Chesterfield have been ordered to replay their FA Cup second-round tie with MK Dons by the Football Association, with Spireites chief executive Chris Turner described the ruling as “astonishing”.
The Spireites beat the Dons 1-0, but after the game admitted a charge of fielding an ineligible player, George Margreitter, and will now have to face Karl Robinson’s side again.
Margreitter, who is on loan from Wolves, played in the fixture, despite not having completed the necessary paperwork in time.
Spireites had admitted a breach of FA Cup Rule 15(j), after fielding an ineligible player and after considering submissions made by Chesterfield in relation to the charge, the FA came to this unexpected decision yesterday.
The last two similar incidents had ultimately led to an expulsion (Bury) and then a £1,000 fine (Bradford City). The decision is final and binding on all parties, an outcome that avoids any appeal, an expulsion would have led to Spireites requesting an appeal.
Turner said: “We are very disappointed. We put forward a lot of reasons why the situation evolved and we had full support from MK Dons and full support from Wolverhampton Wanderers but unfortunately the FA did not see it that way.
“The precedent case with Bradford City, who were excluded from the competition and then reinstated, we felt surely it was the same situation with ourselves.
“We won the game and then we have to replay two or three weeks later. We are absolutely astonished with the decision. And the problem is that the decision which has been arrived at is that we cannot appeal against it.
“If they’d have expelled us from the competition we could have appealed it, so really they’re sat on the fence.
“We haven’t even got the opportunity of going there and getting a draw and bringing them to the Proact Stadium. It is a game where a result will be decided on the night.”