Rangers go to arbitration

  • Jason Wade, the president of the Southamton Rangers Sports Club (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A dispute between Southampton Rangers and the Bermuda Football Association has gone to arbitration.

Rangers are at odds over the BFA’s decision to kick them out of the FA Cup and deduct a league point for failure to pay their annual membership fee.

The Premier Division club appealed against the sanction as they felt that the “procedure used was unfair”.

However, the BFA Appeals Committee upheld the sanction after it was “decided unanimously” that the appeal was without merit.

Rangers have now taken their case to the Alternate Dispute Resolution arbitration panel, at the Department of Youth Sport and Recreation.

“Southampton Rangers have submitted an official request to our ADR department,” Norbert Simons, the director at the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation, confirmed.

“The BFA has been advised and our sports section is looking into getting a person to deal with this matter as soon as possible.”

According to the Decision of the BFA Appeal Committee’s report regarding the appeal against the sanction, a copy of which The Royal Gazette has obtained, the BFA and Rangers had originally reached a payment agreement on September 24 of last year.

However, after submitting the first pay instalment by the September 25 deadline the club was advised on October 7 via e-mail of the potential sanctions for non-payment after the BFA determined that the pay agreement was “not valid” and rescinded as it contravened BFA Statutes and by-laws. Jason Wade, the Southampton Rangers president, said his club would be “in a position to pay the outstanding sum by October 9” with the BFA prepared to accept payment up to October 16.

However, on October 16 the BFA still had not received payment and contacted Wade who then “reverted to his original position to rely upon the payment plan”. Wade was advised that the payment agreement was not signed by a representative of the BFA, and that it was rescinded.

Rangers paid the outstanding sum on October 24 but were informed by the BFA on October 31 that the sanction would be imposed. It is the second time within a year that Rangers have been booted out of the FA Cup and deducted league points.

In January of last year they were stripped of their 4-2 win over St David’s and kicked out of the competition for bringing on a substitute who was not listed on the teamsheet.

The club then had their 5-0 league win over X-Roads wiped out and deducted a further point for fielding an ineligible player last September.