Doncaster Rovers: Will EFL appeal affect decision to rearrange Bolton Wanderers clash?
The fate of the cancelled clash between Doncaster Rovers and Bolton Wanderers is unlikely to be discussed as part of the EFL’s appeal against the punishment the Lancashire club face for non-fulfilment of fixtures, we understand.
The EFL have confirmed they will lodge an appeal against the sanctions imposed by an independent disciplinary panel, which was tasked by the governing body with ruling on Bolton’s failure to play fixtures with Brentford and Rovers.
Bolton received a five point deduction, suspended for 18 months, plus a £70,000 fine, half of which would be suspended for 18 months.
And it was also ruled that the game between Bolton and Rovers – originally scheduled for August 20 - should be played.
While the EFL believe the fine and suspended points deduction handed to Bolton is much too lenient, they are highly likely to share the stance that the original fixture should be rescheduled.
The EFL informed Rovers soon after the cancellation that they would wish to see the match played due to a belief that points should be won on the pitch and not in the boardroom.
So when their appeal is eventually heard, it is almost certain the EFL will look for the rearrangement decision to be upheld.
That however does not rule out Rovers pursuing some form of action over the fixture themselves, as the protracted dispute looks set to continue for some time to come.
The Rovers hierarchy have consistently held the view that they should be awarded the win for the game, given the manner in which it was cancelled.
Bolton took the unilateral decision to call off Rovers’ scheduled visit to the University of Bolton Stadium with less than 36 hours’ notice and without any prior consultation with Doncaster.
While they had previously approached the EFL over another fixture, citing concerns over the welfare of the young players they were forced to field at the time as a knock-on effect of the club being in administration, they had not informed the governing body of their decision to not play against Rovers.