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Peter Donald, SFL secretary
"A financial penalty might have been more difficult"
 real 28k

BBC Scotland's Alan Mackay reports
"Officials opted for the points deduction instead of a fine which coul have put the club out of business"
 real 28k

Thursday, 20 April, 2000, 22:12 GMT 23:12 UK
Accies docked 15 points over strike

The Hamilton Accies squad decided to strike
The Scottish Football League has punished second division Hamilton Accies with a 15-point deduction on Thursday for failing to play a game because of a players' strike.

The punishment drops Hamilton from sixth to the foot of the 10-club standings and the team is in dire danger of relegation to division three.

Hamilton players went on strike before the game at Stenhousemuir last month in a dispute over wages and failed to show up for the 1 April match.

The punishment means Hamilton now have 25 points instead of 40 and that means they are below last place Queen of the South, which has 29.

Expenses

Club chief executive Bill Sherry said he was stunned by the news of the league management committee's decision to come down heavily.

In addition, Hamilton will have to pay Stenhousemuir's expenses on the day the match was postponed which will amount to more than 2000.

Sherry said: "There was a company on the phone selling outdoor equipment. I asked them if they had any gallows.

"I'm surprised, disappointed and still coming to terms with the decision.

No right of appeal

"The case of Middlesbrough in the English league a few years ago has been mentioned to me but that was the club who failed to play the game.

"In our case, the club was willing and able to play the game - the players didn't. That has been ignored but we will see what the judgement says when it comes out.

"There is no right to appeal. We put our submissions in writing to the League - that was our way of speaking to them - and we were not at the hearing."

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