Steven Flynn successfully persuaded the FA Judicial Panel Vice-Chair, Graeme McPherson KC, to stay an order closing Bury FC’s stadium for two matches.
Bury FC admitted a single breach of FA Rule E21 before a Manchester Football Association Disciplinary Commission. In sanctioning the club, the Commission imposed a two-match full stadium closure. Had the Commission’s order not been stayed, then Bury’s matches against Wythenshawe and Ramsbottom United would have been played behind closed doors. The match against Wythenshawe is pivotal to Bury’s promotion chances, pitting as it does second in the table against third.
Steven, instructed by Mark Hague and Armin Pishro of Farleys Solicitors, was successful in arguing that the immediate two-match full stadium closure should be stayed pending determination of the appeal. Such a stay is exceptional in matters before FA Appeal Boards. The Vice-Chair agreed that the interests of justice favoured a stay. In doing so, he accepted submissions that not staying the sanction would render the appeal pointless as the club would have suffered damage by the time the appeal could be heard; and that not immediately staying the sanction could represent a safety risk to fans.
In a statement after the interim decision was made, Mark Hague, Partner at Farleys said “I am pleased to see the outcome achieved today for the Club pending the substantive appeal being heard. The Club’s fans are extremely important to them and it would have been wrong for the fans not to have been allowed into the stadium pending the appeal being heard so the right decision has been reached. I am grateful for the assistance of Armin Pishro and Steven Flynn of Counsel and to the Club’s Board who all pulled together to get the application dealt with across a weekend and on very short timescales.”
The full-merits appeal will proceed before a full FA Appeal Board next month.
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