Shoreham Football Club chairman Stuart Slaney is hopeful for a quick resolution after Haywards Heath were charged with misconduct by the Football Association today.
Heath, who finished top of the Southern Combination League Premier Division standings, have been under investigation for allegedly fielding a player while under a ‘sine die’ suspension in the season just finished.
A full investigation was launched by the FA following the season’s end, and Haywards Heath have now received a misconduct charge.
The decision could put Heath’s promotion to the Ryman League in doubt.
Should a points deduction be issued, Shoreham – who finished four points behind Heath in second – could well gain promotion to the Ryman League in place of Haywards Heath.
A statement from the Sussex FA following an investigation read: “The Sussex County FA, in conjunction with the London FA, have carried out a full investigation into the allegation.
“As a result both player and the club have been charged with misconduct and we are awaiting their responses to these charges.”
After a charge was issued, Mussels chairman Stuart Slaney just wants a decision to be reached with regards to which team gains promotion to the Ryman League next season.
He said: “It seems to have been a long process so far with still no final decision at present.
“With promotion at stake, it’s currently making us miss out on potential players and sponsors.
“It’s a difficult time not knowing whether we will be playing in the SCFL once again next season or go up into the Ryman League.
“I don’t think it’s an ideal situation either for ourselves or Haywards Heath. I’m more concerned about my club, we just want a final decision to be reached.
“Pre-season is around eight weeks away and we are still none the wiser as to what division we will be playing in next season.
“We’ve got pre-season friendlies to arrange and then everything else that could well come should we go up into a new division.
“Should an appeal be lodged, it could well drag on even longer.
“I just want a decision to be made.
“It’s total limbo for us at the minute.”
Having received the charge, Haywards Heath now look set to appeal.
Heath secretary Mark Russ says it is a decision that they will be contesting.
He said: “We have been charged with playing the ineligible player and will now obviously contest that.
“It’s exceptional but we feel, as I said last week, we have done nothing wrong.
“We are totally in limbo and as and when a decision is made we can start preparing for next season.
“We are now going to answer the charge, lodge an appeal and then wait to get the hearing date, then go from there.”
Heath have have a period of time to respond to the charge served by the Football Association.
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