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Dover Athletic charged with failing to fulfil two National League fixtures

Dover Athletic have confirmed they have been charged by the National League with failing to fulfil two fixtures.

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter called a halt to their season on Saturday - and placed the first-team squad and his management team on furlough - as they didn't have the funds to carry on playing.

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter. Picture: Tony Flashman
Dover chairman Jim Parmenter. Picture: Tony Flashman

On Thursday night, the National League declared the result of the mid-season vote by clubs whether to continue the season or declare it null and void as a result of the second tranche of government funding being made in the form of loans rather than grants.

That saw National League South and North clubs opt for null and void but there were just seven clubs who wanted to stop in the National League so their season is carrying on - with Dover currently sitting on the sidelines.

After being charged with two breaches of rule 8.39 by the league, Mr Parmenter - who stepped down as a director of the league this month after disagreeing with their recent decisions - said: “We are clearly very disappointed that the National League seem to be sticking to their guns and applying rules of the competition with no proper awareness or consideration for the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in.

”It is clear that the agenda is to finish the season at any cost.”

Dover could potentially be charged 29 times under this rule - but that would mean they have to appeal each individual charge, making it a farcical - and costly - situation.

Mr Parmenter added: “We do have a right to deny charges on a game-by-game basis, but with the cost of a personal hearing for each charge being £150, clearly this is an additional financial burden and limits our options.

”We will, however, make our submissions in writing, based on our firm belief that the failure of the National League to ensure the promised funding was made available has resulted in us taking the only possible action to avoid insolvency.”

Dover did not play their scheduled game at Sutton on Tuesday night and have already informed opponents King's Lynn that they won't host them at Crabble on Saturday.

Rule 8.39 says: "Any Club without just cause failing to fulfil an engagement to play a Competition match on the appointed date shall for each offence be liable to expulsion from the Competition and/ or such other disciplinary action the Board may determine, including the deduction of up to a maximum of three points from the offending Club’s record, any expenses incurred by their opponents, and a fine.

"In the event of a Club being in breach of the previous paragraph of this Rule then the Board may award points to the Club not at fault as if the match had been played and the League table shall reflect the position as if the match had been played with the result awarded by the Board."

According to the National League website, the potential fine under rule 8.39 is "£2,500 to £10,000 if a fine is levied as part or all of sanction".

Dover will argue that they do have just cause not to play the game as continuing to play would make them 'insolvent' and the league's promise of funding for the season has not happened.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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