one day after breaking his silence following the FA charges against Boston
United and him personally, Steve Evans has been suspended from the club pending
an internal enquiry. In his interview with BBC Radio Lincolnshire Evans had
expressed his gratitude for the support being shown to him by "senior
people in the football club". It now appears that this gratitude was
The sixteen charges published by the FA on the 24th June split three ways, six against Boston United for
contract irregularities, eight against Evans personally which are the same six
contract irregularities plus two for attempting to mislead the FA enquiry, and
two against former chairman Pat Malkinson, one of which relates to the
contracts, the other of which relates to misleading the enquiry.
Yesterday's announcement also stated that Malkinson had resigned from his position on the
board of Boston United due to recent ill health.
It seems clear that new Chairman and owner of Boston United, Des Wood, is
distancing the club from the previous management under which the incidents that
the charges relate to took place. By doing this he is leaving Evans and
Malkinson to carry the more obviously serious charge of attempting to mislead
the FA enquiry alone . He stated yesterday that, "We have co-operated fully
with the FA enquiry and are committed to upholding FA Rules. Media reports have
referred to "financial irregularities" so I want to make it very clear
that no dishonesty or criminal conduct has been alleged against the club."
This approach always seemed Boston United's best course of action and the
only question is why the club waited eight days before suspending Evans. Fans
report that Evans took the squad for pre-season training yesterday.
Will it work?
Possibly, although should the FA feel that the "financial
irregularities" made any kind of impact on the on-field performance of the
club during 2001/02 they need to consider whether this impacted the very close
title race. The fact that Evans and Malkinson allegedly tried mislead the FA
enquiry leads many observers to believe that the "irregularities" were
serious. If the FA do conclude that the issues in the contracts did impact
issues on the field they must take a much harder stance against the club.
Meanwhile Steve Evans is set to defend the charges against him without the support of his
employers at the FA hearing on July 18th and 19th.