Funk delight as Blott ban lifted

Brid's Nathan Cook, left, and Boro's Ryan Blott, who has had his ban lifted
Brid's Nathan Cook, left, and Boro's Ryan Blott, who has had his ban lifted

BORO boss Rudy Funk is delighted that his ‘talisman’ striker Ryan Blott has had his 112-day ban lifted.

The striker, who was due to start serving his suspension this week, is now available for selection for Saturday’s NCEL premier division match at Long Eaton United, after a flaw in the wording of the FA rule concerned was discovered.

A delighted Funk said: “This is the best news, not just for myself, Ryan and the football club, but also for the fans.

“This will give us all a massive lift, it is the ideal way to start the new year.

“It is like having a new signing, as it was looking like we were going to lose our talisman Ryan for the rest of the season. Now I can look forward to seeing him striking up a fresh attacking partnership with new signing Adam Lee.”

Funk added: “I would like to thank our club solicitor. I knew from day one that there were grey areas in this rule and he helped us put this across to The FA. I would also like to thank our chairman Dave Holland, and Ryan’s parents, who have been superb throughout this process.”

Chairman Holland said: “The FA wrote the rule and the Baris Northern Counties East League implemented it.

“We identified a flaw in the way in which the rule was applied to Ryan and we objected strongly. The FA got it wrong but the Baris NCEL should have understood the ramifications before they applied it.

“I’m really happy that we’ve been able to support Ryan in this way, and I’m also glad that our other players (and those from other clubs) won’t now be penalised in error by a flawed rule.

“It’s all very well being told that the clubs knew about this rule in advance and that we all voted to adopt it. I’ll tell you now that none of the chairmen I spoke to over the last few weeks were aware of the consequences of this rule when we were invited to accept at the recent AGM.

“I, for one, will be checking my paperwork much more carefully in future and I advise the FA and league officials to do the same.”

The Baris NCEL released a statement, which says, in relation to FA Rule 6.1.3: “This appeal was reviewed by The FA and, following consultation with the Baris NCE League, the charges against two of those players who had missed exactly 10 games through suspension in the qualifying period has been withdrawn and the registration of the player involved in the first appeal that was wrongly rejected by The FA immediately reinstated.

“This course of action is due to The FA recognising that the wording of the Rule could be construed in different ways i.e. 10 games or in excess of 10 games.

“The matter of correcting the Rule will be undertaken by The FA and an apology to the League from The FA has been accepted and in the interest of fairness the course of action advised above, has been agreed between the League and The FA.”

Holland was also keen to point out that the striker must improve his disciplinary record.

“Ryan is a Scarborough Athletic player who is available for selection once again. It will be up to him to rebuild his record over the coming weeks and months of the season, and up to the club to support him in doing so.”

The chairman underlined how much hard work had gone on behind the scenes.

“The whole process has been a massive undertaking, far more than I imagined.

“I want to especially thank our club secretary John Clarke for his huge input, and acknowledge the massive support Ryan’s parents have given.

“We even had fans Rob Bernard and Stuart Fairbridge, and Rudy, on standby to hand-deliver documents to The FA, the North Riding County FA and Baris NCEL over the Christmas/New Year break if it became necessary.”