Chesterfield chief executive Chris Turner has apologised to fans of the club following an FA ruling that the FA Cup second round tie against MK Dons must be replayed.
The Spireites were found guilty of playing an ineligible player, Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Georg Margreitter, in the game against MK Dons on December 6. At an FA hearing on Monday, it was ruled that the tie must now be replayed on a date to be decided by The FA.
Commenting on the matters leading to the charge, Turner said: “On behalf of the football club, I would like to apologise to supporters for the administrative error made prior to the tie. I was unable to comment on the matter before the hearing as it may have affected our case.
“An internal investigation has been conducted and no one person is to blame. There was a breakdown in communication, which unfortunately resulted in this problem occurring.
“As chief executive, I shoulder the responsibility for what happens at the club and procedures have now been put in place to ensure that this error is never repeated.”
As a gesture of goodwill, the club will look to provide free travel to the replayed match for some supporters. Further details will be announced in due course.
“I will also be asking MK Dons if they are willing to offer reduced admission prices to the game,” said Turner.
Commenting on the ruling, Turner added: “We went into the hearing confident that the panel would look favourably at the circumstances surrounding the case.
“It is very disappointing that we are being forced to replay the game and that we cannot appeal against the decision.
“I personally felt that the three-man committee did not take into account the most important people involved, namely the supporters and the players.
“I have to say that both Wolves and MK Dons have been fully supportive. MK Dons’ sportsmanship has been very heart-warming.”
Turner added: “This is obviously a setback and I feel very subdued at the moment, but I have been delighted with the progress made by the club over the last few years and we now have to move forward and put this unfortunate episode behind us.”