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By ESPN Staff

Rotherham agree to start new season on -17

Rotherham have accepted a 17-point penalty from the Football League ahead of their League Two campaign.

The South Yorkshire club have been handed the points penalty after failing to exit administration via the necessary Company Voluntary Agreement and for being declared insolvent for the second time in as many years.

After incurring the points penalty, Rotherham have been given the go-ahead to kick off against Lincoln on Saturday at the Don Valley Stadium.

Chief operating officer Paul Douglas told PA Sport: 'Obviously we would have preferred a lesser penalty - that goes without saying, but we did anticipate it in view of some of the penalties dished out in the last few seasons.

'We have done our best to offer mitigating circumstances, but ultimately the League has made a decision and we have to accept that.'

Football League chiefs, who met to discuss the Millers' case in London yesterday, have allowed the South Yorkshire club to start the new season at the Don Valley Stadium on the proviso a £750,000 bond is paid and they guarantee their return to Rotherham within four years.

Rotherham were forced to quit Millmoor, their home for 101 years, at the end of last season following a dispute with their landlords.

Douglas added: 'As a club we have bottomed out. Two or three months ago we did not have a club. No prospective owners were getting serious, but now we have a new owner who is deadly serious.

'Tony Stewart has not been fazed by anything the League have thrown at us. He's not batted an eyelid because we know we can now move forward. We feel now there will only be positive stories.

'It's very, very disappointing to be starting the season on minus 17 points and whether it's fair or not will no doubt be debated, but we have to get on with it.

'From the chairman down to the kit man, we're all looking forward with a real sense of optimism.'


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