Llanelli manager Andy Legg disgusted over FAW fines
ANDY Legg has hit out at the Football Association of Wales after he and two cash-strapped players were hit with fines and a suspension.
Chris Venables, Luke Bowen and Legg were sent off during the Reds' 3-0 defeat to Newtown in September.
All three claim they pleaded guilty when an FAW charge arrived in the post, meaning they would be banned for two games and fined £100.
But they asked to be able to settle the fine after they had received money owed to them in unpaid wages.
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Llanelli players recently went two months without pay and while chairman Nitin Parekh has started to resolve that situation, they remain out of pocket.
Legg, Venables and Bowen hoped the FAW would make allowances because of their situation.
Instead the association fined them £150 and banned them for three games, stating they had not responded to the charges early enough to receive the original punishment, which was a reduced penalty. That has left Legg furious.
"I'm absolutely disgusted," he said. "We pleaded guilty, we just asked to pay the fine when we got paid.
"But they have increased our fines and suspended us for another game.
"We're not making excuses, these are genuine reasons, but it seems the FAW don't care about the Welsh Premier League.
"Don't they understand the situation we're in?
"We could quite easily have not turned up for matches, but that would have made the league a laughing stock.
"They could have had two clubs (after Neath) in six months that went to the wall."
It is understood Welsh Premier League officials recommended that the disciplinary panel impose a £100 fine and two-game ban.
But that advice was not taken.
"After all the effort we've put in, boys have been effectively paying to play and we've worked hard just to keep the club going," said Legg.
"Chris Venables is distraught, he's been travelling in from Llanidloes. That's a long way to come when you're not being paid.
"He's worked so hard as captain to keep things going and this is the thanks he gets.
"Fining us an extra £50 and banning us for an extra game is unbelievable, it shows no respect for us."
The players have the option to appeal the decision, but that would cost them an extra £628 if they are not successful.
"I'm appalled and if it wasn't for a couple of people at the Welsh Premier League who have been fantastic, I wouldn't give a stuff, I'd jack it in tomorrow," added Legg.
"If this is the reward for hard work and loyalty, I'd hate to be on the other side of things."
An FAW spokesman said that Legg, Bowen and Venables could all have received a less severe £100 fine and two-game ban under the reduced penalty regulation.
But he claimed the trio failed to respond to the charges in time to qualify for the more lenient punishment.