Aberdeen donate player fines for coronavirus breach to health service

Aberdeen have fined eight players who broke coronavirus protocols leading to three Scottish Premiership matches being postponed, with the money to be donated to the local health service.

Two players tested positive and another six were forced to self-isolate for 14 days after attending a restaurant and a bar together following a 1-0 home defeat to Rangers on August 1.

Bruce Anderson, Craig Bryson, Sam Cosgrove, Michael Devlin, Jonny Hayes, Matthew Kennedy, Dylan McGeouch and Scott McKenna had previously issued an unreserved apology for their actions in a joint statement.

"As a result of our investigation, these players have been severely reprimanded and fined heavily. Contractually, the specifics must remain confidential between the club and each player but, rest assured, the financial fines are in line with the severity of the consequences of their actions," said Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack in a statement.

"The club has chosen to donate these fines to NHS Grampian."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned the Scottish game's return was on a yellow card this week after Celtic's Belgian defender Boli Bolingoli also broke government rules by failing to quarantine after returning from a trip to Spain.

Aberdeen's clashes with St Johnstone, Hamilton and Celtic, as well as Celtic's trip to St Mirren have all been postponed over the past week.

"We fully appreciate the outpouring of dismay and anger by those who have been impacted by this virus, by those who have worked selflessly to protect us and by our fans, who have, despite health and financial worries, supported the club with their hard-earned cash during this period," added Cormack.

"Their actions were indefensible but the investigation has been completed, they have apologised, they have been punished by the club, and are suffering the humiliation that goes with making a mistake in the public eye."

Sturgeon labelled the breach by the Aberdeen players, who disregarded rules on the number of different households permitted to meet indoors, as "completely unacceptable".

Since the incident a stricter lockdown was reimposed in Aberdeen following an outbreak linked to pubs and bars.

The Aberdeen eight and Bolingoli also face suspensions after being charged by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) for breaches of its COVID-19 protocols and bringing the game into disrepute.

Aberdeen and Celtic will also face disciplinary proceedings for their players' actions.

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