Woodward laughs off relegation threat as Rovers affair nears conclusion

Don Woodward

Don Woodward

First published in Sport Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A 'BIZARRE, ridiculous scenario' and a 'non event' was how Wanderers chairman Don Woodward described the legal challenge Bristol Rovers are making in a bid to stay in the Football League at Wycombe's expense.

Woodward is due to meet with Football Association chiefs today as an investigation into allegations of breaching third party ownership rules draws to a conclusion.

The FA is then set to deliver its verdict early next week, with Rovers calling for Blues to be deducted points and therefore be relegated into non-league football.

But at a meeting of Wycombe Wanderers Trust members on Tuesday, Woodward laughed off that prospect and reassured fans the club has no case to answer.

Rovers claim Wanderers were in breach of regulations over Matt Phillips' transfer from the club to Blackpool in 2010, which handed Blues an 'unfair competitive advantage' last year that the Adams Park side benefited from.

Wanderers reported the matter to the footballing authorities and were handed a £10,000 fine and warned as to their future conduct.

Phillips' agent Phil Smith denied three counts of breaching the rules but was subsequently found guilty and given a six month ban.

When asked about the latest situation at Tuesday's meeting, Woodward said: "It's a non event. It's a disgruntled bunch of lawyers with an upset agent, who tried to give hope to people who grasped at it.

"It's a daft, bizarre, ridiculous scenario - you couldn't make it up.

"Our view is there's no case to answer because there's no problem.

"Had there been a case to answer the question of sanctions against the club would never have been a points deduction. There was never a chance of relegation. Had there or should there have been a case against us by either the FA or the Football League, the maximum penalty would have been some form of fine."

Bristol Rovers have said they intend to seek damages from Wanderers over the affair, which is being investigated jointly by the FA - who are leading the enquiry - and the Football League.

Woodward confirmed at the meeting that the club has not spent anything on legal fees.

Comments (3)

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12:49pm Thu 12 Jun 14

evenflo says...

Bristol rovers fans have been led down the garden path by the desperate actions of their board.
Bristol rovers fans have been led down the garden path by the desperate actions of their board. evenflo
  • Score: 14

12:35pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Kadoogan says...

I think that is true for the last few years, but in the case of this appeal I think it's the board as well that has been led down the garden path, by a dodgy agent with an axe to grind.
I think that is true for the last few years, but in the case of this appeal I think it's the board as well that has been led down the garden path, by a dodgy agent with an axe to grind. Kadoogan
  • Score: 4

12:11am Mon 16 Jun 14

NickClogg says...

Seems like there could be a lot more to this than Woodward has let on.
Still, with FL fixtures coming out soon I doubt that Wanderers will get a retrospective points deduction. All a little unsavoury though.
Seems like there could be a lot more to this than Woodward has let on. Still, with FL fixtures coming out soon I doubt that Wanderers will get a retrospective points deduction. All a little unsavoury though. NickClogg
  • Score: 2

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