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Just when you thought it was safe

It’s never easy, is it? Here we were, all nice and safe and secure for the rest of the season, and then this happens.

And suddenly it goes to shit again.

There had to be a twist in the tale of this season after all, and your editor wish he hadn’t joked about this sort of thing happening in the bogs after yesterday. It would be so funny if it didn’t leave such a bad taste in the mouth.

For those who can’t read the OS, Jake Nicholson played against Cheltenham when he shouldn’t have. Reading the club’s statement, it appears that it’s only that game which is affected. Which if we did get the maximum three point deduction would still leave us safe anyway.

But it really pisses people off that we’ve got to go through this again. Darlogate was seven years ago, so that shouldn’t have any bearing at all (if it has, then more than a few heads have to roll).

Needless to say, there’s been more than a few comments of “amateurish” and “non league” made since this story broke. The guy who does the Twitter feed announced after some apparently ill-advised replies to genuinely concerned Wombles that he’s leaving the role next Friday. Coincidence?

Either way, I can happily do without reading the “light hearted” comments from the Twitter feed while trying to find out unimportant things like how the game is going is impossible.

You certainly can’t help but think you can take AFCW out of non-league, but you can’t take non-league out of AFCW. This sort of thing was never supposed to happen again, and it just makes us look amateurish regardless of fault.

So, what’s the thing that has supposed to have brought all this about? The club isn’t saying anything officially, although the Daily Mail speculates:

Wimbledon, however, were unaware that Nicholson was ineligible until after he had played against Cheltenham.

That’s probably why Jim Sturman is on the case again, because I hope that it’s what the Mail are saying rather than anything more. However, the South London Press are reporting:

The Dons face being docked up to three points after Jake Nicholson’s paperwork was not correctly completed for the 4-3 win over Cheltenham last month.

“Not correctly completed”. Jesus fucking christ, it’s almost as though Darlogate never happened. And what is worse, we pay people these days to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t get repeated.


Thankfully, it seems precedence for this kind of thing does lead to a three point deduction and probably a fine but not much more. The official rules state:

42 Breach of Conditions of Registration

42.1 Failure to comply with any of the conditions relating to a registration will render the Player ineligible to play for the Club concerned as not being a Registered Player.

42.2 Any Club playing an unregistered Player in a League Match may have three points deducted from its score and/or be liable to such other penalty as the Board may decide.

42.3 Any Club playing, in a match under the auspices of The League, a Player who is under suspension by The Football Association may have three points deducted from its score and/or be liable to such other penalty as the Board may decide.

And the SLP say that Hereford and Torquay did the same and the Bulls got a maximum three point deduction.

The gut feeling right now is that it’s just all so un-necessary – but it would be such a fitting end to the season. We’ll find out what happens next Monday, and perhaps we’ll get away with no punishment at all.

But thank fuck we beat Southend and Plymouth…