Portadown down 12 points in Danske Bank Premiership season following IFA fine
Portadown will start the 2016-17 Danske Bank Premiership season already trailing their rivals by 12 points.
The Irish FA's Disciplinary Committee hit the Ports with the heavy penalty after finding the club guilty of paying winger Peter McMahon while he was registered as an amateur.
Despite Portadown producing a copy of McMahon's contract in support of their defence, the Disciplinary Committee used a different version, which was lodged with the IFA, to make its decision.
A Disciplinary Committee statement read: "Following a resumed hearing this evening where submissions were received from both the Association and Portadown FC, the Discipline Committee found that Portadown FC were in breach of Article 17 of the Articles of Association as evidenced by a breach of Article 38 of NIFL Rules.
"The Committee found that the club had made payments to a player, namely Peter McMahon, whilst he was registered as an amateur.
"The Committee had regard to all of the evidence and submissions put before it and determined that a 12 point deduction should be imposed for the 2016/17 season meaning Portadown FC will start the season with -12 points."
Portadown have said that they will consider appealing the punishment.