WORTHING Football Club has appologised to its fans in a club statement after the club was “severely censured and warned as to their future conduct” at a Ryman League hearing on Thursday.
Rebels were “severely censured and warned as to their future conduct” at the hearing and the club were fined £10,000, with £5,000 suspended for two years following the incident on the flight from Guernsey to Gatwick on October 26.
Following complaints by the airline, representatives from the club pleaded guilty to “bringing the competition into disrepute” after their 4-1 defeat in the Channel Islands when they appeared before the Ryman League’s Appeals Sub-Committee in Dartford.
Woodside Road officials now have 14 days in which to decide whether or not to appeal to The FA after a number of other sanctions were handed down by the league who say the severity reflects the seriousness of the incident and a very real possibility that any repeat could see Ryman teams banned by the airline industry from flying to Channel Islands, thereby jeopardising Guernsey FC’s future participation in the League.
Apart from the threat of being “recommended for expulsion” should the offence be repeated, the Rebels were told that if they have to play on Guernsey next season, they must make alternative travel arrangements.
They were also ordered to reimburse Guernsey FC for the cost of one flight after admitting that one of their party did not qualify for a free ticket under the agreement in place between the Green Lions and the league to subsidise the costs of travelling to play on the Channel Island. Two directors at Worthing, three players and one coach are also to be charged with bringing the competition into disrepute.
In their statement, Worthing said: “Further to the hearing of the Ryman League Sub-Committee it is with utter regret that we have to confirm that the club pleaded guilty to the matter of bringing the league into disrepute, further to the actions of certain players and staff on the return flight from Guernsey on October 26.
“We as a board apologise to the fans, that the name of Worthing FC has been tarnished by the actions of those who caused embarrassment to the league and club on the flight and subsequent exposure that this has received in the press. We have already released the registration of two players and suspended a coach and one other player over the incidents, a further review of the charges brought against us and subsequent matters shall be considered in the near future, whereby we shall then be in a position to fully communicate with you our fans and supporters on the matter before drawing a line under the incidents and moving forward.
“We do recognise that the supporters and fans are very important to this club and do present the club in a very good nature. We thank you for your patience in this matter and trust that you will understand that full details can still not be released and discussed at this time.”