Neots face UCL Cup expulsion for fielding Strachan

ST NEOTS Town could be expelled from the UCL Cup after admitting fielding an ineligible player.

ST NEOTS Town could be expelled from the UCL Cup after admitting fielding an ineligible player.

UCL chiefs will meet on Monday to decide Saints’ punishment for fielding new signing Gavin Strachan against King’s Lynn Town in the UCL Cup on Saturday – despite him still being registered with his former club Hinckley United.

However, the Saints do not expect any penalty to affect their league campaign.

Strachan, son of former Celtic manager Gordon, scored the winner as Neots recorded a 2-1 win over their league title rivals, but the club said there had been a delay in processing his registration.

Club secretary Pete Naylor said that documents from Hinckley United had not reached the FA in time for Strachan to play on Saturday – something Saints found out after the game.

“As soon as we realised, we contacted the league and King’s Lynn about the situation. You have to be fair about these things,” said Naylor.

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“The action to be taken will be discussed at a league meeting on Monday. It may depend on how King’s Lynn feel about things, but it should not affect the league, as the match in question was a cup match.”

A statement on St Neots Town’s website, posted on Wednesday morning, said: “We would like our supporters to know the events leading up to and after the signing of Gavin Strachan.

“Gavin was on a one-year contract with his previous club, and therefore we understand before we could sign him on a non-contract basis, his contract had to be cancelled and verified by the FA.

“We were under the impression that this was completed on the Friday before the Saturday league cup game, so Gavin would be eligible to play for us on the Saturday.

“Unfortunately the FA clearance did not happen until the next working day, which was the Monday after the game.

“Upon us finding this mistake, we immediately contacted the registrations secretary of the UCL and informed him what had happened. He thanked us for our honesty and indicated the matter would be brought up and dealt with at the next UCL meeting.

“We also, out of courtesy, contacted the King’s Lynn manager and explained the situation and apologised to him for what had happened.

“We are very sorry for this and would hope that our supporters understand that mistakes can happen.

“In this case it is a lesson to be learned: Don’t sign players on a Friday.”