Published: 20/04/2017 07:25 - Updated: 20/04/2017 07:32

Title under threat but Buckie insist they did nothing wrong

BUCKIE Thistle’s Highland League season will be defined by a decision at a league meeting tonight (Thursday).

Buckie Thistle president Garry Farquhar.
Buckie Thistle president Garry Farquhar.

Jags looked set to clinch the league title on Saturday if they won at home to bottom club Strathspey Thistle but their destiny is now shrouded in uncertainty.

League officials are looking into Buckie’s inclusion of midfielder Callum Murray on their sub’s bench at Formartine last week, with the player recently returning from a loan spell at Deveronvale.

League rules state that any player whose registration is cancelled with the SFA or is subject to a transfer on or after March 31 cannot play for any other club during the current season.

The punishment for any breach of this rule is a maximum fine of £500 and a mandatory three point deduction.

Buckie president Garry Farquhar and manager Graeme Stewart insist their club did nothing wrong, and were given the go-ahead by the Highland League to list Murray in their squad on Saturday.

If the league does rule that Murray was ineligible to play and dock Jags three points, it will end their title dream.

They would trail current leaders Brora Rangers by five points going into their final game against Strathspey this weekend, and only champions Cove Rangers would be able to overhaul Brora by winning their final match against Lossiemouth.

A statement on the club's website read: "As previously reported we believe we have done nothing wrong.

"We are his mother club and he has always been registered with the Jags. We cancelled his loan paper only to Deveronvale and SFA confirmed this was done properly and we have it in writing from HFL secretary that we (were) OK to have Callum play on Saturday.

"Checks were carried out on Friday by our President prior to match on Saturday."

Jags president Farquhar said: "As far as I’m concerned the club has done nothing wrong.

"I had taken advice from the Highland League secretary. I did everything that I believe is correct."

Tonight’s meeting, held at Lossiemouth social club, will determine if there has been any wrong doing on Buckie’s part.

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