November 22, 2019 / 2:28 AM / 15 days ago

Soccer-Bolton handed suspended points deduction for failing to play fixtures

(Reuters) - Bolton Wanderers have been handed a suspended five-point deduction and financial penalties after being found guilty of failing to fulfil their fixtures against Brentford and Doncaster Rovers this year, the English Football League (EFL) has said.

Soccer Football - League One - Bolton Wanderers v Milton Keynes Dons - University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton, Britain - November 16, 2019 General view of the Nat Lofthouse statue outside the stadium before the match Action Images/John Clifton

Bolton’s final Championship (second tier) match last season against Brentford was postponed and later cancelled after players boycotted the game over unpaid wages.

This season, their fourth League One game against Doncaster in August was postponed as the club, who fielded only three senior players in a game three days earlier, were concerned about the welfare of their younger players.

“The independent panel has ruled that Bolton Wanderers will be subject to a two-point deduction for the fixture against Brentford and a further three points for the match against Doncaster Rovers,” the EFL said in a statement.

“Both penalties are suspended for 18 months and will not be activated as long as the club is not subject to a further misconduct charge for non-fulfilment of fixtures in that timeframe.”

The club was also fined a total of 70,000 pounds ($90,426) in penalties for not playing the two fixtures, with half the amount suspended for 18 months.

The EFL, however, said they were “disappointed” by the independent disciplinary commission’s conclusions and would appeal.

“It is the firm view of the League that the sanction imposed is too lenient when consideration is given to all the circumstances of the case,” an EFL spokesman said in a statement.

“Given the potential for postponements to have a significant impact on competition integrity and, following receipt of advice overnight on the reasons provided, the League will appeal the outcome in the strongest possible sense.”

Bolton, who started this season with a 12-point deduction after going into administration, are bottom of the standings with one point after 14 games and play Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

($1 = 0.7741 pounds)

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Toby Davis

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