8 Football Teams Who Were Stripped Of Their League Titles

Could Manchester City be about to join another elite list?

Vincent Kompany

The scandal of Manchester City's violation of Financial Fair Play rules by overstating sponsorship revenue rumbles on. UEFA have already imposed a ban on the club competing in European football for the next two seasons, but the Premier League are also keen to investigate and may well want to provide their own punishment for violating their similar FFP laws.

This week a rumour has broken that, given the alleged offenses took place in the 2012-16 period, the league could decide retroactively to deduct City points from those seasons. The major effect of that would be to strip the club of the title that they won under Manuel Pellegrini in 2014.

That was the season in which City snatched the title from early frontrunners Liverpool by just two points, after Steven Gerrard's infamous slip against Chelsea. So, even the slightest points deduction would see them have to hand the Reds the title.

Such a severe punishment seems unlikely, though, as in the annals of football history there are actually precious few instances where a title winner has been stripped of their trophy after the fact.

In fact, that we have to go all around the world and travel back decades to even get this list up to eight entries shows just how rare revoking an already won title is.

With that in mind, here are eight teams that City could be about to join in having their trophies wrestled from their hands.

8. Elgin City - Highland League, 1992-93

In April 1993 a swashbuckling, attacking Elgin team needed just one point to secure the semi-professional Highland League title. That was when they decided to move a fixture with lowly Forres Mechanics from Saturday to Friday night.

Elgin ran out 6-0 winners and wrapped up the title. Everything was fine until league officials realised that, by switching their fixture to Friday, Elgin had been able to field players, including player-manager John Teasdale, who would have been suspended had the game happened in its originally scheduled timeslot.

Elgin were stripped of their title and, with runners up Cove Rangers not wanting to win by default, the Highland League went without a winner for the first time in over a hundred years. It is a decision which still rankles amongst those in the far north of Scotland.

Now competing in the full Scottish Football League, Elgin's players and officials still view losing the whole 1992-93 Highland League, which they had dominated throughout the year, as a punishment not commensurate with the crime of making small changes to one game. But, then, maybe that level of dominance means that they shouldn't have ever bothered trying to tamper with one easily winnable game in the first place.

As recently as 2018 Elgin appealed to the Scottish Football Association to have their 1993 players' medals restored, but they have not been successful.

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