King’s Lynn Town officials will meet tonight to decide whether to appeal against UCL punishment
Chairman Buster Chapman has revealed club officials will meet tonight before King's Lynn Town decide whether or not to appeal after being punished for fielding Rob Hughes while he was suspended.
The Linnets have had the three points won from the game in which Hughes played – against Boston Town on October 25 – deducted, but the United Counties League, admitting there were 'significant mitigating circumstances' surrounding the saga, have only effectively expunged the game from the record books, having ordered Lynn to replay the game.
That way, Lynn get a chance to reclaim all the three points – and, with the original game having ended 1-0, could even find themselves improving their goal difference.
Lynn insist that at the time of selecting Hughes, the Lincs FA had no record of the midfielder picking up his fifth booking for Spalding against Sleaford on October 4.
Chapman, Linnets manager Gary Setchell, secretary Norman Cesar and a solicitor are expected to discuss the matter tonight before working out if Lynn will accept the league's decision.
'We will take stock this evening and decide what the best thing is to do for the club,' said Chapman.
'We still feel we're innocent as this situation was beyond our control and we did everything possible to prevent this from happening. However, we could have come off far worse so we just need to think about it all before deciding whether or not to appeal.'
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Lynn say they played the midfielder during the 1-0 win against Boston in good faith after also contacting his previous club Spalding to see if he had received five bookings before signing for the Linnets.
Setchell said: 'We are pleased that the committee acknowledged Lynn did everything by the book with respect to playing Rob.
'It's a one in a million situation that has happened because a player left a club represented by one FA to another in a different county and the ref sent the report in late. At least now we can concentrate on playing football again because it has been a cloud hanging over us.'
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. They said 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. Officials also said the main responsibility for monitoring a disciplinary record rests with the player himself and that the Linnets had pleaded guilty to the offence. The Linnets have just under a fortnight to decide if they will appeal.