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Dundee hit with 25-point penalty

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I'm not exactly a fan of Dundee fan, but neither do I hold anything against them. I don't know the ins and outs of this particular case but surely a 25 points deduction is a little on the excessive side.

From the BBC:

Dundee Football Club have been deducted 25 points by the Scottish Football League for going into administration.

The First Division outfit have also been banned from signing any new players until they exit administration.

The SFL board added in its statement: "We are of the opinion that lessons are not being learned."

The club's administrator Bryan Jackson told BBC Scotland: "Not only will we appeal under the SFL rules but I'm now going to consider a legal appeal."

The deduction will leave the Dark Blues bottom of the First Division on minus 11 points, 20 behind the nearest team Morton, with 25 league games left to play.

As well as posing a major task for the team to save their Division One status, the position - and possible relegation - could put off any potential investors.

We'll do everything we can but this really limits the options for us

Jackson was appointed in September to take control of the club's business affairs after they failed to negotiate a deal over an outstanding tax bill of £420,000.

The SFL board added in their statement: "Clubs have to realise that they can't treat their Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs tax obligations as something akin to a credit card."

They also said they will "reconsider the matter and deal with the club as it sees fit", if the Tayside club are still in administration by 31 March 2011.

In an effort to streamline operational costs at Dundee, the management team and nine players were made redundant.

On hearing of the punishment, Jackson told BBC Scotland: "Everyone at the club is in absolute, total shock. They cannot understand the severity of the sanctions.

"It's made a difficult job even more difficult.

"We're not going to give up. We'll do everything we can but this really limits the options for us.

"If you were an external investor, unless you were connected with the club, why would you have any interest in a club that has nothing to play for this year and is going to be relegated?

"I was expecting 15 points as a sanction at the very worst. I was hoping for 10.

"I understand the SFL have to be seen to act but I thought if it was going to be anything worse than 10, it would be an amount that would give us something to play for.

"That way we could maintain the same standards we have kept up in the games since we've been in administration.

"I think it's self-defeating. How do I maintain the integrity of fielding a team and keeping a support out there under these circumstances?"

Dundee's benefactor Calum Melville had put in around £1.3m in to the club since he became involved March 2009.

He resigned from the Dens Park board in September, but lodged £200,000 as part-payment for the outstanding tax arrears.

Dundee also went into administration in 2003 when they were in the Scottish Premier League.

The SFL also plan an early-warning system with HMRC to alert them to any more clubs facing financial difficulties.

"We are fully aware of the impact this situation has had on all concerned, especially players, staff and fans of the club," added SFL chief executive David Longmuir.

"The SFL has a duty to protect the integrity and the ongoing smooth running of the league.

"Following a thorough process, as endorsed by the administrator, the board has decided that Dundee Football Club Limited is guilty of conduct contrary to the league rules, the interests of the league and its member clubs."


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