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Bolton should escape points deduction

Bolton Wanderers should escape a points deduction after Sports Shield, the company that owned 37.5 per cent of the club, entered voluntary liquidation.

The EFL have announced that they will 'review' the situation with an announcement expected in September. However, it would be a great shock if they took any action against Bolton.  If a club appoints receivers, a ten point deduction is automatic.  If the parent company (in this case not even a majority one) appoints receivers, it becomes a matter for discretion.

Morecambe's troubles continue

Following an ownership fiasco involving an absent new owner who turned out not to have the readies (yet again), Morecamble were in serious financial trouble last season with players not being paid.

After the Shrimps' new Brazilian owner Diego Lemos went AWOL, Italian businessman Joseph Cala claimed to have bought the club.  He turned up at the Globe Arena and started giving it large, before Lemos returned as if he had never been away.

Few clubs have no foreign players

Sheffield United are the only club in the top two divisions with a purely British and Irish squad.  Indeed, they do have two players from Ireland, both from the south.  Following Brexit, the Republic of Ireland will be in the EU and the UK won't, so even if the common travel area is maintained, it is difficult to see why it should not be counted as a foreign country.

Watford receive record fine for forgery

Watford have received a record fine of over £4m from the Football League for forgery.  The actual fine was £3.95m, but they also had to pay £350,000 in costs.   The fine would have been £5.75m if the club had not pleaded guilty and cooperated fully with the investigation.

Rampant Stags

Fans generally have many, often justified, criticisms of club owners so it's nice to see praise for a change.   At Mansfield Town's annual meeting Darren Shaw, representing Stags Fans United, credited finance director Jim Beachill for his steadfast work on the club's finances saying 'Fans really appreciate it.'  Dean Foulkes, chairman of the Stags Supporters Association was even more effusive: 'The finances are incredible, brilliant. People are so excited to support the club.'

Hatters must go up to compete

Luton Town vice-chairman David Wilkinson has said that the Hatters must go up this season if they are to continue to compete.   In his view the gap between the divisions is becoming greater.

Was it the pitch guv?

Many football managers have a great big book of excuses which they resort to in order to explain defeats. A favourite is to blame the officials: their goal was offside, but was given; ours wasn't, but was checked off. Don't get me started on penalty calls.

Chairman Gao has no readies

Southampton fans have contacted me to express their concerns that their new Chinese owner, Chairman Gao, has no money to invest in the club having borrowed large sums to acquire it.   Given that from the perspective of now minority 'partner', Katharina Liebherr, the whole point of the takeover was to provide much needed investment, this has to be a concern.   Instead of going to the next level, the Saints may find it harder to stay at the present one.

Barnsley targeted by Chinese billionaire

The long march of China into English football has been going for some time now, but I have to admit that Barnsley was not on my short list of possible targets.   However, it is being reported that they are in advanced talks with Chien Lee, the billionaire who is a majority shareholder in Nice and has been seeking an English club.  He made his money with a hotel chain and an investment group.  

Empty seats at Wembley for Spurs

There will be almost 20,000 empty seats at Tottenham Hotspur's first Premier League match at Wembley because of restrictions imposed by Brent council and the Metropolitan Police.   Spurs have sold about 70,000 tickets for one of their biggest matches of the season against Chelsea, including 3,000 to away fans.