Blues face wait

IPSWICH Town will have to wait until next Thursday before finding out for sure if they will now meet Chester City in the third round of the FA Cup.Bury were kicked out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player, although they have now appealed and the hearing will be heard on December 28.

By Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town will have to wait until next Thursday before finding out for sure if they will now meet Chester City in the third round of the FA Cup.

Bury were kicked out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player, although they have now appealed and the hearing will be heard on December 28.

The League Two club were penalised after on-loan Stephen Turnbull from Hartlepool, was included in their side for the second-round replay against Chester on December 12.


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Bury played Turnbull without receiving the required permission from Hartlepool and lodging that permission with the Football Association - also failing to comply with the required timescales for registration of players for the competition.

Bury manager Chris Casper offered his resignation to the club on Monday but it was rejected and he, along with director Iain Mills and consultant Graham Bean, who used to head the FA's compliance unit, attended the hearing at Soho Square.

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The case was heard by FA sub-committee chairman Barry Taylor from Barnsley, vice-chairman Stuart Barnes from West Ham and Brian Moore of Yeovil Town and although they could have fined Bury or ordered a replay, they decided to expel them from the competition.

Casper said: “We're all absolutely gutted with the decision. I'm personally devastated and we'll obviously be appealing and I hope they see sense and change their mind. I offered my resignation after it became clear the FA were going to investigate the matter but the directors refused it.

“We feel we have acted in an appropriate manner by admitting at an early stage to the FA that there had been a problem with the paperwork. We always thought he was available to play for us.

“The reality is that I was under the impression I had a verbal agreement with Danny (Wilson) at Hartlepool but the paperwork wasn't done.

“We believed we acted in the appropriate manner by admitting our error to the FA and we're upset with the decision.”

Hartlepool had refused permission for Turnbull to play in the first game, a 2-2 draw at Gigg Lane, but the Shakers claim permission was granted after their League Two rivals were knocked out of the competition by Macclesfield.

There have been other instances of expulsion in qualifying rounds but this was the only example of a professional team being excluded in the modern history of the FA Cup.

It is not the first time Bury have fallen foul of FA procedures regarding loan players.

The club was docked a point at the end of last season for fielding striker Colin Marrison in a League Two game against Lincoln City, 24 hours after his agreement from Sheffield United had expired.

Chester have now been reinstated to the competition and are scheduled play Ipswich in a money-spinning third-round tie in January. They will also receive the prize fund payment due to second-round winners.

City chairman Stephen Vaughan admitted he felt for Bury's plight, but thinks the FA have acted in the correct manner.

He said: “It's a shock for us to be back in the competition and obviously we feel for Bury because they managed a credible draw at Gigg Lane in the first game and won the tie at the Deva (Stadium) in the replay.

“But rules are rules and if the paperwork wasn't done correctly I think the FA have made the right decision in this particular instance.

“There is no point having these rules and regulations if they are not going to be strictly enforced by the FA.

“We're obviously pleased to back in the competition and it will be a big game against Ipswich.

“It will provide us with an important cash boost and as long as the decision stays the same we're looking forward to hosting the tie in January.'

The Blues have never played at Chester's Deva Stadium, although they have met the north-west side once before in the FA Cup, with Town emerging 2-1 winners at Portman Road.

John Wark and George Burley scored in that fifth-round victory back in 1980 before Town went out in the quarter-finals against Everton.

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