A disgraced football club, fined after its players assaulted a referee, have been kicked out of the league by rival clubs – who ignored advice to keep them in.
Hall Green United footballers and fans threw punches at the official after he called off their heated derby with Wake Green Amateurs E.
The ref, who suffered swellings and a severe headache, had already sent off two Hall Green players before he was forced to abandon the Birmingham AFA Division Seven match.
According to the FA report, which exonerated Wake Green, the referee was attacked four times during the clash at the Holloway, in Shirley, in April. Two Hall Green players were suspended after being charged with assault while the club was reportedly fined £75 by the Birmingham County FA for causing a match to be abandoned.
No criminal charges were ever pressed against the players or fans.
Despite the violence, member clubs of the Birmingham AFA were advised by league officials, following a high-level meeting on the issue, to vote to keep them in the competition.
League secretary Mike Dowling said: “We did not have one bit of administrative bother with the club before all hell broke loose at that game.
“We felt it was an isolated incident regarding only a couple of players.”
But fellow teams were less forgiving and voted to kick the club out of the league.
Manager Imran Hussain said he felt “let down” by the 11th hour decision, which came after the team had spent the summer getting in shape for the new season.
“We are very disappointed, especially as the two players suspended are no longer involved with the club,” he said.
“The incident gave us a bad name but we were trying to be more disciplined and organised.”
He has now lodged an appeal in the hope the Birmingham AFA will overturn the ban.