MANAGER Mike Rees has made public the internal sanctions imposed by Holt United as the club attempts to overturn their Dorset Premier League (DPL) expulsion.
Chairman Terry Bradford revealed that the Bulls would appeal to the Dorset County FA (DCFA) over the DPL’s decision to remove Holt following the loss of their Charter Standard status for disciplinary issues.
United’s 109 disciplinary points and eight misconduct charges surpassed the limit (80 points and/or six charges) to retain the Charter Standard, a requirement for league membership.
Holt were hit with 31 points and found guilty of six charges relating to the controversial brawl at the end of their home match with Hamworthy Recreation on Wednesday, April 9, sanctions which were not appealed with the Football Association that took them over the threshold.
In addition to punishments dished out by the DCFA, Rees said that Steve Lane and Dave Lane had been suspended from duty for six months, despite pleading not guilty when charged by the county association.
Lee Bradford – the chairman’s son and member of first-team management – was “warned as to his future conduct”, while the club took no action against secretary Keith Habgood, who was hit with a charge relating to the subsequent investigation.
Veteran Jason Lovell, who admitted a charge related to his dismissal during the match, has retired from playing according to Rees. No evidence submitted by match officials Nigel Whitfield (referee) or Chris Sheppard (assistant referee) implicated Lovell in the scuffle after the final whistle.
The other charge was levied against the club itself.
Rees told the Daily Echo: “The reason for the investigation is that we are serious about discipline within the club. We could not condone what went on and whether it was provoked or not, it was something that shouldn’t have happened.
“But as a club, we have taken drastic action and appealed to the Dorset FA against the decision to kick us out of the league.
“In line with Charter Standard, we immediately called an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) where people were suspended pending the investigation. I’m not sure what more the club could have done.
Meanwhile, in an open letter emailed to each of the DPL’s other 16 member clubs ahead of tomorrow’s league AGM, Terry Bradford said that three players who “were responsible for 80 per cent of our discipline problems” had been “removed from the club” and called for the of their rivals in a last-gasp attempt to retain their league place.
Both Bradford and Rees politely declined to identify the trio.
The EGM notes, which formed part of the open letter, stated that Scott Bradford, Paul Lane, Tom Gagan and Ben Sullivan had all been suspended prior to the investigation. None of the four faced DCFA charges.
On the unnamed players, Rees added: “We found out that others might have been involved and with their general (disciplinary) record over the season, we decided we didn’t want them to be involved anymore.”
Rees continued: “Afterwards, we found that Scott Bradford was not involved and never left the clubhouse.”