The league table doesn’t lie. Or so the saying goes. But the final tallies of wins, draws and losses doesn’t always tell the entire story.
Once the English scholars of the 19th century had the bright idea of forming a national league championship, points deductions for teams stepping out of line were quick to follow. The first recorded incident of a club being stripped of points came in 1890, two years before goals had crossbars or nets.
In the century-plus since, clubs have continued to colour outside the lines, losing more than the two points Wrexham had scrubbed off back in the day. Here are some of the heftiest deductions the game has ever seen.
Juventus are no strangers to scandal. Regrettably, they are hardly the only club from the European peninsula that has been caught bending the rules, as Gianni Brera once remarked: “In Italy, we have never heard of fair play.”
The Bianconeri’s latest indiscretion centres around the inflation of transfer fees and in 2006 there were at the heart of the Calciopoli scandal which rocked the whole of Italy. Juve were relegated from Serie A and initially docked 30 points but that was reduced to nine, leaving that iteration outside the scope of this list.
Fiorentina’s role in the Calciopoli scandal often gets glossed over. However, La Viola played their part – even if the way the club’s owner Diego Della Valle conducted himself lacked the nefarious edge of Juve’s fixer Luciano Moggi.
Nevertheless, as punishment for the undue influence Fiorentina’s hierarchy applied to referees, the club were not only docked points in the 2005/06 campaign (scroll down) but had another 15 taken off for the following campaign.
Just six years after battling out a Champions League semi-final with Valencia, Leeds began their first-ever season of League One football with -15 points beside their name in the league table.
There was the possibility of the club suffering expulsion from the Football League entirely as they failed to agree on a debt agreement with their various creditors during the summer. However, a vote between the…