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Paul Wheelock column: Campbell case can’t cast a long shadow
THE ongoing uncertainty over DJ Campbell’s future at Rovers is not fair on the club or on the fans.
What we know is that Campbell was arrested on Sunday morning for alleged spot-fixing and later released on bail until April 2014.
But what happens now?
The club is in an extremely difficult position.
Should it follow in the footsteps of Oldham Athletic?
Oldham suspended Cristian Montano – who, along with Campbell, was among six men to be arrested on Sunday by police probing spot-fixing allegations – without full pay.
But it remains to be seen whether Rovers – who have spent the week in discussions with their lawyers and Campbell’s representatives – will, or even can, do the same.
It has to be remembered that Campbell has not been charged with anything.
Therefore there appears to be no reason why he could not return to training today and take his place in Gary Bowyer’s squad for Saturday’s visit of Millwall to Ewood Park.
But how would supporters react to that?
You know for a fact that some opposition fans would spare Campbell no mercy, no matter the fact the allegations surrounding him are exactly that at this moment in time – allegations.
But more importantly, how are Rovers supposed to react to the sight of Campbell donning the blue and white halves again?
Back him? Boo him? Show indifference?
It is hard to say.
That is why the FA, if it can, has to act.
The game’s governing body need to guide Rovers – and the other clubs involved – on what they should do next.
There has been a suggestion that the FA could order the suspension of Campbell and the four other footballers arrested until the spot-fixing investigation has run its course.
If that is the case it needs to be made clear – and sooner rather than later.
As this cannot be allowed to overshadow what is a crucial stage of the season for Rovers.
Saturday’s clash with Millwall starts a run of four games – three of which are at home – against teams that are currently below Bowyer’s boys in the table.
The Championship is a tough competition to predict.
But if Rovers are serious about making a push for the play-offs they must be looking to take at least nine points from these next four matches.
And given the way they performed at QPR on Saturday – which seems a long, long time ago – there is no reason why they cannot achieve that total.
Or even better it.
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