The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

VIS­I­TORS to Rother­ham’s web­site on Tues­day prob­a­bly no­ticed an ad­vert for De­men­tia Aware­ness Week.

Posted just hours af­ter the club were charged with field­ing an in­el­i­gi­ble player, that web­mas­ter has ei­ther an un­for­tu­nate sense of tim­ing or a black sense of hu­mour.

Far­rend Raw­son should not have played in the Millers’ 1-0 victory over rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals Brighton on Easter Mon­day.

The 18-year-old’s youth loan from Derby had ex­pired three days ear­lier and, while both par­ties agreed to an ex­ten­sion, some­body for­got to tell the FA.

It could prove a po­ten­tially cat­a­strophic over­sight, with the Millers set to be docked three points and plunged from the brink of Cham­pi­onship sur­vival into a full-on dog­fight.

Th­ese rules are clear and prece­dented. For Rother­ham there is no ex­cuse. Some­body at the New York Sta­dium should have re­alised that Raw­son be­longed in the back row of the iPro Sta­dium, not Steve Evans’ back four.

But whilst the de­duc­tion is nec­es­sary, see­ing the Millers rel­e­gated as a di­rect re­sult would feel deeply un­sat­is­fac­tory.

This is a side who en­ter­tain, who score goals, who have never once tried to sit back and cling to Cham­pi­onship sta­tus. Since pro­mo­tion from League One last term, they have spent one soli­tary week in the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Rules is rules but, one way or the other, I hope those three points do not come to de­fine Rother­ham’s sea­son.

ER­ROR: Far­rend Raw­son

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