Wolves fined over team selection… Erm, why?

Posted: February 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

Yesterday evening, news emerged that Mick McCarthy’s Wolves had been handed a £25,000 Premier League fine for fielding a weakened side in their 3-0 loss to Manchester United last December.

Mick McCarthy, never one to pass up comment, surprisingly accepted the fine, describing it as a “deterrent” and vowed not to make the same mistake again.

The money involved is hardly an issue here. What is though is the Premier League setting a ridiculous precedent for the future, one that you can only see blowing up their faces somewhere down the line.


Mick McCarthy: keeping suprisingly quiet on this one

Many teams have been guilty of this sort of practice over the years. Manchester United in their games against West Ham (2007) and Hull (2008) on the final days of those respective seasons, Liverpool infamously in the back end of the 2007 season, along with countless others. One difference here is that the game that caused the fuss, Man Utd vs Wolves was a forgettable mid-week tie in December, which carried no real significance for either side at the time. Now compare that to the importance of the Man Utd and Liverpool games. As a result of United fielding a weakened team against West Ham in the last game of the 2006/07 season, the Hammers miraculously escaped relegation (although West Ham’s own efforts can’t be ignored.) Fulham undoubtedly benefited in a similar way. Facing relegation with only a few games left, they grabbed a vital three points against a Liverpool side that consisted of the likes of Gabriel Paletta, Mark Gonzales and a 57-year-old Robbie Fowler.

Doesn’t make much sense does it? Why punish a team for utilising their 25-man squad during the notoriously hectic winter period? Would Arsenal be at the end of a similar punishment if they fielded a team of 12-year-old’s as they often do? Will they face a fine next time Wenger fields his mixture of reserves and under 18’s in a cup game? Unlikely.

Just as FIFA did in the summer when they handed Chelsea an 18 month transfer ban after allegedly poaching teenager Gael Kakuta, and as UEFA did after giving Arsenal’s Eduardo a 2 game ban for his dive against Celtic, the Premier League have now set a dangerous precedent for the future. Since then, both FIFA’s and UEFA’s decisions have been overturned. Will the Premier League follow suit?

  1. Ben Skipper says:

    You just can’t go a whole post without mocking Arsenal can you? >_<

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