The Hampton secretary gets two-year ban
FOOTBALL: Sunday Morning League may strip team of the Division Two title
THE people at the centre of one of the biggest controversies to rock local football in years have been handed lengthy bans – while their club has been heavily fined.
Hampton Sports regularly fielded player Mark Ward last season in both Saturday and Sunday football even though he was under a sine die suspension stretching back to 2007 for non-payment of debts following the collapse of another local club.
He registered and played for Hampton under the name of Marcus Ward – something that only came to light towards the end of the campaign after he had helped the club’s Saturday reserve team win the PFA Minor Cup and played a prominent role in their Sunday side’s Division Two title success in the Hereward Teamwear & Trophies Peterborough Sunday Morning League.
Hampton secretary Lee Britton received the stiffest punishment of all from the Hunts FA with a twoyear suspension. He cannot take any further part in the game until July 2012.
Disciplinary findings revealed Britton ‘knowingly registered Mark Ward as Marcus Ward and allowed the player to play for the club’.
Ward has been banned for 380 days, which rules him out of the whole of next season. He has been found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.
Hampton Sports have been fined £100 after being charged with two counts of misconduct. It concerns the fact they allowed Ward to register and play for the club on both Saturdays and Sundays.
Hampton’s involvement in the PFA Sunday Morning Junior Cup and the McCain Cup meant the finals of those competitions could not take place and were declared void.
Now the Peterborough Sunday Morning League are set to take their own action.
The league confirmed at their annual meeting at the Parkway Club yesterday morning that they have charged Hampton Sports, Britton and Ward with the same offences.
The league’s own disciplinary panel is set to sit in the next few days to decide whether Hampton should be stripped of the Division Two title.
Hampton have provisionally been promoted into Division One for next season, but that is subject to change.
League chairman Fred Johnson told the meeting: “The Hampton Sports situation has been well documented. They have now been charged and punished by the Hunts FA. As a league we had to sit on our hands until the county had taken the action they deemed appropriate.
“Now that has happened we have charged the club and the relevant people with the same offences. It could well affect the final standings in Division Two from last season.”
Hampton are likely to be docked points for every fixture in which Ward played with runners-up Gunthorpe Hotspur likely to be belatedly crowned champions.
The league have lost one of their top teams after back-to-back Hunts Sunday Cup winners Fratelli failed in a bid to survive.
An 11th hour plea for a new manager was unsuccessful and the club, who led the Premier Division table for much of last season, have folded after a decade. Division Three team Borocars Citroen have also gone.
Many of last season’s Fratelli players are understood to be moving to a new-look SSPIO team in the Premier Division.
Former SSPIO player-boss Steve Starkey has launched a new side – Coco’s – who will also play in the top-flight.
Coco’s were one of five new teams to be voted in yesterday morning. Castor & Ailsworth and King’s Cliffe will join Division Two while AFC Bretton and Artemis go into the bottom section.
Artemis have spent several seasons playing in the Peterborough Sunday Afternoon League.
Players attached to the Lord Burghley and FC Bauer clubs that folded during last season are suspended from Peterborough Sunday Morning League action due to a non-payment of debts.
The league will be operating a new website ahead of next season.
The www.psmfl.org site will use the same framework as the wellreceived site already being used by the ChromaSport & Trophies Peterborough & District League, www.pdfl.org It means clubs can now register their players online.
The Peterborough Sunday Afternoon League – www.psafl.org – and the Peterborough Football Association – www.peterboroughfa.org – will also be using the same model.
It was created by local football’s answer to Bill Gates - Netherton goalkeeper and IT wizard Gareth Exton.
RESULTS secretary John Prince is set to be a busy boy – he’s also taken on the registration secretary role vacated by the resignation of Richard Line towards the end of last season.
That is the only change to a committee that would welcome the arrival of some new blood.
Chairman Fred Johnson said: “The people on the committee do a terrific job and have helped ensure the league is once again alive and kicking, both on and off the pitch.
“But we are always looking for new people with new ideas to come on board. We would love to hear from anyone who has three or four hours a month to spare and who would be interested.”
Anyone interested in joining the league committee can contact Fred on 01733 223074.
COMMITTEE MAN OF THE YEAR: Shirley Bennett (wife of the late Dave Bennett) presents the award to chairman and secretary Fred Johnson for a third successive year.