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Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 14:57 UK

Saints boss 'pleaded with board'

Mark Wotte
Wotte is set to be a League One manager next season

Southampton manager Mark Wotte has told BBC Radio Solent he pleaded with board members not to place the club into administration a month ago.

Wotte said he requested club bosses delay the announcement until after the end of the season.

"They told me there is no way the club can be deducted 10 points," he said

Saints went into administration on 2 April and learned from the Football League on Thursday they face a 10-point penalty, relegating them to League One.

Wotte, who took charge at Southampton following the departure of Jan Poortvliet in January, said: "A month ago when I heard the club was going into administration I asked the people in charge not to do it now, wait for four weeks until the season is finished.

"They said, don't worry about the points penalty, because the lawyers have looked at it and there is no way we can be deducted 10 points."

We remain very firmly of the view that the rules do not apply, and that the Football League has stretched the rules to meet the circumstances

Southampton Leisure Holdings administrator Mark Fry

Describing the feeling in the Southampton dressing room, Wotte added: "It was a very emotional afternoon yesterday.

"Everyone was devastated with the cruel decision of the League."

Four points off safety with two games to go, Saints will lose 10 points this season, if they gain enough points to stay in the Championship.

And if they do not avoid finishing in the bottom three then the points penalty will take effect next season.

Mark Fry, joint administrator of Saints' parent company Southampton Leisure Holdings insisted he was "shocked and extremely disappointed" with the League's decision to deduct points.

"We remain very firmly of the view that the rules do not apply, and that the Football League has stretched the rules to meet the circumstances.

"The football club is not in administration... It is expected that an appeal will be launched."

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