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Cherries: League is bound by its own red tape
Published : 02 Mar 2010 07:00:00
EDDIE Howe has all but given up. Fortunately, |his desire to achieve the near impossible remains as strong as ever. Like the long-suffering Dean Court support, though, his patience with the Football League is wearing thin. Perhaps the men in suits have a private health policy, where raising a doctor on a Saturday for non-emergency care is commonplace. The rest of us, including Howe and his shrinking squad, have to wait until Monday mornings for a spot on the triage list. Quite how the league expected Howe to provide medical proof of injuries to Jason Pearce and Liam Feeney just hours before a match is both baffling and laugh-out-loud funny. Just don't go splitting those sides on a Saturday morning, though. Having listened to Eddie Mitchell outline the Dean Court outfit's latest financial worries last week, it is hard to fully support immediate demands for the league's transfer embargo to be lifted however hard it is hitting Howe and his patched-up team. The league, quite rightly, is trying to protect the club from yet more monetary mismanagement. But the powers-that-be do themselves no favours by putting in place overly-stringent policies laden with red tape and no room for manoeuvre. Added to that are communication directives that ensure communication with the fans is kept to a minimum when it comes to the good old e' word. Indeed, common sense' appears to be a dirty phrase at league HQ. Like Howe, the Echo's sports reporters are close to suffering repetitive strain injury on their dialling fingers, attempting frequently, yet in vain, to get just a little blood out of the Football League stone. Both the Echo's regular comment on the ongoing embargo issue and the views of the fans on the paper's website may well have riled the league. But they would have no right to criticise those views even in private. The lack of an official response dictates that. The league has not grasped its right to reply when, perhaps, doing just that would have silenced the critics for a while. Following Saturday's soap plot in Shropshire, now could be the time for a statement to clarify the much-referred-to Level Playing Field' policy. The league has my number.