Sunday, 4 May 2008

If only .....

Now you might think I'd be wasting my time here. Even though I've been resigned to the fact that we are going down for a couple of months now, I entered the final weekend of our two year holiday in the Championship clinging to the thought that it may just be possible to avoid relegation. If anybody is actually reading this then they will think I'm out of my mind. But, just listen to my case and let's see if we have the slightest bit of a chance.

It was fashionable at one time to re-build a club by 'going into administration' and we've seen a strengthening of the FA's position on this in the last couple of years. Ten to fifteen points deducted for dodgy dealings behind the scenes. Now there's a possibility. The difficulty with all this is that we are so far behind on points going into the last match that only something extraordinary like this can save us. Assuming we could salvage a final 3 points from this final game at Scunthorpe then we need to rely on the good old FA to dish out some 15 point penalties for various offences committed by any club within striking distance. Why fifteen? Well if it's good enough for Leeds then it's good enough for the rest. The FA have set the bar at that level.

So, with a potential 40 points and a crap goal difference in the bag we needed to set our sights on those within 14 points of that at the start of the day. That means Blackpool, Coventry, Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester and Southampton. Scunthorpe are in the same boat but floating with a little more out of the water. We can't overhaul them in any fair consideration of the situation and it means that they will also benefit from anything we achieve.

Now there are some easy pickings here. Leicester went into administration a few years ago. Why should that go unpunished? Dock them 15 points just for the hell of it I say. Southampton's boardroom has been under fire all season and no-one knows who really owns them or wants to own them. So in one sense they are like headless chickens. Let's put them out of their misery and deduct fifteen there as well.

Coventry have been blighted with financial scandal all season so it doesn't seem unreasonable to relieve them of the burden of fifteen points as well. I can't find any readily available dirt on the other two, but that must be good enough for now, three clubs with financial problems. That could put us clear.

OK so it's down to the football stuff now, and in a fun-filled programme this week the U's have done their worst to make my calculations meaningless. Grabbing a 3-3 draw from the jaws of a 3-1 lead means we only have 38 points to end the season. Results elsewhere show that Southampton saw my plan coming and they wormed their way to safety with a 3-2 win over Sheffield United. Coventry are laughing after surrendering 4-1 to Charlton and even with an extra 15 points we can't quite touch them. Leicester are our favourites and they maintained a clean sheet at Stoke to give the Potters promotion and secure their own relegation anyway. They are going down and could do the decent thing and surrender themselves to the bottom spot with a deduction of points.

So that's it then? Not quite. Let's look at who's coming up from League One. Swansea as champions - and it's just been announced that they have taken a £650,000 loss in achieving promotion this season. Now that's dodgy dealing in my book. Deduct 15 points. That puts them back into the play-off places and gives automatic promotion to Doncaster. It makes a mess of the play-off matches so it may be best to just deny one promotion place and let the play-offs proceed as planned.

That means we have Leicester relegated below us and Swansea denied promotion. That means I need another place to ensure safety in the Championship. Well, my hopes are now on Carlisle winning the play-off place and then having promotion denied on account of their entering adminstration a few years ago. It's a slim chance I know, but we have to cling to these faint hopes.

Now, does anyone know a good lawyer, or the phone number of the High Court?

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