The Premier League Board investigates if Wolves breached rules

The Board of the Premier League has started an investigation into if Wolves has breached rule E20 of the Premier League. That is if manager Mick McCarthy has fielded a weakened side on purpose.

McCarthy has been asked to explain himself and Wolves selection of the team against Manchester United.

As everybody knows he made 10 changes to the side that defeated Tottenham on Saturday for the Barclays Premier League encounter at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

The Premier League issued this statement:

The Premier League Board have written to Wolverhampton Wanderers to request their observations in relation to the team fielded in their League fixture against Manchester United. Once the observations are received the Board will decide whether any further action is warranted.

SportingLife writes:

Although the Premier League’s powers are wide-ranging, and include a points deduction in the worst-case scenario, it seems highly unlikely Wolves will receive anything worse than a rap over the knuckles.

Other than midfielder George Friend, who nearly gave Wolves a shock lead, all McCarthy’s starting XI had featured for the first-team this season, with six full internationals also involved.

And the team was arguably not as weak as the one Sir Alex Ferguson selected at Hull on the final day of last season, 10 days before the Champions League final.

The Premier League did not intervene on that occasion and would have looked slightly foolish if they had done so after United won at the KC Stadium.

Manager Mick McCarthy has responded to this in a press conference and to Sporting Life.

The injuries tipped the balance. I don’t have a policy and I am not worried about repercussions from the Premier League. I said I would play my best team and that was the fittest, strongest team I could pick.

“I understand the reaction of the fans and I knew these questions would be asked. But my decisions will be judged on whether we are still in the Premier League.”

Jez Moxey, the Chief Executive of Wolves has also mouthed his opinion on this issue on the official site

Of course we are taking the Premier League very seriously and it’s our over-riding ambition to stay in the division this season and consolidate. That is the main priority for Mick this season and he picks a team for each and every game to not only try and pick up a positive result from that game but also with the whose season in mind.

I would also take issue with the suggestion that last night’s team was a ‘reserve’ eleven. The starting line-up contained four full internationals and a further three under-21 internationals and was captained by our Player of the Year from last season Kevin Foley. The entire 18-man squad, with the exception of George Friend, all boast Premier League experience and indeed had George’s early chance gone in we might have actually had such a different game.

We have been working very hard to build up a squad with two quality players for every position, and have a squad of senior first teamers who are all available and ready to play. The efforts put in at White Hart Lane cannot be over-estimated and as a result there were many instances of cramp, niggling problems and of course another long term injury suffered by Dave Edwards.

Dave’s problem comes on top of having already suffered a large proportion of injury problems already this season, most recently with losing Michael Kightly and Andy Keogh for what will be long periods. Take for example the issue of strikers Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle, who over the last two weekends have had to expend an extraordinary amount of energy in doing their bit for the cause.

It has been scientifically proven that injuries are more likely to happen when games are played in a short period of time, and imagine if Sylvan and Kevin, who ran themselves into the ground at White Hart Lane, had started last night and picked up an injury as a result.

Of course supporters weren’t expecting that line-up to be fielded but I actually thought they got behind the team very well, particularly in that first half hour when it was a very even game. As ever we appreciate the excellent support of our fans who follow the team in such large numbers up and down the country and hope they realise that every decision made by the manager is one which has the best interests of the club at heart.

We win some games and we lose others but at the end of the season we all hope that we will still be in the Premier League and will be able to celebrate that landmark together.”

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~ by paddytheflea on December 16, 2009.

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