Jeremy Cross says Sunderland should be deducted points for playing Ji-Dong won
Unfair on relegation rivals that fine was punishment, says Daily Star man
Last Updated: 06/04/14 2:28pm
The Black Cats played South Korean striker Ji-Dong won - who is now on loan at Bundesliga outfit Augsburg - in four Premier League matches and a Capital One Cup tie whilst Paolo di Canio was manager earlier in the season.
Sunderland were handed a fine in December, though the news of it only emanated publicly on Friday, andDaily Star writer Cross thinks that could mean trouble if the struggling side survive.
"I think it's wrong [they haven't been deducted points] and if Sunderland stay up by a point, it will cause mayhem as other clubs will have a claim for taking legal advice, like the West Ham-Carlos Tevez scenario," he said.
"It may not come to that as Sunderland look likely to get relegated anyway, but the Premier League have made themselves look like fools by handling it badly."
Ji did not have the international clearance to figure in top-flight matches against Fulham, Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Southampton, and in the League Cup versus MK Dons.
But the Mirror's Oliver Holt feels that any administrative error must be punished in a division as high-profile as the Premier League.
And the Mail's Martin Samuel says that in an ideal world any game in which an ineligible footballer figures should result in his side being stripped of any points they accrue - but doubts that will ever happen.
Holt said: "I think it's astonishing Sunderland haven't been deducted points as if this had happened in the lower leagues there would have been a deduction, no question, and at this level you have to pay for mistakes."
And while referencing the 2007 Tevez affair - in which West Ham were found guilty of breaching Premier League transfer rules when signing the Argentine striker but fined £5.5million rather than losing points - Samuel added: "Every game Tevez played in should have been awarded to the opposition.
"However, the Premier League are facilitators and the decisions went to an independent commission who decided they didn't want to alter the narrative of the Premier League.
"And that's what the clubs want really, for the Premier League not to be regulators and hand out strong punishments - but rules should be rules."