Thursday, 18 June 2009

Cheshire Solidarity Saves Chester

Did Northwich Victoria inadvertantly save Chester from demotion to the Conference North last week?

It looks that way to me.

The FA decided last Friday to overturn the Conference's decision to relegate the Vics a further division as a punishment for an "insolvency event". (Can you remember the good old days when football fans had never heard that phrase?)

And the F.A. were right. Basically, the Conference had two contradictory edicts in their rulebook. the newer one said a side which has a conveniently-timed "insolvency event" in the Summer must drop a division, and that was the punishment meted out to Northwich.

The problem is, there was already a rule saying in those circumstances you'd have to start the next season on minus ten points in the same division. They were caught bang to rights.

So how does this link to Chester? Obviously the original punishment meted out to Northwich is the road the Conference want to go down, and the chance to make an example of a "big" club would surely have been hard to resist. But it would also have triggered another humiliating slap on the wrist from the F.A. Which is great in terms of earning us a couple of juicy derbies in the midst of our long treks to Sussex and the North East, but isn't much consolation to Woking.

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