East Fife fined £11,000 for refusing to play Clyde

East Fife have been fined £11,000 by the SPFL after for refusing to play against Clyde at Broadwood after a home played tested positive for Covid.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:57 pm
Action from a previous Clyde v East Fife game

An SPFL disciplinary hearing imposed the fine - £10,000 of which is suspended - after the club admitted the breach.

The game on Tuesday was postponed after East Fife's players said were unwilling to put their health - and that of their families - at risk.

The match will now be played on Thursday, May 6.

A statement from the SPFL said a Clyde player had been tested the previous Saturday and that it was wholly coincidental that the result had come through on the night of the East Fife match.

The SPFL said the Clyde player was, entirely properly, immediately withdrawn from the squad and sent home.

The SPFL contiued: "East Fife were advised by the match referee and representatives of Scottish football’s Joint Response Group that the match could safely go ahead and that none of their players would have been identified as ‘close contacts’ of a positive case by playing in the match.

"In the light of this advice, the SPFL advised East Fife that, should they not play in the match, their failure to do so would be subject to an SPFL investigation and potential disciplinary action.

"East Fife players decided, unilaterally, not to take part in the match and that decision was supported by the club and by its manager. "East Fife were charged with failing to fulfil the fixture, and admitted breaching SPFL Rules G5 and G53.

"East Fife admitted breaching SPFL Rules and confirmed that, if the match were to be rescheduled, they would play the match.

"The SPFL’s disciplinary tribunal fined East Fife £11,000, of which £1,000 is payable now to the SPFL Trust, and the remaining £10,000 is suspended. The rescheduled Clyde v East Fife match will now take place next Thursday, 6 May."

A spokesman for the SPFL said: “Clearly, the circumstances surrounding Tuesday’s match were difficult for all involved. However, the advice from members of the Joint Response Group was clear and unequivocal. Following such advice, which is informed by frequent discussions with the ESCAG, has been, and remains, crucial to achieving an orderly conclusion to SPFL competitions.

“While the SPFL has sympathy with players who may not have had all relevant information, no League or other football body can accept a situation in which a club fails to fulfil a match in circumstances where all of the medical advice is that the match can safely proceed. There has been no recorded case, worldwide, of any on-pitch transmission of COVID-19.

“We would like to thank East Fife for their early admission of the charges. We appreciate the difficult position of the East Fife FC board, faced with a decision having been made by their players.”