FA warns Scarborough to steer clear of barefaced cheek

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The Independent Football

Attempts by Scarborough's players to make money by dropping their shorts during tomorrow's FA Cup tie with Chelsea are likely to be met with a financial kick in the pants by the Football Association.

The Conference team had accepted a deal with a magazine that if they scored against Chelsea at the McCain Stadium, the players, with a letter painted on each of their posteriors, would line up, drop their trousers and arrange themselves to spell out the publication's title. Given the difficulties some teams have in forming a coherent wall, this would have taken a considerable feat of discipline. The FA contacted Scarborough yesterday to underline the rule concerning ungentlemanly conduct and inform the club that such advertising is against Fifa regulations. If convicted, the club and players would face fines which would wipe out any financial gain.

In May 1988, during a testimonial for Alan Cork two days after winning the FA Cup, Wimbledon's players, led by Vinnie Jones, dropped their shorts en masse, which led to the nine players being fined £750 each while the club was forced to pay £5,000.

The deal for which the magazine has paid Scarborough £10,000 was brokered by the agent, Eric Hall, of "Monster, Monster" fame.

The club chairman, Malcolm Reynolds, seemed genuinely embarrassed by the prospect of shortless players when questioned yesterday. "I really don't know how I feel about that," he said. "I was not involved in negotiating this."