CHESTER CITY chairman Stephen Vaughan last night said he was “overjoyed” that the Deva Stadium club had been reinstated into this season’s FA Cup.
They were reinstalled after Bury were found guilty of playing an ineligible player (Stephen Turnbull) during a second round replay between the clubs last week.
Bury have been given leave to appeal the decision and their revised submissions will be heard by the FA Cup Committee next Thursday. However, it is unlikely that they will present any new or more relevant information.
“I am sympathetic with the predicament that Bury find themselves in, but the harsh reality of the matter is that rules are rules, and they weren’t adhered to,” said Vaughan.
The City chairman continued: “We had two loan players involved ourselves, but we stuck to the rules of the competition and gained the relevant sanctions and authorisations. The FA have made the right decision and it has given us a lifeline for which we are thankful. Last week we were out of the tournament, this week we are in it again.
“We now will prepare for our match against Ipswich Town and go into the game in a positive frame of mind. We have enjoyed a bit of luck for which I am overjoyed, and I feel that it is the first bit of good fortune Chester City have enjoyed for many a long day.”
Chester will now receive the £24,000 prize money from the second round tie, and earn potentially another £60,000 from staging the game against Ipswich at the Deva Stadium on Saturday January 6.
There is of course potential to increase this financial windfall if there is a replay, or Chester win the tie outright.
The FA commitee heard verbal submissions from Bury representatives, and considered a written submission from Chester City.
Following the inquiry, the FA Cup Committee issued a statement: “Bury selected Turnbull without receiving the required permission from Hartlepool United and lodging that permission with the Football Association.
“Bury also failed to comply with the required timescales for registration of players for the FA Cup.”
It is understood that Bury’s appeal next Thursday won’t dwell on the guilty verdict, it will concentrate on what they consider to be an excessive penalty for their administrative error.
However, a precedent was set two years ago when St Albans City were ejected from the tournament, after committing a similar offence with an on-loan player.
Meanwhile, in another twist, Bury last night extended the loan spell of Turnbull from Hartlepool United for a further month.