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Relegation row escalates as new point leaves Stute in limbo

By Stuart McKinley

There is no end in sight in the Danske Bank Premiership's relegation wrangle after an attempt at reaching a resolution through arbitration took a new twist.

Warrenpoint Town appealed against an Irish FA Disciplinary Committee decision not to impose a sanction on Carrick Rangers, despite manager Gary Haveron serving a touchline ban in the wrong matches.

Carrick would have been relegated instead of Warrenpoint had the stipulated punishment of a 3-0 defeat and £350 fine been handed out.

Nicholas Randall QC has ruled that, in accordance with the Irish FA articles, third-party appeals are not allowed, but that is not the end of the matter as he has asked all three parties - Carrick, Warrenpoint and the IFA - for written submissions with regard to the punishment.

That now leaves Institute in further limbo with the provisional play-off arrangements made for next week being shelved, meaning Drumahoe outfit Stute still don't know if they'll face a second leg against Ballinamallard or a brand new two-legged battle with Warrenpoint as they try to get up to the Premiership.

A statement from the Northern Ireland Football League read: "The NIFL are increasingly frustrated at the ongoing, and further delay, and appeal that the matter is concluded at the earliest possible opportunity to prevent any further impact on our member clubs, managers, players and fans as well as preparation for Season 2016-17."

e Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey has snapped up Cliftonville striker Johnny McMurray, who was on loan with Warrenpoint Town last season.

Jeffrey has also brought Neil Lowry back to the club.

e DEAN Shiels has been released by Rangers after the Northern Ireland international was unable to agree a new deal.

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