Poppies consider 'all options' after being hit by National League fine

Kettering Town are one of 16 National League North and South clubs to have been charged for failing to fulfil fixtures during the controversial end to the 2020/21 season

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 12:00 pm
Kettering Town have been fined by the National League. Picture by Peter Short

Kettering Town say they “are considering all options” after they were one of a number of clubs hit by fines from the National League

The National League confirmed yesterday (Friday) that 16 clubs from the North and South divisions had been found guilty of breaching Rule 8.39 for failing to meet fixture obligations.

The charges relate to the failure of some clubs to fulfil fixtures during the 2020/21 season as a number of teams chose not to play due to financial pressure after grants that they had expected to be handed to enable them to complete the campaign failed to emerge.

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In the end, the North and South divisions were declared null and void for a second year in a row but that hasn’t stopped the National League from issuing fines to clubs for a failure to fulfil fixtures.

The Poppies confirmed they are one of the clubs to have been fined after they refused to play on in the National League North following their 3-0 defeat at Leamington in the FA Trophy on January 19.

The club didn’t reveal how much they have been fined while all clubs hit with charges will have the right to appeal to the Football Association.

In a brief statement, Kettering said: “The club is obviously disappointed to have been fined for breaching Rule 8.39 (failure to meet fixture obligations).

“The board are considering all options and will respond to the league in due course and we are therefore unable to comment further on the situation at this time.”

In a statement yesterday, the National League said: “An Independent Panel has ruled that 16 member clubs participating in National League North and South (Step Two) are guilty of breaching Rule 8.39 for failing to meet fixture obligations.

“Fines ranging from £1,400 to £8,000 in addition to a suspended points deduction for the 2021/22 playing season has been issued to each member club found guilty.

“Given the extremely unusual circumstances that have affected football at all levels and the financial pressures the absence of spectators has brought to bear on clubs, the panel expressed its sympathy with the clubs’ predicament.

“However, the panel believes it must also take regard of the fact that the majority of clubs continued to fulfil fixtures and incur much costs until the league ended on February 19.

“Per breach, each club received a £2,000 fine and suspended two-point deduction for the 2021/22 Playing Season.

“A 30 per cent deduction was made to the fine for those accepting the charge ahead of the hearing.”

Following the latest bombshell, the BBC have reported that a number of National League clubs are considering whether to bring a vote of no confidence to the league’s board.