West Ham United have vowed to appeal a decision to deduct 12 points from their Premier League total with immediate effect – a move that could push The Hammers towards relegation to The Championship.

According to a statement from the Football Association, the punishment has been applied for ‘fielding an ineligible player’ as it has been revealed that striker Andy Carroll is registered to a donkey sanctuary in Dorset.

A spokesperson for Floppy’s Paradise in Christchurch said that they were ‘outraged’ to find out that Carroll has been used on a number of occasions this season, even managing to walk unassisted for more than three minutes against Manchester City at the weekend.

Sources have also revealed that the club will face a hefty fine for violent crowd scenes a few weeks ago during their home match against Burnley – an incident that was in breach of the club’s tenancy agreement as council residents.

An FA spokesperson added, ‘If we had our way, we would just stick them straight into League 1 and avoid all this ‘up, down, up, down’ yo-yo bollocks that we seem to have year after year.’

‘Oh wait, you’re too good to get relegated because you won the World Cup did you? Our mistake. Please accept this lifelong immunity from relegation, unlimited cash injection from TV revenues and an automatic bye into every FA Cup Final until 2084.’

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