Gainsborough Trinity chairman Nick Tinker has expressed his confusion at the FA’s seemingly inconsistent punishment for clubs breaking the same FA Cup rule.
Last season Trinity were ousted from the competition for fielding a loan player without filing the required paperwork – although the Blues believed the information had been sent to the FA.
This week, Chesterfield have been ordered to replay their FA Cup tie with MK Dons, despite falling foul of the same regulation – fielding an on loan player without written permission.
Tinker also pointed to the FA’s 2012 decision to simply fine Bradford City, after they failed to supply the correct paperwork before playing a loanee in an FA Cup fixture, and he suggested every club should be dealt with in the same manner.
“I know every case is individual and I don’t have all the facts, I’m not on that FA board, but there’s one rule for everyone, in black and white, so surely there should be one punishment for everyone,” he said.
“We broke the rule, we got kicked out and I’m not saying we’d have beaten Stockport, but if we had and say we then lost to Grimsby, it probably cost us £30,000.”
“The way they punished Bradford was good because it only punished the club, not the fans, the manager, the players.”
“But it seems to be a grey area, the punishment seems to differ.”
Bury and Droylsden were kicked out of the cup, in 2006 and 2008 respectively, for fielding ineligible players, but like Trinity and unlike Bradford, both clubs lost their appeals.