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Underwood doesn't agree league had no choice but to fine clubs

Jon Underwood has said he doesn’t agree with Mark Ives’ assertion over the weekend that the league was left with no choice but to impose sanctions on clubs who failed to fulfil fixtures.

The Slough boss can understand that the league feels it needs to do something to punish clubs who broke their rules, as well as a sense of duty to those who continued to put on matches and pay players.

But to a certain extent he felt that clubs were left to fend for themselves through this financially uncertain period, and Slough took the decision to try and save some money during a season that looked very unlikely to continue. He also said the league needs to consider that clubs were struggling through unusual and unprecedented times.

“I think they feel that they have to do something,” he said. “Clubs were going against their rules and I maybe there’s pressure from clubs that did carry on and did carry on spending money. They might say ‘well we carried on, why aren’t these clubs being punished’.

“To a certain extent I understand that point of view as well, but we took the decision that we weren’t going to spend that money when a lot of people thought the league wasn’t going to continue.

“They took that decision to continue to pay out and we decided not to.”

Underwood added: “Mark Ives said over the weekend that they had no choice, ‘these are the rules, and we have to enforce them’. I disagree, they did have a choice. They had a choice to say, ‘do you know what, we’re not in normal times, these clubs were protecting themselves and we’ve null and voided the season’. Maybe there is a warning there, or suspended points deduction and we move on. That’s the only insight we’ve had, almost like they felt they had to do something. These are not normal times, and all businesses are struggling to survive, so to fine your own members just doesn’t make sense.”

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