Southampton were penalised 10 points by the Football League yesterday, a deduction that will come into force this season if the Saints avoid relegation from the Championship – and which will therefore ensure their relegation next month. But if Southampton fail to survive "naturally" then the 10-point deduction will be applied next season when they begin their League One campaign.
The punishment came as a consequence of Southampton's parent company entering administration. The League said that it had commissioned a "forensic" financial study and found that Southampton FC and the parent company are "inextricably linked". The club have said they will appeal.
There could be further bad news on the South Coast with football financial analysts yesterday saying that Bournemouth of League Two are closer to liquidation this summer than administration.
Bournemouth have already had a recent administration, which led to a 17-point deduction at the beginning of this season.
As the credit crunch bites, there is also a concern that Stockport County will be forced to enter administration within the next month.