I see the Wolverhampton Wanderers have been hit with a suspended £25,000 fine for fielding a weakened side against Manchester United. Now while at the time I thought Mick McCarthy was mad to do that, Wolves had just had a good result against Spurs, and they just MIGHT have got something against United – the thing is what is going on here? So why would they fine Wolves? What are the rules?
The Premier League rules relating to this subject are:
E 20 In every League Match each participating Club shall field a full strength team.
B 13 In all matters and transactions relating to the League each Club shall behave towards each other Club and the League with the utmost good faith.
It seems cut and dried then, Wolves deserve their fine – let’s move on, however it isn’t that simple.
The top four have played weakened sides in a variety of games to protect themselves for the likes of the Champions League. Any fines dished out? No. Why? Well because of the talent that they have at the clubs. With the greatest respect to Wolves, or in fact virtually any other side in the Premier League outside of the top four or five – it would be obvious that they have fielded a reserve side. It would be less so for the other sides, and therefore they won’t ever get fined for this.
This isn’t a knock at the top four, it should be up to clubs if they want to play their reserves for whatever reason, I think they should be entitled to.
With hindsight, McCarthy should have left three or four of his first team in to make it look less obvious! 😀
Mind you, Wolves did beat Burnley the following game, and if those three points mean that they stay up – then a £25,000 suspended sentence will be worth it!