A grass roots football team hit with £700 of fines has been saved from the brink of closure. Southampton-based Infinity appealed hefty bans and charges relating to an incident during the last game of the 2013/14 season.
After receiving a £500 loan from the Hampshire Premier League, and having midfielder Jody Hoare’s ban being slashed from a whopping 15 games to just five and his £150 fine cut to £50, the club have announced they are able to continue playing next term.
Daniel Martin, Jack Jewel and Leon Elliott have accepted their charges of a £150 fine each and a ban of 182 days from football.
However, those players have refused to pay their fines, meaning the club is footing the bill.
“We’ve managed to salvage the club from the edge of closure,” said manager and secretary Michael Bulman.
“The Hampshire Premier League have been superb and really sided with us on this.
“We’ll be holding a fundraiser for the club, so we can pay off the rest of our fines.
“I’m massively happy with the result of this. It was touch and go for a long time, so to have Jody’s ban and fine reduced is excellent.
“The league have given us plenty of time and lent us money, to ensure we were able to keep running.”
The Hampshire Premier League confirmed that they supported Infinity financially but were reluctant to disclose their reasons for doing so.
Competition secretary Roger Allen stressed that they try and help all of their clubs where possible and have an emergency loan system in place.
“We try and keep a good relationship with all of our clubs and help them where possible,” he said.
“We ideally didn’t want to lose any teams and they are a team of good quality who could push for promotion next season.
“Discipline had been a problem for Infinity, but we spoke to them in November last year and since then they seemed to be turning a corner.
“It was obviously going well until the last game of the season.
“We hope it was an isolated incident and they have learnt their lesson.”