Rovers poised to appeal

  • Last Updated: May 27 2014, 17:39 BST

Bristol Rovers are to complain to the Football Association and Football League over a rules breach by Wycombe that they believe could have affected their relegation from League Two.

Rovers were relegated on the final day of the season when they were beaten 1-0 at home by Mansfield and Wycombe defeated Torquay United 3-0 to send them down on goal difference.

But the club issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon that opened the distinct possibility of an appeal against their relegation.

Leading agent Phil Smith was banned for six months last week for a breach of third-party ownership in relation to Phillips' departure for Blackpool in 2010 and the sell-on fee that followed when the winger joined QPR last summer.

Wycombe were fined £10,000 after being found guilty of arranging payment to the agent through a percentage of a future sell-on fee - the club is under different ownership now than it was four years ago.

The statement read: "It has come to the attention of Bristol Rovers FC that Wycombe Wanderers FC appear to have breached FA rules on Third Party Ownership.

"It's current chairman, in giving evidence at a recent FA Disciplinary Hearing, appears to have admitted a serious breach in respect of the player, Matt Phillips (and possibly other players).

"The result of this led to Wycombe wrongfully obtaining a competitive advantage over Bristol Rovers.

"Without this, Wycombe rather than Bristol Rovers could have been relegated.

"Bristol Rovers were relegated merely on goal difference, and as the breach, if proven, would have almost certainly led to a points deduction, Bristol Rovers have instructed specialist sports lawyers together with Nick De Marco, a leading sports barrister, to draft and send a complaint to both The Football League and The Football Association."