Blackpool have been fined £30,000 for selecting Donervon Daniels when he was ineligible, though chairman Karl Oyston played down the incident as an “administrative blunder”.
The Seasiders at least avoided having any of their seven points deducted but were fined after defender Daniels played in the defeat at Millwall in August when not properly registered with the Football League.
It’s believed the problem surrounds the submission of paperwork concerning the extension of the 20-year-old’s loan spell from West Brom until January.
The fine has sparked more criticism of club secretary Chris Hough, after previous administrative issues saw Pool start the season with only 12 registered senior players.
But chairman Oyston leapt to his defence, saying: “It’s the first time this has happened in my 16 years at the club. We have a previously unblemished record.
“When you put into context what was going on at the time, with the amount of work we were doing and the problems we were having, it’s not something to get too excited about.
“This is an incident we regret and have apologised for. We will take the fine on the chin and move on.
“I don’t blame Chris Hough for this at all. Anyone who does should try swapping places with him for a day.
“He had to deal with 20 players in a short space of time and the manager (Jose Riga) wasn’t particularly co-operative, so he had his work cut out. I think he has done a fine job in the circumstances.”
A statement from the Football League read: “An independent Football Disciplinary Commission (FDC) has fined Blackpool a sum of £30,000, half of which will be suspended, for fielding an ineligible player (Donervon Daniels) in the Sky Bet Championship fixture with Millwall on August 30.
“Millwall won the match 2-1, with Daniels playing the full 90 minutes. The FDC also ordered Blackpool to pay for the costs of the hearing and those of The Football League.”
While Pool have 30 days to appeal, Oyston told The Gazette they have no intention of doing so.
He added: “As a club we fully accept the decision. It was a blunder and one of those situations where we assumed the registration had been sent off to the league, but you should never assume anything.
“It was a minor administration issue which could have led to wider implications.
“We have no intention whatsoever of challenging a very fair way of dealing with it.”