Accrington Stanley have been fined £7,000 by the EFL after having four games called off in October last season due to the pandemic.
The Reds had 19 players and management testing positive for COVID-19 and had to isolate for the required period, following Public Health England and EFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
The fine will be taken out of the money distributed to clubs every season.
Owner Andy Holt admitted it was hard to take.
“We got told we were being investigated for COVID-19 and the EFL have fined everybody who had to postpone games.
“I said I didn’t agree with it at the time and I don’t now.
“I was battling to keep the club afloat, like many owners, and we wanted a ‘well done’ for getting through a tough period, with many clubs at risk of going under, rather than face fines.
“We had little income, no fans and the EFL thought it was fit and proper to fine us which I find hard to take.
“I never really wanted to own a football club but this really does make you think about it. I have been putting money in over the pandemic to keep Accrington Stanley alive and then we get fined.
“It riles me as I don’t want to pay but I have no choice as it comes out of our distribution.
“If I didn’t agree to pay it then it would go to a hearing and we would be forced to pay more so, even though I don’t want to, I have to.
“To quote the EFL, if we don’t agree, we can challenge it but we will lose around 15 times more. This annoys me. You agree or they use funds that should be distributed to clubs, to fight against their own clubs.”
OASST statement in reaction to EFL fine of Accrington Stanley
The OASST are appalled by the EFL decision to fine Accrington Stanley £7,000 for the non fulfilment of 2020/21 League 1 fixtures due to COVID cases within the first team squad, particularly as the club was complying with government legislation regarding isolation.
In unprecedented times we feel our club acted entirely properly in this matter and feel the action is unjust, ill timed and extremely ill advised.
In a period where many EFL clubs have suffered unprecedented financial pressures many have only survived due to the benevolence of their owner, that is certainly the case with Accrington Stanley.
For the EFL to now kick its own members when they are down, with 34 member clubs being fined, seems extremely cruel and unnecessary.
Whilst the amount concerned is relatively small in the realms of football finance it could just as easily be well spent in the continued development of the facilities at the Wham Stadium, enhancing the matchday experience of our supporters, many of whom have been significantly impacted by the effects of COVID and certainly more than the EFL governing body.
When you kick us, we all limp.
On Stanley On.