Stowmarket Town have been hit with a fine after they were found guilty of sounding out two Bury Town players about moves before submitting formal seven-day approaches.
uke Read and Leon Ottley-Gooch, both regular first-team players at Ram Meadow, both went on to complete moves to lower-league Stowmarket earlier this season.
The Free Press revealed, at the end of October, Bury’s intention to complain about a breach of the Football Association rules in relation to key summer signing Ottley-Gooch’s transfer.
But the club has now disclosed the outcome of the Suffolk FA investigation exclusively to the paper, revealing Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Stow were found guilty of contacting both Ottley-Gooch and Read before submitting their required seven-day notice of approach ahead of speaking to them.
A club statement released to the Free Press said: “The club had reason to believe that both players had been spoken to personally before any approach was made, and subsequently a deal had been agreed before we were notified.
“The two charges against Stowmarket Town were proven by the Suffolk FA commission and they were fined for their actions.
“The club were extremely disappointment that the correct procedures were not followed by Stowmarket Town and the decision of the commission justified our complaints at the time.”
“It is a great compliment to our footballing staff that we continue to receive a number of seven day approaches for our players. Bury Town has a great record of producing and coaching players over a number of seasons, and our squad obviously continues to attract the attentions of other clubs.
“On occasions, players will have their heads turned by the short-term ambitions of other clubs, but at Bury Town we will continue to operate in the correct way.”
Stowmarket Town manager Rick Andrews responded to the investigation findings by saying: “At the end of the day this has been dealt with.
“The players are enjoying their football with us and, at the end of the day, football is about enjoyment.”
He added: “We do not keep unhappy players at our club.
“In the case of Ryan Yallop he asked to be de-registered on the Thursday and was playing for Bury on the Tuesday.”
Bury Town boss Ben Chenery said he was ‘disappointed’ at the time but has since moved on.
Suffolk FA’s football services manager, Darryn Marsh, said: “We received a complaint with regard to two illegal seven-day approaches which we investigated and subsequently raised charges.
“We are happy that we carried out due diligence.”
* Meanwhile, Bury have also revealed two key players have decided to remain at the club, following transfer approaches.
“On the positive side, Ollie Fenn and Tevan Allen were both the subject of seven-day approaches last week from two local clubs, but both have confirmed their commitment after meeting manager Ben Chenery following the New Year’s Day derby at AFC Sudbury and will remain with the club,” the statement revealed.
“Both players are important members of the team and the management team are delighted with their commitment and loyalty at an important time in the season.”