Gornal facing the drop after points penalty

GORNAL Athletic have been deducted 14 points and relegated from the Midland Alliance after players they took from Dudley Town last season were deemed to be ineligible.

When manager Andy Wyton took over at Garden Walk in February after leaving his post at The Dell, he quickly turned to 14 Dudley players that had duel registration with both clubs.

Soon after, Gornal was notified by the Birmingham County FA that the players involved were ineligible.

However, that was appealed by The Peacocks and they continued to field the players for a further 15 weeks until the end of the campaign – something they were apparently told they could do while the appeal process was taking place.

Despite hearing nothing else on the matter from the county FA or the Midland Alliance, they were notified last week that 14 points would now be taken off their total.

It is a decision that also sees them relegated as they take bottom spot from Heather St John’s. It is still not known which other clubs will be in the Alliance next season.

Gornal have appealed against the decision and say they will take the matter as high as they have to.

Wyton said: “The players were duel registered and the league accepted the transfers. Even if that wasn’t the case, we appealed when notified.

“We were told that we would still be able to play them while the appeal process was on-going. The next thing we hear is we will be relegated.

“It is not fair and we have to make a stand against it. This could happen to anyone.”

Wyton also said the issue has made it difficult for the club to conduct their pre-season preparations.

“It makes my job a lot harder,” he added. “How can I sign players when I can’t tell them what league they will be in next season?”

Midland Alliance chairman Michael Joiner said: “I can’t comment on the details of Gornal’s case while an appeal is pending. All I can say is that the league has done what it believes is the right thing by the other clubs in the division.”

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