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Ashford Town Football Club placed under suspension by the FA

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By Alex Hoad

Ashford Town have been suspended from all football by the Football Association with immediate effect.

In proceedings separate to the ongoing High Court battle between directors Tony Betteridge and Don Crosbie, the FA have imposed sanctions on the club for failure to pay loan fees of more than £2,000 to Ebbsfleet United.

The fees are understood to be linked to the loans of youngsters Steven Springett and Jamie Forshaw early last season.

An FA spokesman confirmed the sanctions meant that the club was barred from participating in all competitions, including friendly games, at all levels including youth football.

The sanctions will remain in place until proof is provided that the debt has been settled.

The spokesman added: "The position can change quickly. As soon as the debt is paid, the matter can be considered and the sanctions removed.

"The club was initially placed under a registration embargo and were given a deadline of the day before the league’s annual meeting (on June 19) to pay the debts."

Mr Betteridge claimed: "The only way the club can start the season will be if Mr Crosbie settles the debt with Ebbsfleet."

Ashford also owed money to Dover but that sum has been settled.

Chairman of the Ryman League Alan Turvey confirmed: "The non-payment is an FA offence and not a Ryman League one but for the time being, the club is suspended from all football.

"They were included in the league’s constitution at the annual meeting, despite knowledge of the offence.

"We don’t want to lose Ashford, nor any team, from the league but if they are still in problems, then they will not be allowed to start the season."

Ashford’s first friendly is at Folkestone on July 27 with the Ryman League campaign due to start on August 21.

Ashford chairman Don Crosbie was unavailable for comment.

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