Rangers’ financial woes, fine for Spanish club of racism incident and more sanctions for fielding ineligible players

Dani Alves
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 By Adam Lovatt, Thomas Gibby

In recent blog Adam Lovatt and Thomas Gibby provide legal insights into recent headline stories, including the consequences of fielding an ineligible player, an update on Neymar’s transfer saga, the continuing woes of Glasgow Rangers, and the Dani Alves racism incident.


Fielding an ineligible player – points deduction

Following on from Adam’s Lovatt’s blog last week1 - regarding the fielding of ineligible players - in England, a Football League Disciplinary Commission has penalised2 League Two club AFC Wimbledon with a 3 points’ deduction for fielding an ineligible player; a breach of Rule 42.1 as listed under Section 63 of the Football League Regulations. The verdict, delivered at a hearing on Monday 28 April, also landed the club with a £5,000 fine (suspended for 12 months) and an order to pay all legal costs incurred by both parties. 

The player, former Tottenham Hotspur youth midfielder Jake Nicholson, joined the AFC Wimbledon in February from Scottish Championship side Morton on a one-month multiplicity contract4 from 19 February to 19 March 2014. This affords smaller clubs the flexibility of registering players on a renewable month-by-month basis. The club should have renewed the player’s contract on 20 March 2014 (but failed to do so because of office closure) and nor did they do so the following day. 

The club had been charged with fielding the ineligible player earlier in April5 following its own admission to the Football League after a game on 22 March. This was a breach of Football League Regulations 41 and 426. At the time of the charge, the player had made three league appearances, scoring once. However, the player was only ineligible for one of those games. 

The penalty imposed here is in contrast to the punishment received by Sunderland for fielding Ji Dong-Won in a Premier League match earlier this season, when international clearance had not been received for him to play following a loan spell in Germany. The punishment, for this breach7 of clause 6.1.1 of the FA Rules, imposed against Sunderland was only a fine.

The points deduction suffered by Wimbledon sees the club drop four places from 14th to 18th, which will have further financial implications heading into next season.


Neymar – a deal within reason?

To continue reading or watching login or register here

Already a member? Sign in

Get access to all of the expert analysis and commentary at LawInSport including articles, webinars, conference videos and podcast transcripts.  Find out more here.

Related Articles

Written by

Adam Lovatt

Adam Lovatt

Adam is a lawyer specialising in sports law with IMG. Adam has a wide range of commercial and litigation experience from his four years as a qualified solicitor. Adam has a passion for sports law and is currently undertaking a IP Law Masters programme with the University of London. He is passionate about most sports particularly football, golf and tennis.

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thomas Gibby

Thomas Gibby

Thomas is a Solicitor in Kerman & Co’s sports team. Thomas is predominantly a commercial contracts lawyer who advises the team’s biggest sporting clients and major event organisers on a range of their commercial issues, including working in-house at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. His experience includes advising on data and consumer protection, IT/software development and procurement contracts.

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.


Legal Advisors

Copyright © LawInSport Limited 2010 - 2022. These pages contain general information only. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter. The information provided here was accurate as of the day it was posted; however, the law may have changed since that date. This information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. LawInSport is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.