A Football Association Regulatory Commission found a charge against Enfield Town FC of two breaches of FA Rule E10 proven on 22 April 2015.
This arose from the fact that the Club played their player Aryan Tajbakhsh in two matches when the player should have been suspended for reaching 10 cautions in the season.
Following that finding the Ryman League charged the Club with two offences under their Rule 6.9 of playing an ineligible player in two matches. The Club requested a personal hearing which took place on 29th April.
The charge against the Club was found proven and, following Rule 6.9, it was ordered that Enfield Town FC have the three points it gained from the matches concerned deducted and that the Club pay a fine.
The impact of the three point deduction is that Enfield Town FC, which had qualified for the Play Offs having finished in fifth position, now fail to so qualify.
The Board of Directors of the League met on Thursday (April 30) and expressed their great regret at the outcome of this charge. It was disappointed that although the Club had reported the matter to The FA on 26th January, The FA had not been able to hold a hearing until 22 April. The Board also regretted the effect to the other Clubs involved in the Play Offs.
The Board wish to make it clear that there was no alternative to the order made because Rule 6.9 states: “Any Club found to have played an ineligible player shall have any points gained from that match or matches deducted from its record…and have levied upon it a fine.”
It should be noted that the matches concerned were not ordered to be replayed nor were penalty points levied against the Club which it could have done.
The Club now has the ability to appeal the League's decision to The Football Association which has the power to alter the decision of the League.
There are a number of other matters on which the Board wish to comment but feel that they cannot do at this time while appeals can be pursued. However, the Board feels it must react to various comments on social media claiming that the Board has acted disproportionately because the sanction of The FA was to warn the Club as to its future conduct and retain the hearing fee.
The Board hopes that others will refrain from comment without knowing the full facts of the matter.
The Board also hope that all Clubs will understand that once a charge is proved the Board has no alternative but to deduct points gained and levy a fine. The order made follows Rule 6.9 and many previous decisions in fairness to the Clubs sanctioned previously by the League.
The Board will urgently seek a meeting with the Director of Football Services [at The FA] to discuss various aspects of this case, particularly the timing of the action.