Published: 17:00, 26 March 2021
| Updated: 17:26, 26 March 2021
Dover Athletic have been punished for failing to meet their fixture obligations this season.
An Independent Panel has ruled that the National League club are deemed guilty of four breaches of Rule 8.39 for failing to play matches between February 16th and February 27th.
Dover have said they are unable to complete the season due to a lack of finances. Their punishment is a 12-point deduction for the 2021/22 playing season and fine of £40,000. The results from the 15 games they had played have been expunged.
The club have avoided relegation but will start with a minus points total next season, which kicks off in August. Whites stopped playing at the end of January. There will be winners and losers following the decision to expunge their results. Notts County were beaten by Dover but many teams around them won, and they will lose those points.
Club chairman Jim Parmenter said it was costing them £25,000 a week to play on without fans. Their playing and management staff were all placed on furlough when they stopped play.
A National League statement said: “The Panel had regard to financial information provided by Dover Athletic and fully respected the responsibility of the Club’s Directors under Company Law.
“However, the Panel also had to consider the integrity of the Competition and the actions of Dover Athletic in relation to the other 22 Clubs that continue to incur much costs as they fulfill their fixtures. Dover Athletic had avoided costs by not completing their Season alongside the other 22 Clubs. In addition, The National League basic award meant they were significantly benefiting from not completing the Season compared to the 22 Clubs that continued.
“The Panel concluded that three points per breach should be deducted from the Club’s record in Playing Season 2021/22. In view of the current financial situation and in order to reflect the approach taken in other cases of breaches of Rule 8.39, the Independent Panel reduced the initial fine by 20% to £40,000.”