Dover Athletic
Dover Athletic will play no further part in the National League this term

Dover Athletic will play no further part in the National League this term with their results expunged after failing to meet fixture obligations from 16-27 February.

The National League club have also been issued a 12-point deduction for the 2021-2022 season and fined £40,000.

The club, which has the right to appeal, placed all management, players and staff on furlough on 14 February.

An independent panel charged 18 clubs for alleged breaches of league rules.

Dover, who have not played a fixture since 30 January, were one of seven clubs to vote to stop the season in mid-February.

In a statement the National League said: “The panel had to consider the integrity of the competition and the actions of Dover Athletic in relation to the other 22 clubs that continue to incur much costs as they fulfil their fixtures.

“Dover Athletic had avoided costs by not completing their season alongside the other 22 clubs. In addition, The National League basic award meant they were significantly benefiting from not completing the season compared to the 22 clubs that continued.

“The panel concluded that three points per breach should be deducted from the club’s record in season 2021-22. In view of the current financial situation and in order to reflect the approach taken in other cases of breaches of rule 8.39, the independent panel reduced the initial fine by 20% to £40,000.”

Dover are bottom of the National League having only played 15 games this season – the fewest in the division – and have not played since 30 January.

The Kent-based club has yet to respond to the National League statement.

Club chairman Jim Parmenter had previously called the National League “a complete shambles” after a majority vote by clubs to continue the campaign in February.

“Nobody has addressed what happens to the seven clubs that have no income, can’t afford to carry on and don’t want to carry on,” Parmenter told BBC Radio Kent at the time.

More fines and points deductions for sixth-tier clubs

There were further fines awarded to 16 clubs from National League North and National League South for failing to fulfil fixture obligations.

The panel gave clubs a £2,000 fine – with a 30% reduction for those who accepted the decision before the hearing – as well as a two-point deduction for each breach.

With both divisions suspended and relegation and promotion declared null and void, the points deductions will be imposed for the 2021-22 season.

Fines ranged from £1,400 to £8,000.

King’s Lynn Town and Southport were also found guilty of a breach of the National League’s Covid-19 protocols.

The panel imposed a 12-month suspended fine of £2,000 on King’s Lynn Town for an unintentional error, considered to be in the best efforts to ensure a fixture was played.

It also issued a £2,000 fine to Southport for misinformation of the status of a player’s Covid-19 test to avoid playing a fixture on dates set by the League.

All 18 clubs have the right to appeal.