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> 76. Investigations
> 77. The Football Disciplinary Commission
> 78. Strict Liability Offences
> 79. The Football Association
> 80. Lodging Complaints and Charges
> 81. Decisions
> 82. Appeals
> 83. Jurisdiction
> 84. Publication and Confidentiality

76 Investigations

76.1 The League shall have the power, and will exercise such power through the Executive, to investigate any of the following:

76.1.1 alleged breaches of any of these Regulations; and/or

76.1.2 any complaint or allegation of financial or other irregularity; and/or

76.1.3 misconduct by any Club, Agent, Official or Player.

76.2 The League shall have the power to require any Club, Agent, Player or Official to:

76.2.1 provide such specific or general information on League affairs as The League may request in writing; and/or

76.2.2 attend any inquiry, hearing or proceedings to answer questions and to produce documents as The League may direct.

76.3 The Board and / or the Executive may instruct such advisers as they wish for the purposes of carrying out such investigations, inquiry, hearing or proceedings.

76.4 Any failure by any Club, Agent, Player or Official to co-operate with any request for information from The League under this Regulation shall be treated as a separate breach of these Regulations and shall be dealt with accordingly.

77 The Football Disciplinary Commission

77.1 All complaints and charges made under these Regulations shall be referred to The Football Disciplinary Commission (the 'FDC').

77.2 The FDC shall consist of:

77.2.1 a Chairperson who shall be either:

(a) a qualified Solicitor or Barrister; or

(b) a Member or Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators,

in either case with at least 5 years post-qualification experience; and

77.2.2 two side members one of whom shall be selected by the Complainant and the other, by the Respondent,

PROVIDED ALWAYS that where either the Complainant or Respondent fails to select a side member within 3 days of a written request to do so the Chairman shall be at liberty to do so on their behalf so as to avoid any possible delay in the conduct of the proceedings before the FDC.

77.3 The League and the Professional Footballer's Association shall maintain a list of Chairpersons appropriate for appointment in respect of any disputes involving Players.

77.4 Members of the FDC shall be entitled to receive from The League a reasonable sum by way of fees and expenses, as determined by the Board from time to time.

77.5 Save in respect of complaints lodged under Regulation 80.10 (complaints against The League) the Executive shall have the power to appoint the Chairperson.

77.6 Where a complaint is lodged under Regulation 80.10, the Board shall direct that the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (or such other body as the Board may from time to time determine) be instructed to appoint the Chairperson.

77.7 The overriding objective of the FDC is to deal with cases justly. This includes:

77.7.1 dealing with cases in ways that are proportionate to the issue; and

77.7.2 dealing with cases expeditiously and fairly; and

77.7.3 acting fairly and impartially between the parties.

77.8 Any party involved in proceedings before the FDC must assist in furthering the overriding objective.

78 Strict Liability Offences

78.1 The Executive shall have the power from time to time to:

78.1.1 designate certain breaches of the Articles of Association or the Regulations as strict liability offences and to impose fixed fines. The Executive shall decide the level of fines for first and subsequent offences, whether the subsequent offence is in respect of the same or another Article of Association or Regulation and shall notify the Clubs in writing of the offences and the fines. The designation of any such breach of the Articles of Association or of the Regulations shall not prevent The League from exercising its powers of investigation and subsequent lodging of charges where a Club is in further breach within the same Season; and

78.1.2 increase, reduce or otherwise vary any monetary payment or figure specified in the Articles of Association or the Regulations by notifying the Clubs in writing.

78.2 Any appeal against the imposition of a fine or against the amount of such a fine under this provision for a strict liability offence shall be referred to the FDC.

78.3 Any party wishing to appeal shall also lodge with the Executive a deposit of £1,500 in respect of the costs of the appeal.

79 The Football Association

79.1 In its absolute discretion, either the Executive or the Board may refer any matter to a Commission appointed by The Football Association.

79.2 Any matter affecting an Premier League Club or its Officials or Players shall be referred to The Football Association unless the Club, Official or Player consents in writing to the jurisdiction of The League.

79.3 Where a matter is referred to The Football Association, it shall be entitled to exercise all the powers and sanctions set out in these Regulations in relation to The Football League Club, its Officials and Players..

80 Lodging Complaints and Charges

80.1 Any person wishing to make a complaint against any of the persons referred to at Regulation 76.1 shall forward that complaint (together with five copies) to the Company Secretary of The League setting out:

80.1.1 the nature of complaint and any (if any) alleged breach of the Regulations; and

80.1.2 where applicable, identify the Regulation(s) alleged to have been breached; and

80.1.3 a brief summary of the facts relied upon in support of the complaint; and

80.1.4 copies of any documents relevant to the subject matter of the complaint.

80.2 This Regulation shall also apply in respect of charges lodged against any person set out within Regulation 76.1 by the Executive.

80.3 For the avoidance of doubt, any dispute or difference not otherwise expressly provided for in these Regulations between Clubs shall be brought as a complaint under Regulation 80.1 and referred to the FDC for determination with a right of appeal to the FAP in accordance with these Regulations.

80.4 Anyone lodging a complaint or charge in accordance with these Regulations shall be referred to as the 'Complainant'.

80.5 Where any complaint lodged may also involve a breach of these Regulations, the Executive may, in addition to any complaint, lodge a charge for determination by the FDC at the same time as the original complaint.

80.6 The Company Secretary shall within 7 days of receipt of any complaint forward to the person who is the subject of that complaint (hereinafter referred to as the 'Respondent'), details of the complaint together with copies of all documents lodged in support.

80.7 The Respondent shall, within 14 days of receipt of the complaint, confirm to the Company Secretary and the Complainant receipt of the same and indicate whether they intend to admit the complaint or not and, in respect of complaints lodged by any person set out within Regulation 76.1, whether they intend to lodge any counter complaint against the Complainant. Any response and counter complaint shall be forwarded (together with five copies) to the Company Secretary and the Complainant.

80.8 Where the complaint is admitted:

80.8.1 either the Complainant or the Respondent shall have 14 days in which they may request that the FDC convene to hear oral representations. If no such request is made the FDC shall accept written submissions alone;

80.8.2 thereafter the Company Secretary shall refer the matter to the FDC for them to impose such punishment as they think fit; and

80.8.3 the FDC may impose such penalty or penalties as they think fit having regard to all the circumstances of the case and to the available penalties set out at Regulation 81 herein.

80.9 Where the complaint is not admitted the Company Secretary shall refer the matter to the FDC for them to conduct a full hearing in respect of the complaint in accordance with the rules for the conduct of Commission hearings set out at Appendix 2 herein.

80.10 Any person wishing to make an allegation of breach of any Regulation by The League shall forward that complaint (together with five copies) to the Board setting out:

80.10.1 the nature of the alleged breach of these Regulations;

80.10.2 identify the Regulation(s) alleged to have been breached;

80.10.3 a brief summary of the facts relied upon in support of the complaint; and

80.10.4 copies of any documents relevant to the subject matter of the complaint.

80.11 Upon receipt of that complaint the Board must direct that the matter be referred to the FDC in accordance with Regulation 80.8.

81 Decisions

81.1 The FDC may at any time make a decision, and may make more than one decision at different times on different aspects of the matters to be determined.

81.2 A decision may:

81.2.1 order a party to do or refrain from doing anything;

81.2.2 order a specific performance;

81.2.3 make a declaration on any matter to be determined;

81.2.4 order rectification setting aside or cancellation of a contract or other document;

81.2.5 order the payment of money to one or more of the parties;

81.2.6 issue a reprimand or warning as to the future conduct of a party;

81.2.7 order compensation;

81.2.8 order a suspension of membership of The League;

81.2.9 order a deduction of points;

81.2.10 impose a financial penalty payable to The League;

81.2.11 recommend expulsion from membership of The League;

81.2.12 order a withdrawal or loss of benefit otherwise available to members of The League e.g. basic award or ladder payment;

81.2.13 impose an embargo on registration of Players;

81.2.14 order any other sanction as the FDC may think fit; and

81.2.15 order that interest be payable on any sums awarded under this Regulation for such period and at such rates as the FDC thinks fit.

81.3 These sanctions may be imposed immediately or may be deferred or suspended for such period and on such terms as the FDC shall decide.

81.4 Further, the FDC may make such order in respect of:

81.4.1 the costs of the investigation; and

81.4.2 the costs of the proceedings; and

81.4.3 the costs of the FDC as the FDC may think fit.

The FDC shall have the power to enquire into any costs claimed by a party and to order that such costs be assessed on an equivalent basis to detailed assessment in the High Court.

81.5 Any financial sanction and, subject to Regulation 81.4, any order for costs shall be paid to the Company Secretary of The League within 14 days of the date on which the sanction or costs were imposed. In default the person concerned shall pay interest at the rate of 5 per cent per annum over Barclays Bank base rate in force from time to time calculated on a daily basis on the outstanding sum from the due date to the actual date of payment. The FDC may order that a party's liability for costs be deducted from any other amounts which may be otherwise due to that party under the terms of any order of the FDC.

81.6 Where the FDC (or where appropriate the FAP) makes an order that in whole or in part recommends expulsion of a Member Club from The League under Regulation 81.2.11 the Board shall, within 28 days of receiving a copy of the order, call an extraordinary general meeting of The League and present a Special Resolution inviting Member Clubs to ratify the decision of the FDC or FAP.

81.7 Where the Member Clubs ratify the decision of the FDC or FAP the Company Secretary shall, within 14 days of the general meeting, serve on the relevant Member Club at its last known address written notice of the decision together with written notice to transfer its share(s) in accordance with Article 4.5.

81.8 The decision of the FDC shall be treated as a decision of The League and binding upon all the Clubs, Officials, Players and Agents.

82 Appeals

82.1 A party may only appeal against an order of the FDC on the grounds that either:

82.1.1 based on findings of fact made, the order of the FDC is obviously wrong; and/or

82.1.2 there has been a serious irregularity in the conduct of the proceedings before the FDC; and/or

82.1.3 the order of the FDC is too severe or too lenient having regard to all the circumstances of the case.

82.2 Any party wishing to appeal against a decision of the FDC must, within 14 days of the making of the final order by the FDC, serve on the Executive and any other party to the original proceedings:

82.2.1 written notice of the intention to appeal; and

82.2.2 a statement setting out the grounds of the appeal.

82.3 Any party wishing to appeal shall also lodge with the Executive a deposit of £1,500 in respect of the costs of the appeal.

82.4 Upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal the Executive shall request the appointment of a Football Appeal Panel (the 'FAP') by delivering to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators five copies of the appeal documents.

82.5 The FAP shall consist of three Chartered Arbitrators, one of whom must be a barrister of at least 10 years call who will act as Chairman of the FAP, appointed by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (or such other body as the Board may from time to time determine). The appeal shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 or any subsequent statutory modification or re-enactment thereof.

82.6 Members of the FAP shall be entitled to receive from The League a reasonable sum by way of fees and expenses.

82.7 The FAP will notify the parties and the Executive (if they were not a party to the original proceedings) of their appointment and allow the other parties a reasonable period of time to submit a reply.

82.8 Any party against whom penalties were imposed under Regulation 81 may apply, initially in writing, to the FAP for an order that such penalties be suspended pending the resolution of the Appeal. The FAP shall determine any such application having regard to the merits of the Appeal and the representations of the other parties.

82.9 If any party wishes to introduce new evidence then their Notice of Appeal or reply must state so clearly and include a copy of any such evidence. The FAP shall have absolute discretion to determine whether such new evidence shall be admitted. Such evidence will not be admitted unless:

82.9.1 the evidence was not available at the time of the original inquiry, hearing or proceedings notwithstanding the exercise of reasonable diligence by the person seeking to introduce it;

82.9.2 the evidence is credible; and

82.9.3 the evidence is relevant.

82.10 Where the FAP decide to admit the new evidence under Regulation 82.9 the FAP shall conduct the Appeal as a full re-hearing.

82.11 Where the parties agree, the FAP shall determine the appeal based upon the documentary evidence and submissions before the FDC without a hearing. In the absence of such agreement, the FAP shall determine the Appeal on the documentation and any record of oral evidence before the FDC together with such other oral and written submissions as the parties may wish to make.

82.12 The FAP shall have the power to:

82.12.1 confirm the decision; or

82.12.2 set aside the decision in whole or in part and substitute a new decision; or

82.12.3 order a rehearing with a differently constituted FDC.

82.13 The FAP may make a reasoned award allocating the costs of the Appeal as between the parties but shall award costs on the general principle that costs should follow the event. The recoverable costs of the appeal shall be determined on the basis of a reasonable amount of costs reasonably incurred. The FAP shall also consider whether the deposit lodged under Regulation 82.3 shall be refunded in whole or in part.

82.14 The procedures set out within these Regulations shall be exhausted and an order, decision or award made in accordance with them by the FDC or, in the case of an appeal, by the FAP before any application may be made to any court of law.

82.15 The decision of the FAP shall be treated as a decision of The League and binding upon all the Clubs, Officials, Players and Agents.

82.16 For the avoidance of doubt this Regulation 82 shall not apply to appeals lodged under Regulation 70.2 which shall be referred to the Football League Appeals Committee in accordance with that Regulation.

83 Jurisdiction

83.1 English Law shall govern these Regulations and any hearing under them. The FDC and FAP shall apply English Law (both procedural and substantive) in determining any dispute referred to them under the Regulations. .

84 Publication and Confidentiality

84.1 The FDC and or the FAP shall be entitled to publish as they think fit, reports of any inquiry, hearing or proceedings before them to include any findings and sanctions, penalties and costs.

84.2 All evidence given at any such inquiry, hearing or proceedings and any reports published by the FDC or FAP shall, subject to Regulation 84.1, be confidential.

84.3 Each Club, Official, Player or Agent shall be treated as having consented to the publication of such reports.

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