BRADFORD (Park Avenue) have lost their appeal against a £6,000 fine and six-point deduction which was handed to them after failing to fulfil three league fixtures last season.

The Horsfall outfit are one of 11 National League clubs who failed to get the ruling overturned by the Independent Appeal Board.

For Avenue, the games in question are the ones against Blyth Spartans, Farsley Celtic and Hereford in February.

At that stage, the National League North effectively came to a halt due to clubs still being unawares about any financial help after returning from a suspension, caused by that very reason. The season was made null and void later that month.

The panel gave the 16 guilty clubs, including Guiseley, across Step Two a £2,000 fine per game - with a 30% reduction for those who accepted the decision before the hearing - as well as a two-point deduction for each offence.

Back in March, Bradford's director of football Martin Knight told the T&A his club will refuse to pay the fine and take legal action if they lose the appeal.

He said: "We looked at the FA appeal process and the two clauses that we've based ours on is whether another panel would have come to a different decision and that the fine was excessive.

"It was all EFL and FA members on the panel, who are used to dealing with full-time teams, so I'm not sure how they could understand the finances of a part-time club.

"If this appeal doesn't work, we'll have to go down the legal route. We don't want to have to do that, as we want to avoid court, but we're not paying the fine, end of.

"When we voted, it wasn't to curtail the season, it was to have it declared null and void. Legally there's a massive difference between the two. Null and void means all the results and records are to be expunged, so how can we be fined for games that didn't technically exist?

"It wasn't that we didn't want to play and we were happy with the Covid protocols, but as we explained to the National League, we'd have ended up insolvent if we'd carried on. If they'd just decided to issue a suspended fine, we wouldn't be having this argument."