Worthing’s fine reduced on appeal

Action from Worthing's win over Walton earlier this month
Action from Worthing's win over Walton earlier this month

WORTHING Football Club had their fine from the Guernsey incident reduced and travel restrictions lifted last week.

Rebels went to the FA to appeal against the decision of the Ryman League to fine the club £10,000 (with £5,000 suspended) and bringing the competition into disrepute as a result of the conduct of some members of the Worthing FC party which went to Guernsey on October 26.

The club had been fined £10,000 (with £5,000 suspended) and had been restricted in their mode of transport for travel to the Island next season. Rebels had argued that the league did not have jurisdiction to take the action it did but the Board of Appeal did not accept this point.

The restriction on mode of travel for future matches was lifted with immediate effect. In considering the fine, the Board of Appeal considered that an appropriate fine would have been £5,000, taking into consideration the level of the game.

However, when also considering the acceptance of the charge and the action already taken by Worthing, the board reduced the sanction to a fine of £4,000, with £1,000 suspended, and automatically imposed if a similar incident occurs by the close of next season.

Rebels company secretary Alistair McKail said: “While not detracting from the seriousness of the incident, we’d felt we had to appeal against the level of the sanctions imposed by the league, which we believe were excessive given that we accepted the charge and had acted swiftly to investigate and discipline the people involved.

“Both the level of fine and the restriction on mode of travel imposed by the league were included in the appeal. The FA ruling reduced the fine to £4,000 (with £1,000 suspended for a year) and lifted the travel ban entirely.

“We are satisfied that the correct balance has been struck with this decision and we can now move on.”