GRAYS Athletic have been left frustrated after Liverpool escaped being expelled from the Carabao Cup less than two weeks after the Isthmian North were kicked out of the FA Cup for the same reason.

Liverpool brought Pedro Chirivella off the bench in their 2-0 victory over MK Dons despite the midfielder not having an international transfer certificate, which was required after the 22-year-old returned from a loan spell with Spanish club Extremadura last season.

Although expulsion from the Carabao Cup was among the consequences, Liverpool have been fined £200,000 – of which £100,000 has been suspended.

Grays, meanwhile, were kicked out of the FA Cup after Frankie Hession-Harris – who was deemed to be ineligible having had a spell in the United States of America before returning to English football with East Thurrock United and Witham Town – came on as a substitute in the 5-2 preliminary round win over Heybridge Swifts.

And Grays will be frustrated to have seen Liverpool, who are fighting for the Premier League title after being crowned Champions League winners last term, given a smaller punishment.

On the decision to fine Liverpool, the English Football League said in a statement: "Following a comprehensive review of all the evidence, the board determined that it wasn't appropriate to expel the club from the competition because of a number of mitigating factors."

Liverpool requested the paperwork in July but the process can only be completed with the Football Association's intervention and that is where the club believe the error has been made.

EFL rules give it "full powers" to investigate - which could have meant anything from a reprimand to expulsion from the competition.

A statement from the EFL continued: "In particular, the board noted that the club had sought the assistance of the Football Association in securing the return of the international clearance prior to the start of this season, and the club had been able to include the player on team sheets for Premier League Two matches (under Premier League rules) and one Trophy match, which resulted in the breach not being identified until the club reported the issue to the EFL and Premier League following the MK Dons match.

"As a result, the club has also been found guilty of misconduct in relation to the same breach for having fielded the player in the defeat against Oldham in the Trophy on August 7, with the sanction incorporated into the financial penalty.

"The club will be liable for the suspended sum of £100,000, plus an additional sanction, if they were to again field an ineligible player in the Carabao Cup between now and the end of next season."