14.A   Sporting Sanctions

14.A.1 If an Insolvency Event shall occur in relation to any Club that Club shall be deducted 10 (ten) points.

14.A.2  Where a Club takes or suffers an Insolvency Event:-

  • 14.A.2.1 during the Playing Season but prior to 5:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday in March, the points deduction shall apply immediately;
  • 14.A.2.2 during the Playing Season but after 5:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday in March then Rule 14.3 shall apply; and
  • 14.A.2.3 outside the Playing Season, the points deduction shall apply in respect of the following Playing Season such that the Club starts that Playing Season on minus 10 points including a Club or Clubs Relegated from the Step 4 League, where such Club shall be subject to Rule 14 of the Step 4 League Rules or where it has been necessary under the National League System Regulations for a Club or Clubs to be moved from one league to another and such Club would have been subject to Rule 14.

14.A.3  Where the circumstances set out in Rule 14.2.2 apply and at the end of that Playing Season, having regard to the number of Competition points awarded ignoring any potential deduction:-

  • (a) the Club would be relegated in accordance with The Step 4 League Rules, the points deduction will apply in the next following Season; or
  • (b) the Club would not be relegated as aforesaid, the points deduction will apply in that Playing Season and Step 4 League Rules will then apply if appropriate following the imposition of the points deduction.

14.A.4  For the purposes of this Rule 14

  • a) where any Insolvency Event is taken or suffered other than on a Business Day (as defined by the Insolvency Rules 1986 as amended from time to time) then for the purposes of determining the timing of any points deduction only the action taken or suffered will be deemed to have been taken or suffered on the immediately preceding Business Day; and
  • b) if a Company Voluntary Arrangement is approved, then approval of that Company Voluntary Arrangement shall be deemed to have been given at the date of the first meeting of creditors called to consider that Company Voluntary Arrangement, and not the date of any adjourned meeting of the creditors or the meeting of shareholders.

14.A.5 For the avoidance of doubt, where a Club is subject to more than one Insolvency Event (for example Administration followed by a Company Voluntary Arrangement), the Club shall only be deducted one set of 10 points, such deduction to apply with effect from the first Insolvency Event.

14.A.6 The Competition shall serve the Club with written notice of the points deduction (the ‘Notice’). 

14.A.7 A Club may appeal against such a points deduction. Any such appeal will be conducted in accordance with the Regulations for Football Association Appeals, save that the following paragraphs of those Regulations will not apply – 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 3.3 and 3.5. In place of those Regulations, the following Rules 14.A.8 to 14.A.12 will apply.

14.A.8 The Notice of Appeal shall be lodged with the FA within 7 days of the date of the Notice.

14.A.9 A Club may appeal against an automatic deduction of points solely on the ground that the insolvency proceedings arose solely as a result of a Force Majeure event (the ‘Appeal’). For the purposes of this Rule 14, a ‘Force Majeure’ event shall be an event that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is reasonably considered to have been unforeseeable and unavoidable.

14.A.10 The Appeal Board shall have the power to:-

  • 14.A.10.1 Confirm the deduction of ten points; or
  • 14.A.10.2 Set aside the deduction of ten points and substitute a deduction of such lower number of points as it shall deem appropriate; or
  • 14.A.10.3 Order that there shall be no sanction at all.

14.A.11 The decision of the Appeal Board shall be final and binding. Any costs incurred by any party in appeal proceedings brought before the Appeal Board shall be met by the Club in any event and shall be considered as a sum due to the Company.

14.A.12Any sanctions imposed pursuant to these provisions shall not be taken into account in respect of any other sanctions, penalties or fines that may be imposed by the Competition in respect of any breaches of its Rules, Regulations or Articles of Association by the Club.