Barrow future in doubt after being docked 29 points

 

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The Independent Online

The future of Barrow is under severe threat following the decision of the Rugby League to dock the club 29 points and relegate them from the Championship.

The RFL's operational rules tribunal found Barrow guilty of a "systematic" series of breaches of the game's salary cap regulations, going back more than four years.

The club's chairman, Des Johnson, has been banned from any involvement in rugby league for eight years. That adds up to by far the heaviest punishment dished out to any club since the adoption of the salary cap concept. Barrow were docked six points, with another six suspended, in July for breaching their 2010 salary cap. The 29 points they have been deducted now was their remaining total for the just-completed 2011 season. It means they are relegated in last position and that Dewsbury are reprieved and stay up.

The club and the chairman issued a statement yesterday saying that they will not comment further until they have taken more legal advice.

The punishment represents the biggest crisis in the history of the club, which has played rugby league since 1897. They have appeared in five Challenge Cup finals, but since the mid-80s they have been confined to the lower divisions. Their recent highlight was winning the Championship Grand Final in 2009.

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