History Repeating Itself


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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2 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    Good article (as always) on the ridiculously disproportionate punishment of AFC Wimbledon. In fact it’s even worse than you state. Darlington did not transfer from Cardiff. His contract with them ended in May 2006. He was a free agent; an Englishman living in England, played his entire career in the English Leagues, semi-retired from the professional game only to link up with Wimbledon manager Dave Anderson six months later, who he knew from their days at Aylesbury Utd together seven-odd years ago.

    The Ryman League registration form asks the ambigious question “Last Club / Other Clubs this season” to which Wimbledon fairly answered “None”, because he hadn’t played for any other clubs this season. For this tiny administrative error the club looks like suffering the quadruple jeopardy of being kicked out of the Trophy, fined the prize money won so far, lose 18 points in the League and thrown out of the Surrey Senior Cup (a competition Darlington also played a game in). In addition, the FA have stated that their decision about the Trophy is not open to appeal.

    More ridiculously this mistake only apparently came to light because Darlington was booked in the Gravesend game, thus alerting the FA to the fact that his registration was still with the Welsh FA when they tried to update their records of bookings. Therefore, it would have been better if Darlington was a very dirty player who got booked in his first ever game for Wimbledon as then the club’s punishment would have been far less serious. What sort of message does that send out to clubs and players?!?

    Conversely, if Darlington had been an even more sporting player and only got booked in the last minute of a Trophy-winning final and if Wimbledon won the Ryman League too, they could have been presented with the scenario of possible bankruptcy and relegation by having to repay all the prize money and losing, say, 50-60 points. How could such a potential punishment ever be justified when even clubs whose owners’ financially ruin them only suffer a 10 point penalty? Where is their discretion? Where is their common sense?

    I am gob-smacked at the entirely disproportionate nature of these many punishments for an understandable simple mistake. As you say, Altrincham’s punishment turned out to be a hollow one as they remained in the Conference due to other events and did not look like winning it anyway. Conversely AFC Wimbledon’s entire season will be wasted. If anyone had any doubts as to the sheer incompetence of those who are supposed to run our national game, then this case clearly removes all doubt.

  2. Tortoiseshell says:

    Hi – have commented on this at Tortoiseshell blog.

    I like ur own blog and will link to it!

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