Blyth Spartans, Darlington, Gateshead and Spennymoor Town charged and fined by National League
The North East’s four National League North clubs have all been charged and fined for not fulfilling fixtures.
Blyth Spartans, Darlington, Gateshead and Spennymoor Town are on a list of 16 step two clubs that decided against taking part in league fixtures in January and February as a row over funding continued.
The National League revealed at the time that it would investigate the reasons behind the postponements and the controversial outcome was confirmed in a statement released on Friday evening.
Despite the step two season being declared null and void last month, the 16 clubs have received fines of £2,000 and a suspended two-point deduction for each match that they failed to fulfil.
The league also confirmed that there will be a 30% reduction in their fines if clubs accepted the decision before the hearing and that all clubs have a right to appeal to the Football Association.
A league statement read: “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 19th.
“Per breach, each Club received a £2,000 fine and suspended two-point deduction for the 2021/22 Playing Season. A 30% reduction was made to the fine for those accepting the charge ahead of the hearing.”
The statement also revealed that National League club Dover Athletic have been handed a 12-point deduction and their playing record for the season has been expunged after the club confirmed that they were unable to fulfil any further fixtures.
National League North duo King’s Lynn Town and Southport have been issued with fines for breaches of Covid-19 protocols.