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Alison Walker reports
"The committee dismissed the appeal by a majority of three to two"
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Friday, 5 May, 2000, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Accies down as appeal fails
The Accies squad have paid a high price for their stance
Players, officials and fans of Hamilton Academical have been left to ponder a future in the Scottish Third Division.

The Scottish Football Association Appeals Committee upheld the decision to dock the club 15 points by a single vote.

The unprecedented loss of points means the club is adrift at the foot of Division Two, handing relegation favourites Queen of the South a surprise reprieve.

Nobody forecast it would be a 15 points deduction. It is very, very depressing

Scott Struthers, Hamilton Accies secretary

The 15-point deduction was imposed by the Scottish Football League after Accies players refused to turn out for a game against Stenhousemuir in a dispute over pay.

Accies secretary Scott Struthers summed up the feeling at the club.

He said: "To say we are bitterly disappointed would be an under statement.

Legal action

"We didn't think the points deduction would be overturned, but we did expect it to be reduced.

"Nobody forecast it would be a 15 points deduction two weeks ago, and I don't think anybody thought it would still be 15 points today. It is very, very depressing.

"In terms of football, it is now done. I don't know about legal action - that's down to the club."

The SFA revealed that only a single vote had vetoed the Accies' appeal against the points deduction.

A statement said: "Having given due and careful consideration to the submissions made by the representatives of Hamilton Academical FC and the League Management Committee of the Scottish Football League, the committee decided, by a majority vote of three to two, that the appeal be dismissed."

SFA logo
The SFA board voted against a reprieve

Queen of the South joint manager George Rowe admitted the club were delighted with the vote which kept them in the Second Division.

"We are very grateful they have decided to stick by their decision," said Rowe.

"We were given the opportunity to avoid relegation following Hamilton's punishment a couple of weeks ago. We took it at the time and we hoped that would have been the end of it.

"It's just unfortunate it dragged on all this time, we've all been kept in the dark about what was going to happen.

"It has been unfair on everyone involved because going into the last game of the season no one knew where they stood.

"I wasn't counting my chickens until I heard officially what was happening.

"I feel sorry for the Hamilton players. They've been punished financially and now they've been relegated."

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