HomeSportsBuckie consider arbitration on play-off expulsion

Buckie consider arbitration on play-off expulsion


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Buckie were crowned Highland League champions for the 12th time last Saturday as they edged out Brechin City on goal difference.

However, the mood was quickly soured by the SFA’s announcement that they would not be eligible to play.

An SFA spokesperson pointed out that all Highland and Lowland League clubs were told in December they would have to meet the SPFL’s updated membership criteria requirements.

“The Scottish FA’s club licensing department has been in regular dialogue with Buckie Thistle since then to notify the club of, and provide ample time to address, issues highlighted in their club licensing report,” said the spokesperson on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, these issues were not addressed by the club prior to yesterday’s licensing committee decision.”

An SPFL spokesperson added that Buckie had “failed to respond to any of the three subsequent follow-up letters sent in October, February and March”.

The club had also “failed to apply for a period of grace by the 31 March 2024 deadline”.

The spokesperson added: “The SPFL board has huge sympathy for Buckie and their fans but has no option but to enforce our rules.”

Buckie immediately claimed they asked for a period of grace for four items on 23 April and “we were granted derogations for three items – floodlights, safety officer and diversity and inclusion”.

“One item – medical – has been deferred until the 15 May, but the club has committed to resolving the matter by 10 May,” they said.

“It goes without saying that everyone at the club is stunned and devastated by the timing of this decision.”

East Kilbride boss Mick Kennedy said that, while delighted to be through to the next round, it was “not the way I would have wanted to progress” and that he feels “sorry for everyone connected to Buckie Thistle”.

Currently, Clyde are the side most likely to face his side in the play-off as they are one point behind Stranraer and three adrift of Bonnyrigg Rose at the foot of League 2 with two games remaining.

The play-off will be over two legs on 11 and 18 May.

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