Rochdale coach Alan Kilshaw has described Jono Smith‘s six-match as “disappointing”, claiming the four-month process took too long.
Smith has had a six-match ban upheld which relates to breaching the conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game, failures to adhere to Codes of Conduct, unacceptable behaviour and the RFL’s Respect and Social Media Policies following the League One Promotion Final win against Toulouse in September.
In the match, Smith experienced severe concussion following a sickening elbow to the head from an opposition player which caused a serious facial fracture.
Smith was later hospitalised and claims that for over a week following the match his memory was extremely blurred and concerns were raised about his mental state.
— Ryan Bradley (@ryan8radley) September 29, 2016
Despite the evidence presented on the night, the disciplinary panel opted to uphold the six match ban.
Rochdale head coach Alan Kilshaw said: “Jono has a bit of previous but the length of the ban was disappointing and the whole process is too long.
“If we’d known he had a six match ban then Jono might have had a different contract or we might have got his knee cleaned out. To know two weeks before round one is pretty frustrating.
“There’s an element of inconsistency as well – there are other cases of people tweeting daily who don’t come in for this kind of scrutiny.
“We believe that the concussion played a part in it, and the other element of it was that Toulouse’s Kane Bentley – who left him with a broken nose that needed operating on – didn’t get any kind of ban at the disciplinary.
“Jono had to have two weeks off work and lost money through that.”
“I’ve been concerned about Jono’s state of mind and he’s spoken about quitting the game.
“We are not questioning that the tweets were offensive, but we don’t think it’s been handled fairly.”
“I would like to place on my record my thanks to our medical team who have worked tirelessly to put together evidence to try their best to explain the circumstances around this incident.”
“Thanks must also go to Adam Bates and Mark Wynn. They have spent an incredible amount of time preparing our case and I am disappointed for them that we were not successful in our appeal.”