Southampton & Their Points Deduction

Reading between the lines, the Football League’s verdict on Southampton’s attempt to put their holding company into administration without incurring a points deduction makes for pretty damning reading. The League’s conclusion stops not far short of stating that there has been a deliberate attempt to play the system by the club. The holding company Southampton Leisure Holdings and Southampton Football Club are “inextricably linked as one economic entity”, according to the League’s independent review of the club’s finances, and it’s hardly surprising that they should reach this conclusion. There is nothing that the football authorities hate more than setting up what they think is a watertight new rule which may significantly benefit the game, only to see someone crash through it. Leeds played the system two years ago and got away with it (though the legality of their escape from insolvency remains open to question and is still being put through a court on the Channel Islands). The Football League wasn’t going to let that happen again. Holding companies are, by their very nature, an inextricable part of the current problems that the game faces. Created in the first place to circumvent FA rules on club directors not being able to pay themselves sizeable dividends in the early 1990s. In recent times, they have become more and more commonplace and have been put in place for a variety of...

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