Call for Ports directors to resign after IFA verdict

Shamrock Park.

Shamrock Park.

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Portadown supporters have reacted with “a mixture of anger and hurt” in the aftermath of the Irish Football Association’s Appeals Board verdict.

The official decision ruled against the Ports’ double appeal in relation to a 12-point deduction and a suspension for non-payment of fines, with the latter resulting in a 3-0 win awarded to Coleraine.

“There is a mixture of hurt and anger and this feels like the lowest of the low,” said Kim Pentland, a Ports fan who first watched the club in 1970. “I cried when we were relegated to the Championship in 2008 due to late paperwork but now I am just angry.

“It looks as if myself and other fans have been told blatant lies and the trust has completely gone.

“Certain people responsible should do the decent thing and resign as other clubs seem to be moving forward but we are going backwards.

“The supporters are disgusted but we cannot walk away from the club, even if we are a laughing stock to everyone else.

“This is the latest kick in the teeth but the decline has been going on for years.”

Pat McGibbon’s players suffered a 6-0 defeat to Dungannon Swifts last weekend and remain rooted to the bottom of the Danske Bank Premiership standings on a -6 points tally after 11 games.

However, off-the-field issues dominate discussions within the Ports fanbase and supporters’ groups have confirmed plans to meet with members across the next few days.

Club chairman Roy McMahon and director Trevor Marshall served as Portadown’s representatives in front of the IFA Appeals Board - with neither available for comment at the time of going to press and uncertainty over a release of any official statement from the Shamrock Park outfit.

It is understood that minutes of an August meeting between fans and officials will be released online by the Portadown Supporters’ Society. Sources have told the News Letter that those minutes expose contradictions between explanations delivered to fans by the directors and evidence within the IFA Appeals Board verdict.