Scottish Premiership: St Mirren & Kilmarnock win forfeit appeal

Allan Campbell of Motherwell v St Mirren
Motherwell were originally awarded six points, but must now play St Mirren and Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock and St Mirren have won their appeal against defeats handed down due to Covid-19 regulation breaches.

A Scottish FA judicial panel overturned walkover wins awarded to Motherwell and Hamilton Academical by an SPFL tribunal last month.

Both clubs had initially admitted breaching social distancing rules, with a suspended £40,000 each given out.

That amount has now been reduced to £20,000, with half suspended, while all three games are set to be played.

St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick described the verdict as "a victory for common sense".

Speaking to BBC Scotland Sportsound, Fitzpatrick added: "I'm sad and disappointed that it came to this, but I'm absolutely delighted for everyone.

"Yes, we all make mistakes, every club would hold their hands up to that, but it was the excessive punishment for that.

"I hear things like 'privileged footballers' - we pay for that privilege very heavily. The amount of money we spend on testing, cleaning the place, PPE, everything."

James Fowler, Kilmarnock's head of football operations, added: "We felt it was unjust that we weren't going to be allowed to play the match. We held our hands up to certain breaches and we take the fine on the chin."

Motherwell were originally given wins over both last month, while Hamilton were handed the points for a game against St Mirren with Kilmarnock and St Mirren appealing days later.

A spokesman for the SPFL said: "We note the decisions of the Scottish FA appellate tribunal in relation to the sanctions imposed on Kilmarnock FC and St Mirren FC by an independent SPFL tribunal.

"We will reschedule the three matches as soon as reasonably practicable, in line with the decisions. We await written reasons for the decisions from the Scottish FA appellate tribunal."

What is this all about?

The postponement of matches took place in October.

St Mirren failed to fulfil fixtures against Motherwell and Hamilton after a Covid-19 outbreak, while Kilmarnock were unable to play Well for the same reason.

That triggered an independent SPFL investigation, during which both clubs admitted infringing the league's social distancing rules on buses and at meals, while St Mirren players also shared cars to and from training.

Both clubs were given suspended £40,000 fines, but, more pertinently, 3-0 victories were awarded to their opponents in those games and the table updated accordingly.

However, little over three weeks later, those points suddenly disappeared from the standings, with the SPFL soon confirming that those sanctions had been "suspended pending appeals".

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