St Patrick's Athletic look to be in more trouble with eircom officials with the news that they played an unregistered player for the first five games of the season. If true St Pat’s title ambitions are all but over as a point’s deduction will surely follow along with a hefty fine. The latest revelation comes while rows over Paul Marney, a player already found to be unregistered while playing for St Pats at the start of the season, continue, especially between Shelbourne and eircom officials.

The trouble began yesterday morning when Shelbourne Chief Executive Ollie Byrne arrived at Merrion Square and requested that he be allowed inspect the registrations of the St Patrick's players as is his right under the rules. One player, thought to be Charles Mbabazi, is said to have played the beginning of the season while his forms only arrived five weeks into it.

More annoyingly for Shelbourne will be eircom League commissioner Roy Dooney’s admission that he knew of this irregularity since the end of September, he said. “At the time that I realised that Mbabazi's name wasn't on a list of registered players that was sent to the club after the Paul Marney situation had come to light, they had been docked the nine points so I felt that they had been punished. When the points were restored the whole process had been gone through,"

In the initial row over Paul Marney St Pat's were fined £1000 by the eircom League, but Shelbourne objected and the FAI deducted nine points. However, Pat's appealed and an FAI arbitration reinstated the points and fined the club €1200.

Filed by Johnny Proby