“No players don’t really pay attention to that sort of stuff.
“They would mind if it meant that they were going to get relegated and their wages were going to change!
“Then it would play on your mind and obviously if you’re looking to push into the playoffs and then it happened that would also bother you as it’d be a huge blow.
“Players generally don’t let off-field issues bother them, though, because you’re in your own little bubble and you come in every day doing the same sort of things.
“You’re getting paid well and it doesn’t really affect you. We’re all very simple, we just love going in training, it’s a great job to have and it’d more worrisome to the manager and the board.
“If they were pushing for the title or something like that it might bother them but the position they’re in; probably not.”
From what Ashton understands, there should be no excuses for Garry Monk’s players if performance levels start to drop now, even amidst the crisis facing the club. After all, there is next to no impact on the players themselves whether Birmingham as a club are punished or not.
If the EFL do indeed throw the kitchen sink at the St Andrews’ Stadium outfit, they are still highly unlikely to get relegated and, as Ashton says, the players would still be raking in their wages.
The Blues currently sit ninth in the Championship table and will have to really pull it out of the bag if they are to climb into a coveted play-off spot with just 14 games to go – Bristol City, who occupy sixth place, are a surely insurmountable seven points ahead.
They are equally unlikely to drop into the bottom three; a 12-point deduction, as it stands, would leave the Blues on 34 points – five points clear of 22nd place Rotherham.
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Hopes of Premier League football next season, however unlikely that might be, are still alive for the fans and perhaps this is the premise of their panic over a possible point deduction.
In reality though, considering their current position in the standings, they will not lose much other than the number to the left of their name in the table come the end of the season – as Ashton says, then, there’s no real grounds for the players to use it as an excuse if form begins to tail off.