The EFL have announced they will appeal the decision of an independent disciplinary commission they themselves set up to rule on Bolton’s cancelling of their fixture with Doncaster Rovers in August.
The Trotters cancelled the fixture without the knowledge of the EFL or Rovers, citing welfare concerns of their young players who were forced to start the League One campaign after financial troubles and a protracted takeover left the Lancashire outfit with just a handful of senior players.
The EFL have stated they will appeal on the grounds they feel the commission’s punishment of a part suspended fine and a suspended points deduction is ‘too lenient when consideration is given to all the circumstances of the case.’
They then add: ‘Given the potential for postponements to have a significant impact on competition integrity and, following receipt of advice overnight on the reasons provided, the League will appeal the outcome in the strongest possible sense.’
Fans are seriously divided over this issue. Many, especially Bolton fans, feel the club has been punished enough after starting the season on minus twelve points following their plunge into administration. Other supporters think the integrity of the league is under threat by the decision and for once; the EFL is getting some positive reaction to the action they have taken.
However, an organisation appealing the decision of a panel they set up is never a good look and accusations of incompetence and negligence are widespread.
Here is a small selection of responses to the EFL statement on Twitter, which illustrates the strength of feeling and the division amongst fans on this issue.
I think they’re just trying to save face here. The other fans are blaming the EFL for the decision, when it was the independent panel’s decision. What was the point of appointing an independent panel if they’re just going to appeal their decision anyway?They are a joke #efl #bwfc
— Lauren (@MissLaurenKate1) November 22, 2019
Everyone can see the EFL are the root cause of these postponements – merely doing it to appease the other clubs that are moaning about it
— Matt (@MatthewV_) November 22, 2019
There's no doubt that the EFL is a poorly run organisation, who have had a direct impact on failing clubs. However, in this instance, they are 100% correct to be pushing for a heavier punishment to be applied.
— Jake Meyers (@jakemeyers2015) November 22, 2019
Stu, I couldn’t agree with you more, well said 👏🏼
— Graham Down (@Graham_Down) November 22, 2019
Your a joke of a setup. The efl gave Ken Anderson the green light to ruin a football club then decide we shall punish them even more. 17 point deduction, minutes away from liquidation, 70k fine, fans having to watch kids get battered every week. When does Anderson get punished
— phil (@phillipg21) November 22, 2019
Good. The decision set a very dangerous precedent.
— Dave (@daveseasider) November 22, 2019
re-arranging the doncaster game and not giving them the 3 points is absolutely criminal when Bolton playing kids earlier in season was pretty much giving the opposition 3 points
— Mark (@markyoungerswfc) November 22, 2019
The correct decision.
However it just underlines how inept the governing body is
— Jasperjar (@Jasperjar1) November 22, 2019
Good throw the book at them
— Cambo (@cambo691) November 22, 2019
EFL is also to blame for the recent mess here. You appointed this independent panel too. Clueless.
— Mr S (@MrShedz) November 22, 2019
Good news. Imagine believing you can just call a game of cos you've lost a couple 😂
— Jack Donoghue (@JackDonny99) November 22, 2019
You are a shambles!
— Paul T (@Thornsy_PT) November 22, 2019
You talk about integrity of the competition, but you have zero integrity as an organisation.
— Dan (@Robbo0391) November 22, 2019
Good. Send them down.
— jertzee (@jertzeedon) November 22, 2019
I should think so, laughable decision, even Trotters fans couldn't believe it.
Paltry point deduction and slap wrist fine all suspended for heaven sake.
Very poor outcome.
— SJH (@aspulliter) November 22, 2019
Good. Absolute joke, visible from the reaction from their own fans knowing they got away with it
— Ryan Willows (@RWillows) November 22, 2019
Maybe if the EFL had the guts to make a decision about their own competition then they wouldn’t be in the farcical position of disagreeing with the independent commission they wanted
— SParker (@SiSJP) November 22, 2019