Ramsbottom United wish to issue the following statement with regards to the points deduction enforced upon them last week.
On 2nd September 2016, Ramsbottom United signed Louis Myers on a one-month loan from Chorley FC.
Wishing to include the player in the squad for the game on the 3rd September 2016, the paperwork was posted to the FA on the 2nd for acknowledgement, and on the morning of 3rd faxed over to the Evo-Stik League for registration. The League accepted his registration at 9.25am that morning, ahead of the 11am deadline.
All paperwork was correctly completed, and the loan transfer agreed by both clubs, the player, and both Leagues and the player played for Ramsbottom United on the 3rd and the 10th.
In the middle of October 2016, the club was informed that the paperwork had not been received by the FA until the 16th September and in their view the player was ineligible for the two previous mentioned games.
No further correspondence was received until the FA asked for an explanation in February 2017. This was given, and although the FA found the charge proven, confirmed that no further action would be taken.
The Evo-Stik League then contacted the club to state that Ramsbottom United would be charged by them for fielding an ineligible player.
Once again, the explanation was sent, but despite a plea that the wording within the League rule of “save for exceptional circumstances” should be considered, as the delay was caused by the FA, the League found the club guilty and imposed a fine and four point deduction (the points gained from a win and a draw).
Club Secretary Tony Cunningham was understandably frustrated. “I have asked for proof from the FA as to why it took so long for them to receive the paperwork, but to date have had no reply”, he explained.
“Everything had been correctly submitted, as the registration by the League would confirm, yet we as a club have been penalised because of the actions of the FA Registration Department.
“We could accept a warning from them as to our future conduct, and would have been happy for that to have been the end of the matter. However, we are disappointed that the League decided to impose the points deduction and fine, when there was room within their rules not to do so.
“I can only assume that this is not exceptional, in which case, the rule needs looking at with a view to accepting that the FA are merely box ticking the loan, and that any delay on their part should not affect the registration and ability to select the player.”