Haywards Heath Town's secretary Mark Russ has been left 'gutted' and 'numb' by the Southern Combination Football League's decision to deduct them nine points.
Last week after an FA hearing, Heath were hoping they would get a 'lenient' punishment from the SCFL after the FA warned them about their future conduct.
But at the SCFL hearing last night (Monday), the club were given the maximum punishment of nine points - the points gained in the three matches suspended Melford Simpson played in.
This deduction will mean Heath lose the title and will not get promoted to the Isthmian League.
The club now have 14 days to appeal the decision. The appeal will be to the FA.
Russ told us: "I think the word is gutted. I am numb, I really am numb.
"As far as I am concerned, a reasonable person based on the facts that we presented, I think we have presented there were exceptional circumstances and that’s what we will hopefully appeal to.
"Once we get the formal documentation of the hearing last night, then we will look at possibly appealing to the FA.
"We now await again for the papers and then we will have decide strategically where we go with that."
With the situation dragging on, Heath now have to wait in their preparations for next season.
Russ said: "It puts us in limbo. We don’t want to give up this because we think we have fairly won this and we worked hard to win this and then just for an administrative error that is impossible to actually pick up, we get hammered nine points, the worst you can get. They have taken the nine points away from the games he [Melford Simpson] played in. When we had the FA hearing they said there were aggravating and mitigating circumstances hence why they only gave us a warning as to our future conduct.
"It just beggar’s belief.
"The Isthmian League have already published that we are in it and they have been sending us the documents and everything so it just messes everything up."
The SCFL have been asked for a comment about the punishment.