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Football League investigating Rovers relegation claims

Rovers played Wycombe at the Memorial Stadium on the last day of the season Credit: ITV News West Country

The Football League has confirmed it's investigating claims by Bristol Rovers that they shouldn't have been relegated. Rovers finished level on points with Wycombe Wanderers but below them on goal difference but say their opponents breached FA rules on player ownership.

Wycombe have yet to respond.

Bristol Rovers launch appeal to Football League

Bristol Rovers are appealing to The Football League because of an alleged breach of league rules by Wycombe Wanderers.

Rovers were relegated on the last day of the season after failing to beat the Buckinghamshire club at the Memorial Stadium.

They say that it's come to their attention that Wycombe Wanderers FC appear to have breached FA rules on Third Party Ownership of at least one of their players.

The club issued the following statement on their website.

Its 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 club statement

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Application to list Memorial Stadium rejected

An application to list the entire Memorial Stadium as a war memorial has been rejected. The gates to the stadium are already grade II listed. The move would have prevented a supermarket development on the site but English Heritage says the stands are not of sufficient interest.

English Heritage says the stands are not of sufficient interest Credit: Andrew Matthews/EMPICS Sport

Bristol Rovers' new stadium plans face further delays

The gates to the Memorial Stadium are already listed by English Heritage Credit: Jamie Carstairs

Bristol Rovers' plans to build a new stadium have been hit by another delay.

The club have agreed a deal to sell their current home, the Memorial Stadium, to Sainsbury's to fund a new arena in Frenchay.

But they now have to wait while English Heritage consider an application to have the whole Memorial Stadium site listed as a war memorial.

The bid has been made by Jamie Carstairs, a photographer who works at Bristol University. He doesn't think it is right that a Sainsbury's is build "on a war memorial" created in the wake of the First World War.

Bristol Rovers sacks John Ward

John Ward was sacked after the club were relegated Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Bristol Rovers have sacked director of football John Ward.

It follows the club's relegation from the Football League.

Ward was appointed manager in December 2012 when Rovers were languishing at the bottom of League Two, and helped them to a mid-table finish.

It was his second spell as manager of Bristol Rovers. He was previously in charge between 1993 and 1996.

But with the team struggling at the bottom of League Two this season, Ward was moved to director of football in March, with his assistant Darrell Clarke taking over as manager.

But Clarke was unable to stop Rovers dropping to non-league.

Their fate was confirmed last Saturday, on the final day of the season, following their 1-0 defeat by Mansfield.

Rovers expected to outline plans for Conference football

Bristol Rovers are expected to outline later today further plans for next season in the light of their relegation from the football league. Although manager Darrell Clarke will stay, 12 players have been released and one put on the transfer list - see our website for details.

12 players have already been released by the club Credit: ITV News West Country

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Rovers publish retained list following relegation

Bristol Rovers have published their retained list for next season following their relegation to the Conference.

A total of 12 players will leave the club, including Fabian Broghammer, David Clarkson, Seanan Clucas and Steven Gillespie

Alan Gow has been offered the chance to earn a new contract by proving his fitness during the summer.

Ellis Harrison has been placed on the transfer list by the club.

See the full retained list here.

Higgs: 'We have hit rock bottom'

A statement posted on the Bristol Rovers website by chairman Nick Higgs confirmed that Rovers would continue to employ a full time playing and back room set up, retaining one of the best budgets in the Conference.

He went on to say there would be a number of announcements over the coming weeks but no 'knee jerk' decisions.

We have hit rock bottom, but I can assure you we will fight back. Bristol Rovers is a club with a proud history, and we must make every effort to restore that pride. We must work hard over the coming weeks to make sure we are able to hit the ground running and do our best to bounce back at the earliest opportunity.

We will be making a number of announcements over the next few weeks, so I would ask you to bear with us at this very difficult time. I know you all want answers and actions, and I can assure you that we will be trying our best to get things back on track.

– Nick Higgs, Chairman
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