Casper far from friendly as Bury lose appeal

December 28, 2006

Bury manager Chris Casper has launched a stinging attack on the Football Association after they upheld their decision to throw the club out of the FA Cup.

The League Two outfit were expelled from the competition after admitting fielding an ineligible player, on-loan Hartlepool midfielder Stephen Turnbull, in the 3-1 second round replay win over Chester.

Bury's appeal against the decision was rejected after a hearing with an FA sub-committee on Thursday and Chester will now face Ipswich in the third round.

A Bury delegation highlighted similar previous cases during the meeting, and following the ruling Casper expressed his disappointment at the FA's verdict, as well as the current regulations.

He said: 'We're disappointed, angry and frustrated. We had a strong case and we've been treated the same as a team that didn't own up to it and tried to hide their mistake.

'If that's justice, the FA can keep their justice as far as I'm concerned. It's a weak decision.'

He added: 'The longer the process went on, the more things came out about people being kicked out of the FA Cup.

'I think there have been more ineligible players played because it's only come out when teams have won the game.

'When teams lose, fielding an ineligible player, nothing happens basically. Is that right? We also got the same punishment as people that don't come clean.'

Despite the penalty, which has cost the Shakers £24,000 in prize money for beating Chester and 45 per cent of the gate receipts for the Ipswich tie, Casper insists he would own up in similar circumstances in future.

He added: 'Of course (the system encourages clubs to keep quiet). Everybody realises that.

'But if I did it again I would own up to it because if we hadn't owned up, and it had gone further down the line, the FA could have been very embarrassed.

'Potentially, it could have gone on, when the third round or fourth round had been played. They would have had to backtrack and deal with a massive issue and we didn't want that.

'The FA have set a precedent. They'll have to change the rule book because it says teams `may' be kicked out for fielding an ineligible player for whatever reason - but you are going to be kicked out.

'On a personal level my feelings for the players and the supporters, I'm hurting like hell.

'I've never felt like this and I feel so sorry for them, but we're going to have to move on quickly and we can't feel sorry for ourselves.'

Chester manager Mark Wright has a great deal of sympathy for the Shakers but feels the FA were given little choice in the matter.

He said: 'Rules are rules - and they are there not to be broken. Bury must be gutted, and it's unfortunate for them.

'The FA are stringent, and unfortunately for Bury they've come undone. If it was us it would be very hard to swallow. But rules are rules, and we have to prepare and look forward to playing Ipswich and forget the whys and wherefores.

'Of course, I feel for them. But the FA make the rules; they have to stick to them, and the right decision was made.'