SFA brings charges against Elgin City chairman and Lomas

Graham Tatters, chairman of Elgin City. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA
Graham Tatters, chairman of Elgin City. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA
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Elgin chairman Graham Tatters has been charged by the Scottish Football Association after his club’s Third Division game against Rangers was postponed last month because too many tickets were sold, while a fresh charge has been brought by the SFA against St Johnston manager Steve Lomas, currently subject to an eight-match touchline ban.

Rangers were scheduled to travel to play Elgin at Borough Briggs on 25 November but the Sunday lunchtime fixture was postponed on the previous Friday afternoon on safety grounds. Tatters has now been called before a disciplinary hearing on 20 December on a notice of complaint for an alleged breach of disciplinary rule 71, the national governing body announced.

It its statement the SFA clarified the alleged breach as “not acting in the best interests of association football by knowingly distributing tickets for the above match in excess of the maximum capacity of the ground at which the match was scheduled to be played”.

Tatters has until Wednesday, 12 December to respond.

In consultation with both clubs, Moray Council and Grampian Police, the Scottish Football League took the joint decision to postpone the original fixture.

The SFL announced there had been “a substantial oversale of tickets”, with around 1,100 extra tickets reportedly sold on top of the 4,520 capacity of Borough Briggs. Elgin were subsequently fined £25,000 by the SFL, with one fifth of the fine donated to a charity chosen by Rangers, who were also to be reimbursed by Elgin for any costs they incurred relating to the match.

Elgin declined the opportunity to appeal, believing they received a fair hearing and now face action from the SFA.

The re-arranged fixture is now scheduled to take place on 22 December, two days after Tatters is poised to face an SFA disciplinary panel.

Lomas, meanwhile,. faces further sanctions after being called before a hearing, also on 20 December, for kicking a water 
bottle. Lomas was handed his current suspension after being sent to the stand during his side’s 1-1 draw with Celtic in 
October and the sanction – a six-match ban, plus the activation of a suspended two-game ban – was imposed last Thursday, a day after he was dismissed against Hibernian.

It is his actions against Hibs which will be under scrutiny after an alleged breach of disciplinary rule 203, specifically “misconduct at a match by failing to behave in a responsible manner as an occupant of the technical area by kicking a water bottle carrier causing water bottles to land in the stand.”

The former Northern Ireland midfielder also has until Wednesday, 12 December, to 
respond to the SFA.