Thursday, 21 October 2010

Crowdgate: Update

The Nikkan Sports website is reporting here that Ardija will probably have to wait until next month to learn from the J-League what their punishment will be for inflating crowd figures at J1 home matches over a period of almost three years. Club president Seigo Watanabe confirmed at a press conference earlier this week that no fewer than 111,737 people had been added to the official attendance data, which has led to Watanabe's resignation and the dismissal of two members of Omiya office staff.

Furthermore, because Watanabe has implied that Ardija were not alone in being engaged in similar activity for the purposes of meeting J-League targets, investigations are being carried out at other member clubs in order to establish how accurate their attendance figures have been. The outcome of this process is likely to have a significant impact on the punishment that Omiya will receive, on the basis that if Omiya have on the basis of Watanabe's accusations sent league officials off on a wild goose chase, they are hardly likely to treat Ardija more leniently.

Possible punishments are in the realm of speculation at the moment, with points deductions clearly the most serious option given the Squirrels' precarious position just above the bottom three in the standings. Whatever the outcome, however, it is apparent that Seigo Watanabe will be leaving Ardija with the legacy of being in serious danger of demotion back to J2 - and potentially suffering the double financial whammy of a large fine and the departure of sponsors unhappy at being associated with a team that has effectively told lies over a long period of time.



SMB 22 October 2010 at 13:15  


El Golazo posts this 11 for the first stop in the SEIGO WATANABE/Ardija farewell to J1 tour

Rafael-Lee Chun Soo

Mato was handed a one game suspension for his red card

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