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Legal Action Over Palmer Delay

Coventry City are threatening legal action against the Premier League after being barred from playing new signing Carlton Palmer against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

The Highfield Road club agreed terms with Nottingham Forest for the 33-year-old – who joins on a three month loan – and faxed the documents to the City Ground for signing before the noon deadline.

But Forest did not forward the papers to the Premier League until 12.20pm and the governing body are now refusing to let the former Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds player make his first appearance.

Coventry City chairman Bryan Richardson is now considering legal action and claims there is a precedent.

"We completed everything in time and faxed it to Forest by 11.55am having already contacted the Premier League and telling them it was on the way. As it happens Forest could not find the person capable of signing even though the papers had been received by the club secretary.

"In the end they sent it by 12.20pm but the Premier League have refused the registration in time for Sunday, even though that is 24 hours later than the normal match day.

"We are pursuing the matter most vigorously as we know there has been a precedent when a player was registered 38 minutes after the deadline. When I asked the Premier League to put it in writing they had never registered a player late, they refused which I find interesting.

"The rule also states that the registration must be by noon on the previous working day and in the football industry Saturday is the most labour-intensive, important working day of the week. No day is named.

"There is clearly flexibility in the game – we have had to play this game 24 hours later than we wanted because of Tottenham’s European commitments – and there should be flexibility in the rules."

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 17 Sep 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM