WINDSOR Football Club has been disqualified from the Hellenic League Floodlit Cup this season after being found guilty of fielding and ineligible player, writes Rob Stevens.

Windsor used Daniel Horscroft in the 3-2 win against Burnham at Stag Meadow on December 10th but the midfielder had previously featured for Binfield in an earlier round.

It is understood that Burnham supplied information to the Hellenic League shortly after the match and following an investigation it was found that Windsor breached competition rules and the club has been removed accordingly.

Kevin Stott is Founding Director at Windsor and he is disappointed with the decision believing the club was denied an appropriate hearing and that the tie should be replayed.

Stott also suggested Burnham might had known before the game and could have notified Windsor instead of gaining a “hollow” victory.

He told the Observer: “I’m a bit disappointed because the Hellenic League has, as I understand it looking at the rules, two options. You can be disqualified from the competition but they also have the discretion to replay the fixture. We felt it should be replayed.

“Burnham identified we played someone who had already featured in the competition and, as we understand it, they made the complaint the following day.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: Daniel Horscroft was a Binfield and played for the club in the Floodlit Cup this season before making the move to Windsor.

“It’s actually quite completed to go through a whole squad and find out who might have played for other teams. It’s quite a big exercise.

“It’s our view that actually on the balance of probability we felt that Burnham knew before the game and played it in any case.

“There’s a sort of irony here that we get disqualified and we believe Burnham knew and they don’t get disqualified.

“We did ask for a personal hearing but we weren’t given one. We also asked to appear but clearly the League has just made the decision regardless of those legitimate requests.”

Asked whether or not Windsor would seek to appeal the decision Stott said: “I’m going to reserve judgement on that.

“I need to go through all of the communication that our secretary has had with the League, but my view is that there’s a principal of fair play here.

“We’re not denying it because we clearly did play somebody wrong, but we felt that under the circumstances it would’ve been better to have replayed the fixture in the spirit of fair play.

“We were also disappointed that the League had issued the next ties before letting us know what decision they had made. We felt that wasn’t the best thing to do because it doesn’t give us the chance to make an appeal if that’s possible and to communicate ourselves to our supporters and players.”

Stott is disappointed Burnham did not seek to inform Windsor of their mistake prior to the game – raising an argument for unsporting behaviour from their rival club.

He commented: “I’m not one for hollow victories so had I absolutely known I would’ve said something before the game, or if I didn’t tell them and I knew I would have accepted the result

“I can’t absolutely prove conclusively that Burnham didn’t know but on the balance of probability you would’ve had to spend several hours either after the game or the following morning to find out which one of those players had played before.

“On the balance of probability Burnham probably did know and if that’s the case it’s disappointing.”

He added: “There’s nothing to be gained by it but my view is that perhaps it requires and administrative change by the League and or the Football Association.

“Now that we have the Whole Game system it would be much better for either the League or FA to have a schedule of people who have played. They’re in a better position to tell you then you are yourself.

“There is nothing to be gained by us for doing that.

“Given that we had a difficult start to the season we’ve recovered reasonably well. We had a realistic chance of winning something in the Floodlit Cup so to have that taken away in such circumstances is more than frustrating.”

Brian King is the Chief Executive at the Hellenic League and in a statement on released on Wednesday said: “I’m able to confirm that Windsor FC has been removed from the Floodlit Cup competition.

“Following information supplied to the League Office that alleged Windsor FC fielded an ineligible player in their tie against Burnham FC an investigation was launched.

“During this investigation it was found that Daniel Horscroft had played in a previous round of the competition for Binfield FC prior to his transfer to Windsor FC.

“A disciplinary charge was issued to Windsor FC who accepted that they had inadvertently played Horscroft in the subject fixture.

“Following responses that were requested the Hellenic League Admin Executive Committee adjudicated on the matter with members agreeing that Windsor FC had breached the subject Competition Rule and accordingly were removed from the competition, with the club being advised earlier this week.”