King’s Lynn Town deducted three points for playing suspended Hughes against Boston Town
King's Lynn Town have been hit with a three-point deduction for fielding Rob Hughes while he was suspended.
Linnets manager Gary Setchell, chairman Buster Chapman and a solicitor were present at a UCL hearing last night regarding the charge that Lynn fielded an ineligible player, Hughes, against Boston Town on October 25.
Despite The Walks outfit insisting they played the midfielder in good faith - after contacting his previous club Spalding and Lincolnshire FA to see if he had received five bookings before joining Lynn - the league have handed the title-chasing outfit the punishment.
However, after admitting there were 'significant mitigating circumstances' surrounding the saga, the league have given Lynn the chance to regain the points because the match will be replayed.
The UCL committee decided that King's Lynn had breached rule 6.9 in playing Hughes when he should have been serving a one-match suspension. In reaching the decision the committee took into account the fact that:
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• The FA disciplinary guidelines state suspensions for players who receive five cautions are automatic, irrespective of whether or not notification has been received from the County FA.
• The FA disciplinary guidelines state that the main responsibility for ensuring that clubs are informed of a players disciplinary record following a transfer rests with the player himself
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• The club pleaded guilty to playing an ineligible player in this fixture when charged by the County FA
However, the committee acknowledged that Hughes received all five cautions for his previous club and that Lynn took 'all reasonable' steps to clarify if Hughes was suspended.
A breach of rule 6.9 means there is an automatic requirement to deduct three points. The 1-0 win gained by Lynn has been deducted from the league table, goal differences have been adjusted and the match will be replayed.
Lynn have however not been fined for the offence and have 14 days to decide if they will appeal against the decision.