Portadown officials have described the transfer sanction and fine imposed on the club as “wholly disproportionate” and plan to consult the legal team over options to challenge.
The verdict of the IFA Appeals Board - in relation to two counts of bringing the game into disrepute, one of which was upheld - has resulted in a ban on the signing of “new professional players from 12 April 2016 until 1 June 2017 and an immediate fine of £5,000”.
It is understood the sanction on professional contracts does not relate to existing Portadown players due to become free agents.
A statement has now been released by the Board of Directors.
“The Directors have attempted to maintain a dignified silence until the completion of the disciplinary process,” it stated on the club website. “We find it ironic that having been totally exonerated with regard to the accusation of illegal payments, the club have, in fact, been reprimanded for disclosing payments.
“As was proved, there was never a case to answer with regard to Tim Mouncey.
“Had the correct level of expertise been employed by NIFL when examining the Salary Protocol Returns, the matter would have gone no further.
“The club pays tribute to the work carried out in cross-community activities by Gary Twigg.
“We are dismayed that having voluntarily submitted details of payments made to Gary to help defray his expenses, the Club has been accused of ‘a serious breach of sporting integrity’.
“The only misdemeanour appears to have been that the IFA were not informed of these activities at the correct time.
“We would have expected more support from the IFA with regard to cross-community work in the Portadown area, not to be effectively punished for it.
“These payments were included in the returns to the IFA and the Club always worked within the salary cap limit.
“We contest that the punishment to the club for this minor oversight is wholly disproportionate and detrimental to the future of the club.
“We will consult with our legal advisors as to the options available to challenge the severity of the punishment.”