Chesterfield's play-off push boosted after Dover Athletic's results expunged

Chesterfield’s play-off push has been boosted after confirmation that Dover Athletic’s results from this season have been expunged.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 11:17 am

An independent panel found the Whites guilty of four breaches of failing to play their fixtures without ‘just cause’ between February 16 and February 27.

They will play no further part in the current campaign and will start the 2021/2022 season on minus 12 points. They have also been fined £40,000.

Dover furloughed all players, management and staff in February because they felt they could not continue without ‘appropriate funding’ being put in place. This came about after it emerged government support for clubs from January to March would be loans and not grants, which was not expected.

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The Whites were bottom of the table after 15 games when they took the decision to furlough everyone.

Chairman Jim Parmenter has said they have been ‘left high and dry’ and will lodge an appeal with the Football Association.

But Chesterfield have benefited from the situation because some of their play-off rivals, including Torquay United, Stockport County and Wrexham, have lost the three points that they gained by beating Dover earlier in the season. The Spireites, meanwhile, had not played them.

A National League statement 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 fulfill 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 Spireites have edged closer to the play-offs after Dover Athletic's results have been expunged.

"In view of the current financial situation and in order to reflect the approach taken in other cases of breaches of the rule, the independent panel reduced the initial fine by 20% to £40,000.”

This week Chesterfield confirmed their application for a loan from Sport England had been successful and they have received just under £1m.

In other news, 16 clubs in the National League North and National League South have been found guilty of failing to meet fixture obligations and they have received fines ranging from £1,400 to £8,000 and suspended points deductions.