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Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 09:21 UK

Ports to appeal Premier exclusion

Portadown vice-chairman Bobby Jameson
Bobby Jameson said Portadown would appeal the IFA decision

Portadown are to appeal the Irish FA's decision to exclude them from next season's new 12-team Premier League.

The governing body said the club's application had not been received by the stipulated deadline.

However, the Shamrock Park club claimed their documents were 15 minutes late because of a traffic accident.

"This is not the end of the matter. We already have lawyers working on the case," said Portadown vice-chairman Bobby Jameson.

"We feel there are other factors which must be considered and we are appealing the IFA's decision immediately."


Jameson said the club's accountants had been aware of the deadline which was 1600 on 30 March and that they had proof they had been held up by the road accident.

If Portadown are excluded, the new league, supposed to be more attractive and professionally-run, will kick-off without one of Northern Ireland's leading clubs.

Since 1990, the Ports have won the league championship four times, the last being in 2002.

They are currently building a new stand, part of a 1.75m upgrade at Shamrock Park.

It is believed that, if Portadown are not in the top flight, they will lose some of their best players.

And the Premier League's longest-serving manager Ronnie McFall would also face the prospect of preparing his side for intermediate football next term.

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