§ Mr. Simon Coombs
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) when he expects to meet representatives of the Football League in order to discuss the need to ensure consistency of treatment of clubs who make illegal payments to their players; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what information he has concerning the policy of the Football League towards the determination of penalties relating to illegal payments to players; what representations he has received on this matter; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Atkins
I condemn attempts by any club to gain unfair advantage over others. However, the question of the appropriate action to take when breaches of Football League regulations occur is for the football authorities which I understand consider all such cases on their merits. I have no plans to meet the League to discuss this matter.
Last year my hon. Friend the previous Minister for Sport received a substantial number of representations, mainly from Swindon Town FC supporters, concerning the penalty imposed by the League on the club for making illegal payments to players.