Points deduction for Burnley? Clarets under investigation for fielding weakened team against relegation-threatened Reading
- EFL investigating Burnley
- The club could face points deduction
- They achieved promotion with 7 games to spare
WHAT HAPPENED? Vincent Kompany's Burnley have lit up the Championship this season with a scintillating brand of possession-based football that has allowed them to romp to promotion, and almost definitely the league title. However, news has broken via the Sun that their points return could be in jeopardy, as the EFL launch an investigation into their recent league fixture against Reading.
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WHY ARE THEY FACING CHARGES? The match in question was a goalless draw with relegation-embattled Reading, who at the time had no manager (following the sacking of Paul Ince). Taking place on Saturday 15 April, the result offered a lifeline to the Royals, but an EFL investigation is looking into allegations that Burnley played a weakened line up for the game, resting key squad members having achieved promotion the previous week. Kompany made six changes for the match, throwing in a handful of fringe players, a decision which may have serious ramifications. The EFL have written to Burnley to inform them that they may be fined or even hit with a points penalty if found guilty.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Clarets have insisted that they made the changes simply to cope with the Championship's hectic schedule, and it's possible that the EFL could end up taking that stance. However, if they do find Burnley guilty of fielding a weakened side, the club could face both a points deduction and a fine. It's not clear how many points would be taken from them, although it's difficult to see it being enough to rob them of their hard-earned Championship promotion. For now, all Clarets fans can do is wait.
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WHAT'S NEXT FOR BURNLEY? In the meantime, Burnley are getting ready for their final three matches of the season. Since achieving promotion back to the top flight, their form has tailed off slightly, with their most recent result an extremely disappointing 2-1 loss to QPR. But that doesn't change the fact that it's been a remarkable season. Kompany's team are currently sat on 92 points, and the job he's done so far has been outstanding. It will be fascinating to see how they compete in the Premier League next season - if their highly-rated manager isn't poached by a bigger club first.