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Top 10 controversial punishments to clubs in football history

Published at :April 20, 2023 at 10:50 PM
Modified at :April 20, 2023 at 10:51 PM
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Rajarshi Shukla

These penalties changed the course of the team's history

Newspapers and television networks take great pleasure in the controversies that irresponsible football players feed them. Media coverage frequently involves controversy and intrigue, but anybody may cross the line—not only players on the field or even coaches supervising them from the sidelines.

Clubs may anticipate the same consequences from the sport's authorities when they cross the line, just as a two-footed tackle or quick elbow will. Both the crimes and misdemeanours that result in these punishments as well as the sentences imposed by those in authority can arouse a great deal of controversy, match-fixing scandals, fan fatalities, three-point penalties, travel restrictions, and stadium closures, among other things.

Here are the Top 10 controversial punishments to clubs in football history:

10. Middlesbrough Point Deduction 1997

Boro unlawfully cancelled a match against Blackburn Rovers on December 21, 1996, with a mere 24 hours' notice. When the crucial relegation game began to take shape, the club said that 23 players were absent due to illness, injury, or suspension, leaving them little to no chance of success.

The FA disagreed with the Teessiders' justification. The club's attempt to stay in the division was further hampered by a three-point deduction, and those points were important as Boro dropped out with only two points remaining and a higher goal differential than those above them.

9. Rangers sent down to the basement

Rangers entered administration on 14 February 2012

All that the past, though, didn't matter much in 2011–12 when financial difficulties caused a breakdown at Ibrox. Rangers were subjected to an embarrassing penalty by rival teams, despite a business reorganisation and the creation of a new controlling company, according to the Daily Record.

The heavyweight's demise was sealed by the clubs that make up the Scottish Football League pyramid and a vote by the Scottish Premier League's members that prevented entrance to the top tier. Rangers would be demoted all the way down to the third division, and in the current campaign, the giants are still playing in the second tier of English football.

8. Juventus Calciopoli relegation

Football controversies involving match-fixing are nothing new. However, they seldom manage to capture the top athletes in the game. But in 2006, the Old Lady, Juventus, werre embroiled in the worst scandal, "Calciopoli," which shocked the entire country.

Juventus, who would have contested C1 football according to the initial verdict, was the only team to ultimately play in Serie B and received a nine-point penalty.

Notwithstanding their loss, the Old Lady quickly returned to the top division, where Turin hegemony was quickly reestablished with three straight Scudetti.

7. English Clubs Kicked out of Europe

Although Liverpool were allegedly the club at fault, each squad were impacted by the historic decision to exclude English teams from European competition in 1985. Even stranger, Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady" prime leader, exerted significant pressure on the nation's Football Association to issue the directive.

According to the BBC, the Heysel incident that year claimed the lives of 39 people when Liverpool fans charged Juventus during the European Cup final. In reaction, the FA and Thatcher banned teams from competition for a total of five years, with Liverpool receiving an additional year due to their involvement in the disaster.

6. Portuguesa's Polemic Relegation

A four-point penalty for Portuguesa in Brazil's 2013 Serie A is among the least severe penalties compared to many of the ones on this list. However, there were a lot of controversies when the team was demoted to Serie B as a result of those dropped points rather than Rio de Janeiro powerhouse Fluminense.

After finishing in the relatively secure position of 12th, Portuguesa anticipated spending another year amid Brazil's top teams. claimed that the Brazilian Sports Court severely reprimanded the squad for unintentionally using Heverton, who had been banned in their last game.

In such circumstances, Brazil's prescribed punishment plainly calls for a three-point deduction, which would have proved sufficient to keep Portugal afloat. But to the club's dismay, a further point was added to the deduction, eliminating the outcome in which Heverton had participated and thereby ending their chances of survival.

The Sao Paulo establishment barely made it past Fluminense to reach the second tier with its four points, though. Even worse, Portugal experienced another collapse at the end of 2014, this time under more predictable conditions, and will compete in the lowest tier of Serie C this season.

5. Death and deductions in nueva Chicago'

The spectators of Nueva Chicago deserve special consideration even in the ferociously competitive and frequently violent world of Argentine football. No fan looks forward to an away game at Mataderos; in fact, there are so many tensions within the team that opposing bands of barra brava hooligans maintain separate stands in different parts of the stadium, kept apart by armed police to prevent clashes.

Then, the joyful away supporters were attacked. A stone was hurled by Chicago goons, striking Tigre supporter Marcelo Cejas, who eventually died from his injuries, according to ESPN Deportes (in Spanish). The outcome of that sad confrontation was an eventual 18-point deduction for the next season, expulsion from their home stadium for an entire year, and a further decrease in 2007–08.

4. Tevez and Masche get hammers in trouble

The Premier League learned several things throughout the 2006–2007 season. In addition to introducing the league to the skills of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, the international duo that played for West Ham, a team that consistently struggles in the middle of the table, the term "third-party ownership" also gained common usage.

A point deduction would have sealed the fate of the Hammers, who had only avoided relegation on the penultimate day of the season owing to Tevez's goal. However, the FA partially absolved them; no points were docked, but West Ham was had to pay a staggering £5.5 million fine as punishment.

3. L'OM: From European Champions to Ligue 2

No French club ever captured the European Cup at the start of the 1990s. The Stade de Reims club, led by Just Fontaine, a great goal scorer, had gone closer than anybody, but in two final outings in 1956 and 1959, they were defeated by Alfredo Di Stefano's everything-conquering Real Madrid.

In 1993, Marseille went even further by defeating Milan in the championship game with financial support from the larger-than-life Bernard Tapie. For the majority of football fans, though, L'OM's victory will always be marked with an asterisk because of what was to follow.

The team was demoted to Ligue 2 and stripped of its 1992–1992 Ligue 1 championship. Tapie also served time in prison, but Marseille's trophy cabinet still held the Champions League.

2. Leeds United rise out of tainted ashes

In the club game, illegal payments, odd outcomes, and suspicions of corrupt play are nothing new. In fact, Leeds United was founded as a result of the shambles a fairly shady predecessor left in the South Yorkshire city, making it one of England's historically strongest clubs.

Prior to the First World War, Leeds City had only made it as far as the Second Division, but after appointing future Arsenal great Herbert Chapman as manager and finishing fourth, there were indications that the city's strongest team was on the rise. But a tragedy occurred eight games into the 1919–20 season.

Disputes in the company's board of directors and subsequent claims of financial mismanagement, as detailed by the Incredible Leeds fansite, both damaged City. The team got into more difficulties when allegations surfaced that they had paid its players throughout the conflict, a clear violation of FA regulations.

The club was kicked out of the Second Division after only eight games in 1919–20, becoming the first and only English team ever to be ejected in the middle of a season. The club's last games were taken up by Port Vale, and Leeds United, a new team, took over the city's duties the next season.

1. Hatters maddened by draconian penalty

Few hills in football history have been more difficult to ascend than the one Luton Town faced as they began their 2008–2009 League Two season. The Hatters had to be made a role model of after being found responsible for several financial irregularities and misdeeds, as reported by ESPN.

The penalty imposed was severe: Luton began the season with a significant 30-point deduction. Even though the English team had a strong season and won Johnstone's Paint Trophy, the penalty was too harsh for them to overcome, and they were forced to play non-league football for the following five years.