Contract error may cost Spartans Scottish Cup place

Keith McLeod with the Scottish Cup
McLeod has been used by Spartans to promote previous Scottish Cup campaigns

Spartans face being thrown out of the Scottish Cup because they failed to put a date on a player's contract, BBC Scotland has learned.

Striker Keith McLeod, who has been with Spartans for 10 years and is the subject of a Scottish FA probe, signed a new contract in the summer.

The contract is required to be dated twice but when it arrived at the SFA it had been dated only once.

It is also understood that the player's registration was completed correctly.

The club will have their case heard at Hampden by the judicial panel set by the SFA on 10 November having been reported by the compliance officer for fielding an ineligible player during last weekend's second-round 2-0 away win over Culter.

Scottish Cup rules now state that any club that plays a player that is not eligible will be thrown out of the competition.

The rules also state that neither the judicial panel or anyone at the SFA has the authority to change this rule.

The East of Scotland League leaders co-manager Mickey Lawson said earlier this week: "We are hoping for a fine or a replay, but we fear we will be thrown out."

A statement on the Spartans website stated: "Obviously we may not be in the next round."

Scottish Division Three side East Stirlingshire were expelled from the competition last season for fielding an ineligible player in their fourth-round win over Buckie Thistle.

Goalkeeper Michael Andrews featured despite the SFA not having received registration documents for the extension of his loan from Falkirk.

The SFA said in a statement: "A notice of complaint has been issued by the compliance officer to Spartans FC in relation to an alleged breach of Cup Competition Disciplinary Rules during the William Hill Scottish Cup match between Culter FC and Spartans FC on Saturday 22 October 2011."

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