IFA Disciplinary Committee upholds Portadown suspension

Pat McGibbon succeeded long-serving boss Ronnie McFall as manager of Portadown
Pat McGibbon succeeded long-serving boss Ronnie McFall as manager of Portadown

The Irish FA Disciplinary Committee decided on Wednesday night that Portadown's suspension from all football activity will remain in place.

The sanction was imposed after the club had failed to pay disciplinary fees for making undisclosed payments to players.

Portadown's scheduled league opener at Coleraine on Saturday is off, with the Bannsiders awarded the three points.

The fine has now been paid and the Committee had the option to exercise their discretion to lift the ban.

"Having considered points made by Portadown FC, and taking into account Article 9.3 of the Irish FA's Disciplinary Code as well as being cognisant of Portadown's Premiership game against Coleraine scheduled for this Saturday, they were not persuaded to exercise discretion in this case," said the IFA.

"The decision means the suspension, which came into effect on Thursday 28th July, will remain in place until the Monday after any payment is made - in accordance with Article 9.3 of the Irish FA's Disciplinary Code."

A fine of £5,000 was handed down in April and it is understood that an initial cheque sent to the IFA 'bounced'.

The fine was imposed, along with a transfer embargo preventing the club from signing players on professional terms until June 2017, after irregularities were found in payments made to former striker Gary Twigg.

Portadown's appeal against a 12-point deduction, imposed after the Shamrock Park club were found to have paid Peter McMahon while he was registered as an amateur, was due to be heard by the IFA's Appeals Committee on Thursday night.

However, as the club is suspended from all football activity, the appeal cannot be heard.

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