10:21am Monday 2nd June 2014
By Andy Mitchell
OFFICIALS from banished Holt United are set to discuss the club’s future tomorrow following yesterday’s expulsion from the Dorset Premier League (DPL).
The Petersham Lane outfit had their FA Charter Standard – and subsequently DPL – status revoked after a brawl saw them exceed the permitted number of disciplinary points for the season.
A Dorset County FA (DCFA) official confirmed on Friday that Holt (or their representatives) had been found guilty of six misconduct charges relating to incidents during and after their home fixture against Hamworthy Recreation on Wednesday, April 9 and the investigation that followed.
Verdicts were passed after hearings on Wednesday, May 14 with the charges against one Rec player dismissed.
Holt had 14 days to lodge appeals with the Football Association over any of the decisions but the national body confirmed on Friday that they had “no record of any appeals” from the club.
That automatically triggered the Dorset FA Charter Standard Working Party’s (CSWP) decision to take away their status, a requirement for membership of the DPL, itself a Charter Standard League.
Representatives of the relevant bodies confirmed that Holt had been sent notification of those decisions by the DCFA last Wednesday and the DPL on Friday, though United chairman
Terry Bradford today said he was shocked to learn of the league’s official statement.
“We’re going to have a meeting but it seems like it’s all done and dusted,” said Bradford. “At the moment I don’t know whether we go down to the next league or whether we’re out of football full stop.
"I thought we had to write a letter before June 9 with a statement giving our views and that we had a chance to stay in but nothing surprises me at the moment.”
Andrew Battison of the DCFA said there was no direct right of appeal regarding the Charter Standard status, but that the club has 14 days from the date of the decision to appeal their DPL
exclusion with DCFA chief executive Sue Hough.
DPL rules state that: “When a club reaches/surpasses 80 (disciplinary) penalty points and/or reaches/exceeds six misconducts, the team (and subsequent affiliated club) will automatically lose their FA Charter Standard status and be unable to play in the DPL for the following season.”
Sunday’s league statement referred to “a match towards the end of the season” in which Holt picked up 31 disciplinary points “following incidents during, and at the end of the game” which saw them total 109 disciplinary points and eight misconduct charges for the campaign.
It continued: “Whilst no member of the DPL Management Committee was present at the above match, the league has received a number of emails from independent spectators outlining the scenes that took place at the final whistle, stating that the violence that they witnessed that evening has no place in society, let alone in football. A sentiment echoed by the DPL Management Committee.”
THE DORSET PREMIER LEAGUE STATEMENT IN FULL:
Holt United Football Club, who have a total of 30 years membership in the Bespoke Teamwear Dorset Premier Football League over two spells, has had its Charter Standard status revoked by the Dorset FA Charter Standard Working Party for falling foul of Dorset Premier League Rule 1 (E).
League Rule 1 (E) states that any club exceeding 80 disciplinary points and/or six misconduct charges shall have its Charter Standard status removed and cannot play in the DPL the following season.
The inclusion of this Rule was voted for unanimously by all member clubs at last year’s annual general meeting held in June. It was introduced following negotiations with the Dorset County Football Association to increase the number of disciplinary points available to DPL clubs before disciplinary action was taken against them. This was to take into account not only the number of games played by member clubs, but also the standard of play and match officials.
Although a number of other clubs were near to the disciplinary points threshold, only Holt United exceeded it, with 109 points, including eight misconduct charges, leaving the Dorset Charter Standard Working Party with, in accordance with DPL rules, no option but to remove the club’s Charter Standard status.
The 109 disciplinary points accumulated by Holt United included 31 gained from one match near the end of the season.
Whilst no member of the DPL Management Committee was present at the above match, the league has received a number of emails from independent spectators outlining the scenes that took place at the final whistle, stating that the violence that they witnessed that evening has no place in society, let alone in football. A sentiment echoed by the DPL Management Committee.
During their years in the Bespoke Teamwear Dorset Premier Football League, Holt United have had a reasonable amount of success, winning the league championship in 2006 and finishing as runners-up on two other occasions. As well as their league success the club has also won the League Cup three times, finishing as runners-up once.
It is sad to lose a club, with a total of 30 years membership, this way. But without the Charter Standard award required for membership, the DPL is unable to include Holt United Football Club in its constitution for season 2014-15. However, we do look forward to welcoming them back into the league sometime in the future.
From the League Management Committee - Bespoke Teamwear Dorset Premier League.
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