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Why Max Power will miss Sunderland's next five games despite receiving a four-game ban

Max Power is sent off against Bradford.
Max Power is sent off against Bradford.

Max Power picked up a four-game ban for his red card against Bradford - but the Sunderland midfielder will be unavailable for his side's next five matches.

The 25-year-old was in a similar situation following his red card against Oxford in September, which ruled the player out of Sunderland's next three league games as well as the Checkatrade Trophy match against Stoke Under-23s.

And following his dismissal at Valley Parade, Power will miss Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy clash against Carlisle United at the Stadium of Light.

However, it won't count towards the player's four-game league ban.

When Sunderland were told Power wouldn't be allowed to face Stoke last month, Jack Ross described the FA's decision as 'nonsensical', but, like many of us at the time, the Sunderland boss was probably unaware of the Checkatrade Trophy's disciplinary rules.

The FA do not count the competition as a 'first team competitive match', unlike the FA Cup, Premier League, EFL, Carabao Cup, the National League and FA Trophy.

Rules state that suspensions for serious foul play will result in the player being 'suspended automatically from all club football, except for any match sanctioned or regarded by the association as a friendly match."

Crucially this includes 'non-FTCM' (first team competitive matches), which the Checkatrade Trophy falls under, meaning Power won't be able to play any games, except friendlies, until the club have played their next four first team competitive matches.

The situation became confusing last month, as the Checkatrade Trophy rules state the competition is a ‘first team competitive match' under disciplinary rules.

However, the rules also state: 'the automatic sanctions in relation to cautions and dismissals are treated separately under FA disciplinary procedures from other first team matches.’

This rule was introduced in 2016 when Premier League and Championship clubs were allowed to enter their academy sides into the competition, and to ensure players don't get suspended for cards they receive in Checkatrade Trophy games.

To summarise, Power, and other players who receive suspensions for serious foul play, can't play non-FTCMs, which includes the Checkatrade Trophy despite the competition stating otherwise, until they have served their FA suspension.