Diss boss hits back at ‘unjust’ punishment
Ross Potter conceded he has considered his own Diss Town future after a ruling to punish the club for fielding an ineligible player was sanctioned this week.
The Tangerines’ promotion aspirations have been dealt a major blow after the Thurlow Nunn League ruled three previous fixtures played in August against Stowmarket Town (won 4-1), Dereham Town Reserves (won 2-0) and AFC Sudbury (drew 1-1) must be replayed with Diss also losing the seven points they accumulated.
The punishment came as a result of the Tangerines’ player having been previously registered with an FA affiliated five-a-side team, which consequently folded and the player unknowingly failing to pay a subsequent fine.
On learning of the outstanding fine, the payment was settled by the player in September but the league still ruled that the previously mentioned fixtures must be replayed at a hearing in November, leaving Potter less than impressed.
“The decision is incredibly unfair on Diss Town.” he said. “The player never played for the five-a-side team and was not made aware they had folded last winter.
“Every player had to pay a withdrawal fee but no one from the FA made the player aware of this. After that he played for me at Long Stratton in numerous league matches and played in the FA Cup, which he had to be registered for, but no one picked up on the fact he was an illegal player.
“After signing for Diss in the summer and playing at the start of the season we were suddenly informed of the outstanding fine and that he shouldn’t be playing.
“He immediately paid the fine but the Thurlow Nunn League have still taken this decision which we feel is an injustice. From our perspective we have to cover the cost of replaying the games and will have a fixture congestion which I don’t think has been considered by the league.
“It’s been a big psychological blow and in all honesty it has left me considering my position at the club.”
Potter admitted meetings with the Diss Town board have been scheduled to discuss matters as the club consider their position with the decision leaving them languishing in 15th position ahead of hosting Haverhill Borough tomorrow (3pm).
The manager did concede that the Tangerines may not appeal the decision as they aim to take a positive out of the situation.
“I’ve explained the situation to the players and told them that it could be a chance to take nine points from the rescheduled games instead of seven, so there could be a positive,” added Potter.
“It will be difficult with the fixture congestion but if we can find some consistency then our season may not be over just yet, we could still get justice.”