Rangers’ financial woes, fine for Spanish club of racism incident and more sanctions for fielding ineligible players
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?
Get access to this article and all of the expert analysis and commentary at LawInSport
Already a member?
Articles, webinars, conference videos and podcast transcripts
This work was written for and first published on LawInSport.com (unless otherwise stated) and the copyright is owned by LawInSport Ltd. Permission is granted to make digital or hard copies of this work (or part, or abstracts, of it) for personal use provided copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage, and provided that all copies bear this notice and full citation on the first page (which should include the URL, company name (LawInSport), article title, author name, date of the publication and date of use) of any copies made. Copyright for components of this work owned by parties other than LawInSport must be honoured.
- Tags: Administration | Disciplinary Commission | England | Europe | Football | Football League | Scotland | Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) | Spain | Spanish Football Federation | United Kingdom (UK)
- European football law recap: Vitesse & Chelsea links, Barce's transfer ban, Cardiff's rights to identity, and World Cup Stadia concerns
- European football: Discrimination, discipline and Kosovo's debut
- What next for Anelka and West Brom?
- European football law update - Financial Fair Play, racism, Brazil stadia and Rangers troubles
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.
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.