Portadown have been slapped with a 12 point deduction due to Peter McMahon's eligibility, but the points deduction will not take effect until the coming 2016/17 season.

The decision ensures that the club will not face relegation from this year's Irish Premiership, a larger issue which has yet to be decided due to a joint appeal from both Warrenpoint Town and Ballinamallard United against the punishment dished out to Carrick Rangers over manager Gary Haveron's breach of his touchline suspension.

McMahon was one of four Portadown players who's contract situation was brought to attention by an investigating committee into the payrolls of every top flight club. The Ports had already been handed a fine and banned from signing players on professional contract for twelve months due to being in breach of rules with regards to the contract of Gary Twigg, while the case against Tim Mouncey was overturned on appeal. The fourth player, Darren Murray - who has since joined Cliftonville - had his case unproven.

Portadown have confirmed they are considering an appeal against the decision, while rival clubs may wonder why the punishment applies to next season and not the current campaign - when the club broke the rules.

The 2015/16 Irish Premiership campaign ended over six weeks ago, but the dispute over relegation rumbles on.