14. SPORTING SANCTIONS
14.1 If an Insolvency Event shall occur in relation to any Club that Club shall be deducted 10 points. The deduction shall be made forthwith on the happening of the first Insolvency Event.
14.2 Where a Club takes or suffers an Insolvency Event:- during the Normal Playing Season but prior to 5:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday in March, the points deduction shall apply immediately.
14.2.2 During the Normal Playing Season but after 5:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday in March then Rule 14.3 shall apply; or,
14.2.3 Outside the Normal Playing Season, the points deduction shall apply in respect of the following Season such that the Club starts that Season on minus 10 points (including a Club or Clubs Relegated from the Hellenic League, where such Club shall be subject to Rule 14 of the Hellenic League Rules).
14.3 Where the circumstances set out in Rule 14.2.2 apply and at the end of that Season, having regard to the number of Competition points awarded (ignoring any potential deduction):-
The Club would be relegated in accordance with the Hellenic League Rules, the points deduction will apply in the next following Season; or
The Club would not be relegated as aforesaid, the points deduction will apply in that Season and Hellenic League Rules will then apply (if appropriate) following the imposition of the points deduction.
14.4 For the purposes of this Rule 14 where any Insolvency Event is taken or suffered other than on a Business Day (as defined by the Insolvency Rules 1986 as amended from time to time) then for the purposes of determining the timing of any points deduction only the action taken or suffered will be deemed to have been taken or suffered on the immediately preceding Business Day; and if a Company Voluntary Arrangement is approved, then approval of that Company Voluntary Arrangement shall be deemed to have been given at the date of the first meeting of creditors called to consider that Company Voluntary Arrangement, and not the date of any adjourned meeting of the creditors or the meeting of shareholders
14.5 For the avoidance of doubt, where a Club is subject to more than one Insolvency Event (for example Administration followed by a Company Voluntary Arrangement), the Club shall only be deducted one set of 10 points, such deduction to apply with effect from the first Insolvency Event.
14.6 The Competition shall serve the Club with written notice of the point’s deduction (the ‘Notice’).
14.7 A Club may only appeal against an automatic deduction of points on the ground that the insolvency proceedings arose solely as a result of a Force Majeure event (the ‘Appeal’). For the purposes of this Rule 14, a ‘Force Majeure’ event shall be an event that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is reasonably considered to have been unforeseeable and unavoidable.
14.8 Any Appeal must be in writing and be received by the Competition at its registered office no later than 7 days after the Competition serves the Notice. The Appeal must contain a statement setting out the grounds of appeal and provide copies of any documentation upon which the Club intends to rely in support of the Appeal.
14.9 The Club must also lodge with the Competition, at the same time as the Appeal, a deposit fee in respect of the costs of the Appeal.
14.10 Upon receipt of the Appeal the Competition Secretary shall refer the matter to an SSAP by delivering to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (or such other body as the Board may from time to time determine) five copies of the appeal documents together with a request for the appointment of Arbitrators as set out in 14.9 hereof.
14.11 The SSAP shall consist of three Arbitrators, one of whom must be a barrister (or solicitor) of at least 5 years call who will act as Chairman of the SSAP, each to be appointed by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (or such other body as the Board may from time to time determine) as provided above.
14.12 The Competition shall, immediately upon receipt of the Appeal, instruct a firm of independent accountants to carry out a review of the Club’s activities for the purposes of preparing an independent report into the circumstances surrounding and leading up to the entering into insolvency proceedings. The Club shall meet the costs of preparation of that report in any event. The report shall be provided to the Club, the SSAP and the Competition. The SSAP shall take into account the contents of that report when determining whether the insolvency proceedings arose solely as a result of a Force Majeure event.
14.13 Both the Club and the Competition shall be entitled to make representations to the SSAP. The SSAP shall use all reasonable endeavours to hear any appeal within 21 days of the lodgement of the Appeal.
14.14 The SSAP shall have the power to:-
14.14.1 Confirm the deduction of ten points; or
14.14.2 Set aside the deduction of ten points and substitute a deduction
of such lower number of points as it shall deem appropriate; or
14.14.3 Order that there shall be no sanction at all.
14.15 The decision of the SSAP shall be final and binding. Any costs incurred by any party in appeal proceedings brought before the SSAP shall be met by the Club in any event and shall be considered as a sum due to the Company.
14.16 Any sanctions imposed pursuant to these provisions shall not be taken into account in respect of any other sanctions, penalties or fines that may be imposed by the Competition in respect of any breaches of its Rules, Regulations or Articles of Association by the Club.