FC Queen’s Park are set to have the Welsh National League Premier Division title they won last season taken off them as they fielded an ineligible player.
The Wrexham-based club released the news themselves on social media yesterday evening.
At the end of 2018-19, Queen’s Park finished with 63 points, one ahead of Corwen on 62.
As the Park have now had three points deducted by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) for fielding a player in one game without necessary international clearance, they slip to second and Corwen are set to be declared the new champions.
Ironically, it was runners-up Corwen who were promoted to the tier-two Cymru North for the 2019-20 campaign, with Queen’s Park staying where they are.
A statement from Queen’s Park read: “Today the club has received the news that the Welsh FA have deducted three points from our league total from last season. We assume this will now show that the club has finished second in the table by two points.
“The club would just like to announce that this has nothing to do with the players and their tremendous efforts throughout the season on the pitch. The club have been guilty of taking a player’s information at face value and believing a new player when he stated he hadn’t played elsewhere before coming to the club.
“It turns out that the player, who hadn’t played football for 4 seasons due to his military commitments, had registered with a club 4 years prior in 2015/16; unfortunately for Queen’s Park this club was in England so International Clearance was required.
“This incident took place in early November and the Welsh FA decided to surprise us with this information in April the following year. Luckily for the club the player only played in one first team game and one for the reserves so we have been deducted the 3 points for each of these fixtures.
“This is a small blow in the club’s rebuilding efforts but we only ever look forward and no-one can take the memories that were achieved from last year. It was a fantastic season and still was.
“Every season teams fall foul of this rule and we share the pain of other teams within our league who have also unfairly been deducted points.
“This clearly shows that the system and process is broken and hopefully the new COMET system will save any other clubs from being in the same position.
“We had applied the ITC rule for a number of players last season but the information can only be as good as the information the player gives us. We will come back from this bigger and stronger.
“We still wholeheartedly disagree with the decision and say that the club has done nothing wrong and we have followed procedure and guidelines all of the way and we have nothing within our power to check a player’s information – but we ‘win or we learn’ and we will keep this club moving forward.
“You can take our trophy but you can’t take our memories.”
A statement from Corwen FC on social media said: “Although we benefit from this decision it something that should have been sorted out months ago, not 3 weeks into the next season.”
The FAW have been approached for a comment.
The final 2018-19 Premier Division table also shows Brymbo have had 63 points deducted, which means they dropped from third to bottom place. Again, the FAW has been asked to comment.