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Southampton await League inquiry

St Mary's Stadium
Southampton moved to the St Mary's Stadium in 2001

An independent inquiry into Southampton's finances will be launched by the Football League before deciding on whether the club will be punished.

Parent company Southampton Leisure Holding was placed in administration last week after it admitted it needed extra money to have a future.

They had debts of £27.5m, reportedly made up of financial liabilities of £23.1m and an overdraft of £4.4m.

And the club could be deducted 10 points as a result of this move.

"The League board has told its legal team to commission a report to clarify the legal and financial position of the club," said a statement.

It is possible that putting the parent company into administration - thus wiping out a significant proportion of the club's debt - could save the club from a points deduction.

606: DEBATE
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Joint-administrator Mark Fry welcomed the League's decision to launch an inquiry.

"Subject to the scope of the report we welcome the Football League's initiative in commissioning an independent report into the legal and financial position of the club ahead of any decision being made on the possibility of a 10-point reduction," he said.

"In our view this indicates that the situation will be reviewed thoroughly and independently ahead of any decision made.

"We are confident of a successful outcome because in our view no rules have been breached."

Should Southampton suffer a points deduction and are also relegated, then the penalty will not be applied until the following season.

If the Saints stay in the Championship, then any points penalty would be added to their total this season, which could ultimately result in their relegation to League One anyway.

Clubs such as Leeds and Luton, who were hit with points deductions themselves after going into administration, would be angry if Southampton avoided such a fate.

Chief executive Rupert Lowe, Saints chairman Michael Wilde and director Andrew Cowen resigned from the company last week, although a statement from SLH said the club was "unaffected by these insolvency proceedings".

The business is heavily in debt after spending more than £30m on the 32,000-seat St Mary's Stadium, which they moved to from The Dell in 2001, before being relegated from the Premier League in 2005.

Southampton are three points from safety with six games remaining in the Championship.



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see also
Takeover interest for Southampton
06 Apr 09 |  Hampshire
Southampton future 'in jeopardy'
02 Apr 09 |  Southampton
Southampton FC is priority - Lowe
01 Apr 09 |  Southampton
Saints fans protest ahead of game
31 Jan 09 |  Hampshire
Crouch defends his Saints regime
28 Jan 09 |  Southampton
Saints slump exposes crisis
05 Jan 09 |  Southampton
Lowe gave Saints pre-match talk
29 Oct 08 |  Southampton
Saints expect 'substantial' loss
24 Jul 08 |  Southampton
Saints terminate takeover talks
27 May 08 |  Southampton
Lowe completes Southampton return
15 May 08 |  Southampton
Lowe & Wilde call for Saints EGM
01 Apr 08 |  Southampton
Saints chairman Lowe stands down
30 Jun 06 |  Hampshire


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