Bangor City have been hit with a 42 point deduction for the 2018/19 season for breaking FAW rules, which means they will be relegated to the third Tier of Welsh Football, unless the club makes a successful appeal against the decision.
A Disciplinary Panel of the FAW met recently met to deliberate over multiple charges issued to Bangor City for the alleged breach of rules, which included allegedly failing with their ‘financial obligations’ towards six of their current and/or former professional players and playing ineligible players during matches.
Despite finishing 4th in the Huws Gray Alliance last season, the points deduction would mean that Bangor finish bottom of the league and would be relegated to the Welsh Alliance and will be playing the likes of Bodedern, Llanberis and Llandudno Junction.
The FAW alleged that Bangor entered into an employment contract with ‘Player A’ in or around November 2018 but did not submit a copy of the employment contract to the Association, the application for registration did not follow the procedures set by the Association for Professional Players and was outside the permissible transfer window.
‘Player A’ then played in eleven Matches between November 2018 and March 2019 whilst being ineligible. Another player, referred to as ‘Player B’ was signed in Septemvber 2018. ‘Player B’ allegedly played in eleven matches between October 2018 and March 2019 whilst ineligible.
After carefully considering the written and verbal evidence submitted, the Disciplinary Panel decided that all listed charges above against Bangor City Football Club be proven. The Panel fined the Club in accordance with their Rule breaches and the guidelines set out in the Disciplinary Procedures and Huws Gray Alliance League Rules.
The Panel decided that Bangor City should have a transfer embargo placed upon them and be suspended from registering any Professional Players with immediate effect up to and including 31 December 2019.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Panel confirmed that this would not impact any player currently holding a valid professional contract or prevent Bangor City Football Club from registering any Amateur Players during this period. However, the renewal of a professional contract would not be permitted during this period.
The Panel noted that the Huws Gray Alliance League Rule 7 states that any “club to have played an ineligible player in a league fixture will be dealt with by the management committee. If found guilty they will be deducted three points per game and fined a maximum of two hundred pounds per instance.”
As Bangor City had played ‘Player A’ in eleven matches, the Panel decided that Bangor City Football Club should have 33 points deducted from their Huws Gray Alliance League record for the 2018/2019 season.
The Panel noted that ‘Player B’ had participated in eleven matches, eight of which were the same matches as ‘Player A’. The Panel felt that the punishment of a three-point deduction per match for the eight matches that both ‘Player A’ and ‘Player B’ has participated in was sufficient. However, the Panel determined that with the three remaining matches that ‘Player B’ had participated in between October 2018 and December 2019, which ‘Player A’ did not participate in, there should be a 3-point deduction per offence. Hence, the Panel decided that Bangor City should have an additional 9 points deducted from their Huws Gray Alliance League record for the 2018/2019 season.
Therefore, the Panel decided that a total of 42 points are to be deducted from Bangor City’s Huws Gray Alliance League record for the 2018/2019 season.
Further charges for a player known as ‘Player C’ were not proven by the disciplinary panel.
Bangor City have until the close of business on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 to lodge an appeal against any of the decisions made by the Disciplinary Panel.
The club issued the following statement: “In light of the findings of the recent case, FAW vs. Bangor City FC, the FAW has issued a points deduction to the club as a result of players being paid who are registered as non-contract players that do not have a written contract at FAW.
“This issue will send shockwaves through the football community as many clubs throughout Wales pay players who are registered as non-contract and who are not on professional contracts.
“In the opinion of the FAW, players who sign standard non-contract forms should NOT be paid apart from expenses and then only if valid receipts are submitted.
“All registration rules have been adhered to and the decision is based on ‘balance of probability’ rather than adhering to their own rules and regulations.
“All forms signed have been submitted correctly and therefore, no blame can be attributed to any individuals who have been involved with the club.
“The punishment that has been issued is severely harsh and not in keeping with previous punishments for similar issues.
“This decision will be appealed – not just in the interests of Bangor City but for every other club within Welsh football who currently are doing the same thing.”