Wolves Fined £25k For ‘Weakened’ Team Selection

Chris Wright

18th, February 2010


By Chris Wright.


Wolverhampton Wanderers have been handed a suspended £25,000 fine by The Premier League for fielding a weakened team against Manchester United in December.

Manager Mick McCarthy made ten changes to the team with the view of resting players for the upcoming key clash with fellow strugglers Burnley – a game that Wolves won 2-0.

The official statement from The Premier League reads;

“Wolverhampton Wanderers FC have been issued with a suspended £25,000 fine after deciding that the team fielded in their league fixture against Manchester United on 15 December 2009 was not full strength and therefore in breach of Rule E20.”

I can’t help but feel this ruling is terribly offensive to the Wolves squad members who – by The Premier League Board’s logic – aren’t deemed good enough to play in the top flight.

Surely a team’s squad is in place for a reason (to rest, rotate and/or protect players) and it is no concern of the governing bodies as to which particular member of the squad is picked to play in any given game (whether it be one man brought in for a particular fixture or all eleven), unless the player in question is illegitimate for one reason or another?

It’s pretty obvious to see where The Premier League are going to draw the line with their ruling on squad rotation. Will we see the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United (who regularly rest large numbers of first team players) now start to be punished for fielding weakened or reserve teams? I somehow doubt it.

Yet again, it’s one rule for one club, another for others.

Posted in Wolves

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  1. tom says:

    Ask Neil Warnock about Liverpool fielding a weakened team against Fulham a few years ago when we beat them one – nil and ultimately survived. The Premier League is run by hypocrits who are only interested in the preservation of the big clubs. This decision is a farce.

  2. AP says:

    Absolutely ridiculous. Remember the last game of the season last year, when United fielded their reserves against Hull? Obviously the FA won’t punish United, but a struggling side like Wolves? Give ’em a fine to go with their precarious league table position.

  3. Delboy Dublin says:

    Wolves get punished for doing exactly what Sir Rednose of Salford does regularly in the Worthless/FArce Cups & against lesser sides in the GREATEST LEAGUE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD EVER ™?

    Hypocrisy of the highest order

  4. Addick Simmo says:

    Total hypocrisy.How often do the “big four” rest players ad get away with it.Another example of the big clubs flaunting the rules and getting away with it while the lesser clubs are punished.I can’t help thinking the press should accept responsibility for blowing this story out of all preportion.

  5. Peter says:

    Tom – spot one. Being a Sheffield United fan it fucking hurt. It guaranteed Fulham’s survival to compound with the West Ham disgrace. Wolves had every right to field a weakened team. Man Utd haven’t just fielded weakened teams before, THEY’VE NOT EVEN PLAYED IN THE TOURNAMENT! REMEMBER THE F.A CUP IN 2000!

    Arsenal are forever fielding weak teams in the League Cup & the F.A Cup. Ultimately if the F.A had their way their would only be 5 teams in the Premier League – Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal & Man City. They hated Everton being in the Champions League so much they downgraded it by letting Liverpool in anyway. They’ll be fining Portsmouth next. A disgrace.

  6. frank says:


    I’m a Liverpool fan and it was hardly a weakened side. We played two youth players and the rest were experienced first teamers We also had to rest up for a litle thingy known as the Champions League final. Stop drinking Warnock’s Kool-Aid, he’s the one that got you relegated, noone else.

  7. tom says:

    Peter I know how gutted you must have felt by that. Obviously at the time I was delighted but I really was hoping that West Ham would go down not the Blades. Who, incidentally, should have been relegated retrospectively and possibly would have been if their ex-players didn’t stuff the ranks of the F.A.. Along with allowing Wimbledon to turn into a franchise letting West Ham remain in the premier league are the two biggest mistakes the F.A. has made. There have, however, been a series of non-sense decisions to come out of both the F.A. and The Premier League board and this is sadly just another in a long list.

  8. kritter says:

    How’d you like to be a Wolves’ reserve player that finally got his got against the big guys, played decently, was proud of himself, and then finds out his team was so bad it deserved a fining according to the prem. Talk about an ego check.

  9. tom says:

    frank – it was weak enough for a terrible fulham team to beat you. The point is that the big teams get treated differently – ‘and thats a fact’. lol.

  10. Fredmeister says:

    Agree with Ollie, this is ludicrous.

    However, Id be interested as to how the quantified a full strength team. Could you make 9 changes? What about 8? A Pretty dodgy precedent has been set.

    We (Man United) do stuff like this all the time and don’t get punished. I thought Mick showed a lot of balls by doing what he did, and its worked. Who knows, he took all the pressure off the team he fielded because they were expected to lose.

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