FA officials will decide the fate of King’s Lynn Town today when they meet behind closed doors to discuss whether the club should be promoted.

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Speculation has grown that the Linnets, who finished second in the United Counties Premier Division, will be able to go up via the back door after champions Long Buckby were denied promotion due to failing ground grading requirements.

However, with the FA remaining tight-lipped on the issue, Lynn boss Gary Setchell admits all he can do is sit and hope his side are allowed to play at Step Four next season.

He said: “I’m just crossing my fingers, even if I’m fairly hopeful because Chertsey went up last season by finishing second.

“Rules are rules and hopefully the FA will see we’ve come a long way. We’re ready off the pitch to step forward and our support is fantastic. It’s out of our hands but we’ve only dropped 31 points in two seasons and it’s hard to win a league - you only need to look at what Manchester City and Manchester United went through on Sunday to see that.”

From the 14 Step Five divisions, 11 of the 12 promotion slots appear to have been taken by the winners of their relevant divisions.

Those clubs: Guildford City (Combined Counties), Wroxham (Eastern Counties), Witham Town (Essex Senior), Herne Bay (Kent League), Gresley (Midland Alliance), Ramsbottom Unitted (North West Counties), Retford (Northern Counties East), Royston Town (Spartan South Midlands), Three Bridges (Sussex County), Winchester City (Wessex League) and Merthyr Town (Western League), seem to have had their grounds approved.

The FA, however, refused to confirm or deny anything regarding the matter, including Internet rumours that Three Bridges’ facilities are insufficient for promotion.

The top two in the Northern League haven’t applied to go up leaving Lynn likely to pip Hellenic League runners-up Shortwood United thanks to a better points-per-game average (Lynn’s is 2.65, Shortwood’s 2.325).

Shortwood have also recently failed with a complaint about Oxford City Nomads fielding an ineligible player, therefore seemingly further strengthening Lynn’s chances.

However, with the possibility of a relegation reprieve being offering to a Step Four club, Lynn will remain on tenterhooks until the FA announce next season’s line-up on Friday May 25.

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