Canaries keep on Owls loan inquiry

The Canaries were today keeping a close eye on the Football League inquiry into Sheffield Wednesday's breach of the loan player rules.Promotion-chasing Stoke lodged a protest after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Hillsborough, because the relegation-threatened Owls included six loan players in their squad of 16, one more than the permitted number.

The Canaries were today keeping a close eye on the Football League inquiry into Sheffield Wednesday's breach of the loan player rules.

Promotion-chasing Stoke lodged a protest after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Hillsborough, because the relegation-threatened Owls included six loan players in their squad of 16, one more than the permitted number.

The League's decision - deducting the point Wednesday gained or awarding Stoke extra points are two options - will have implications for a long list of clubs at the top and bottom of the table.

There is one precedent when Leeds were fined £1,000, plus a further suspended fine of £1,000, after including six loan players in a Championship fixture at Burnley in November 2006. But, perhaps significantly, Leeds lost the game.


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In Wednesday's case, their goal against Stoke was scored by one of the loan players, Franck Songo'o, although two of the six were not used during the game.

Another example has come to light involving Swansea City in 2003 when they were caught naming six in their 16 for a game they, like Stoke, subsequently drew.

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Crucially, perhaps, the League let them off with a reprimand after recognising the fact that only five of the six actually played in the game.

“I do have strong views on it but I don't want to comment until we know what decision has been taken,” said City boss Glenn Roeder. “You have got to let the authorities decide what they think is appropriate and they will need to do that quickly.

“I was at West Ham when Harry Redknapp accidentally played Manny Omoyinmi in a League Cup tie when he was already cup-tied, and the game had to be replayed.”

The Hammers beat Aston Villa on penalties in the League Cup quarter-final at Upton Park in December 1999 after a 2-2 draw, but Omoyinmi - used as a substitute in extra time - had already played in the competition during a loan spell at Gillingham earlier in the season. West Ham lost the replayed game 3-1 to Villa, in January 2000.

The Owls, meanwhile, are back in action tonight with a vital relegation battle at home to Coventry.

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