9:50am Wednesday 25th June 2014
GORNAL Athletic are facing up to life in the West Midlands Premier League after withdrawing their appear against a points penalty for fielding ineligible players last season.
The Peacocks were relegated from the Midland Alliance after having 14 points taken from their total because of players they brought in from Dudley Town during the second half of the campaign.
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 apparently had duel registration with both clubs.
However, soon after, Gornal were notified by the Birmingham County FA that the players involved were considered ineligible.
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 process was taking place.
Despite hearing nothing else on the matter from the county FA or the Midland Alliance, they were notified two weeks ago that 14 points would now be taken off their total.
Gornal initially appealed against the points deduction but have now decided to withdraw from the process and accept their relegation fate.
The club's chief executive, Kevin Williams, explained: "After getting advice from the FA on the matter we have decided we won't be appealing. It was made clear to us that it would be very difficult to win unless we could prove the league did something wrong.
"We also heard that the bottom three sides would be going down anyway, which means we would still be relegated even if we won.
"We now want to move on and concentrate on building for next season. We can't be in limbo any longer and need to know what to plan for.
"Andy is keen to prove himself next season and we are confident we can bounce straight back."
The players returned to training last week and Wyton is set to assess potential new additions to his squad in the coming weeks.
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