Following the Independent Appeal Panel’s decision to uphold the five point penalty and £15,000 fine, for fielding an ineligible player, London Welsh have issued the following statement:
London Welsh RFC is extremely disappointed by the Independent Appeal Panel’s decision to uphold the five-point deduction and £15,000 fine against the club, with regard to the charge that it fielded an ineligible player, Tyson Keats, in ten Aviva Premiership matches this season.
However, the club welcomes the Panel’s decision to remove the suspended five-point penalty imposed until the end of the 2013-14 season, and believes that this action justifies its decision to appeal.
The club also believes that this cause of action was necessary to restore the good name of the London Welsh RFC, as once it became clear what had happened, the club made every effort to “remedy the situation” and did not, at any stage, deliberately attempt to deceive the RFU. A point acknowledged by the panel in their findings.
The club maintains, however, that it has ultimately been punished for the completely unnecessary fraudulent actions of one individual, whose actions the panel accepted “could not have been predicted”.
“The club is hugely disappointed by the decision of the Independent Appeal Panel to uphold the five-point deduction for this season,” said London Welsh CEO Tony Copsey.
“We are particularly disappointed for the players, who’ve given everything they can for the club, and ultimately it is they who have been punished for something completely beyond their control.
“However, there are still four games remaining in the season and the focus and efforts of the players, the coaching staff and everyone at London Welsh is now on those remaining matches.”
London Welsh RFC will be making no further comment at this time.