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English Premiership

Wolves incur suspended fine

LONDON, February 18- Wolves were given a 25,000 pounds (39,000 dollars) suspended fine on Thursday for fielding a 'B' side against Manchester United at Old Trafford in December.Wolves manager Mick McCarthy changed his entire outfield line-up for the 3-0 Premier League loss to United from the side that had beaten Tottenham the previous weekend.

The only player surviving the cull was American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann.

Wolves then recalled nine of the players that had been in action at White Hart Lane for the next league game at home to fellow strugglers Burnley – and won 2-0.

The Premier League said in a statement: "The Premier League Board has issued Wolverhampton Wanderers FC with a suspended 25,000 pounds 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.

"The board also deemed that the club had failed to fulfil its obligations to the league and other clubs in the utmost good faith and was therefore in breach of Rule B13.

"The board considered submissions from Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and had sympathy for the explanation submitted by the club in relation to similar cases from previous seasons. However the board ruled that this case could be differentiated from the other matches cited and that disciplinary action was warranted."

McCarthy commented: "I accept the Premier League’s decision. It was never my intention to break any of the Premier League’s rules, only to pick a team that was in the best position to get a result. I’m pleased the matter is now closed."

The Premier League statement added: "In coming to this decision the board also wants to put clubs on notice that any future rule breach of this nature would be subject to a disciplinary commission that would have available a full range of sanctions."

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Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey said he believed the action taken against his club would serve as a "clear warning" to rival teams.

"We are obviously disappointed but we respect the Premier League’s ruling especially as they have now used our case as a clear warning to all other clubs, some of whom have made similar changes to their teams in Premier League matches in the past, that this is not acceptable in the future.

"We made a detailed representation to the Premier League and pointed to those precedents involving other clubs in previous seasons.

"This ruling may now lead to a wider discussion regarding the issue of squad rotation and the Premier League’s rules."

Moxey though also gave his support to McCarthy’s team selection, adding: "One thing that’s never been in question is the integrity of Mick McCarthy.

"He picked a team that, in his view, was in the best possible position to get a result in that particular game.

"He made it unselfishly and with the best interests of Wolves in mind."

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