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Suspended points penalty 'would have been enough' for Rebels

Rebels boss Jon Underwood believes a suspended points deduction would have been enough of a punishment for clubs that refused to fulfil fixtures last season, and would also have shown the National League has some empathy and appreciation of the difficulties clubs have had playing through the coronavirus pandemic.

The National League has fined the club £8,000 for failing to fulfil four fixtures last season and handed them a suspended two-point deduction for each of the games they missed.

Underwood said he doesn’t agree that the league was left with little choice but to fine clubs and admitted next season's budget could be impacted if they have to find £8,000 from somewhere to balance the books.

“I would agree the suspended points penalty would have been enough,” added Underwood. “I just think that to financially penalise clubs that are struggling. I just can’t see the sense in that. It doesn’t feel like they’re supporting their own clubs to be honest, and I don’t think they have for the last six months to be honest.”

Underwood added: “Yeah, it could do, it’s not an insignificant amount of money and it’s got to be found from somewhere,” he said. “Maybe I’m being a bit Blasé because I just can’t believe we’ll end up having to pay that fine.

“I just cannot believe it will be forced in these times, but we’ll see.”

Underwood said he expects clubs to review their position on the matter this week and can see a scenario where they might group together to fight the sanctions. He’d like to see all the clubs affected come out with a joint statement saying they’re not going to pay the fine. It’s just such a mess and a shame that it’s got to this,” he said.

“Everyone should be having a break now and putting that season behind us. It’s null and void, it should be behind us now and we should be looking forward to better times ahead.”

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