Ports respond to release of IFA case details

Shamrock Park
Shamrock Park

Portadown officials have issued a response to media reports releasing details of Monday’s Irish Football Association disciplinary hearing.

The Ports were hit with a £10,000 fine and transfer sanctions prohibiting the signing of players on professional contracts until June 1, 2017.

The committee found Portadown guilty on two counts of “bringing the game into disrepute” - with the names of both Tim Mouncey and Gary Twigg now revealed, alongside those of Peter McMahon and Darren Murray.

“Although disappointed with the release of specific details from the disciplinary committee case ahead of a forthcoming Appeals Board hearing, we will continue to refrain from any other comment at this time,” said a Portadown spokesman. “However, following the Appeals Board hearing, we will consider the option to refute various claims and allegations made against the club in relation to this situation.”

Portadown directors will present “further evidence” to support the forthcoming appeal against a £10,00 fine and transfer sanctions imposed by the Irish Football Association disciplinary committee.

Monday’s landmark hearing left the Ports guilty of “bringing the game into disrepute” on two of the four counts against the club in the aftermath of the NIFL investigation into salary protocol.

However, club sources have emphasised the significance that Monday’s hearing was in relation to questions arising from documentation submitted by Portadown but completely unrelated to undisclosed payments.

A club statement released midweek via the Portadown official website confirmed the move to lodge an appeal before Friday’s deadline.

In support of the appeal, the statement confirmed the decision “on the grounds that the evidence we supplied was sufficient to show that no undisclosed payments were made” and “further evidence to support this stance will be supplied to the Appeals Board”.

Monday’s ruling imposed two £5,000 fines on the club - the first payable within 14 days and second suspended until June 1, 2017.

The June 1, 2017 date also marks the end of a transfer ban on Portadown signing players to professional contracts.

The charge was altered to “bringing the game into disrepute” from the original condition of “undisclosed payments” - the latter holding a mandatory punishment that included points deduction compared to a ruling at the discretion of the IFA Disciplinary Committee under the revised conditions.

Despite widespread reports citing relegation as a potential punishment from the IFA disciplinary hearing, it is understood that was removed a number of years ago so never an option under the terms of Monday’s hearing.

The Appeals Board hearing next week can only uphold the original punishment or reduce its severity.

A date is expected to be confirmed over the weekend.