management Committee upheld that complaint docking Notts County one point and fining them £5. The player Notts County borrowed was Tinsley Lindley who was a remarkable character. As a 16-year old he scored a hat-trick on his debut for Nottingham Forest and later scored 14 goals in 13 appearances for England. He wore walking shoes rather than traditional football boots as he could run quicker in them and remained an amateur player throughout his playing career. He also played County cricket for Nottinghamshire. He also studied law at Cambridge University and was a barrister and in that capacity took charge of County's appeal against the punishment claiming that by imposing both a fine and a points penalty Notts County had been punished twice. A General Meeting of the League clubs accepted his argument dropping the one point deduction but increasing the fine to a whopping £25. 




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