Irish Premiership relegation still unclear after Warrenpoint appeal verdict delay

Warrenpoint Town were relegated after a dramatic final day of the season
Warrenpoint Town were relegated after a dramatic final day of the season

The Irish Premiership relegation controversy remains unresolved after initial arbitration failed to reach a decision on Warrenpoint Town's appeal.

Thus, planned dates for the promotion-relegation play-off have been scrapped.

Nicholas Randall QC found Warrenpoint had the right to challenge the Irish FA's decision to exercise discretion over Carrick Rangers' rule breach.

He has asked for further written submissions from Warrenpoint, the Irish FA and Carrick Rangers.

Mr Randall accepted the IFA's ruling that that third party appeals are not allowed and that Warrenpoint had no standing in Carrick's disciplinary issue.

An IFA Disciplinary Committee opted not to punish Carrick, despite finding that their former manager Gary Haveron had not properly served a touchline ban.

The committee said it was exercising its discretion in the matter.

Haveron sat out a three-game ban handed out by the IFA, but was in the dugout for his club's match against Dungannon Swifts on 23 April when he should not have been.

Had Warrenpoint's appeal being rejected this week, Ballinamallard United would have been faced Institute in the second leg of the promotion-relegation play-off next Wednesday.

The Northern Irish Football League had also arranged provisional dates of 14 and 17 June for play-off games between Warrenpoint and Institute, in the event of the south Down club's appeal being successful.

An NIFL statement on Friday said that it was becoming "increasingly frustrated at the ongoing and further delay and appeal that the matter is concluded at the earliest possible opportunity".

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