All roads head north as Evo-Stik Premier Division King’s Lynn Town lose FA appeal

Gary Setchell will be pointing the way up the A17 a lot again next season. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Gary Setchell will be pointing the way up the A17 a lot again next season. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

King's Lynn Town will still be heading north next season after the FA turned down their appeal to be switched across to the Southern League Premier Division.

The Evo-Stik (Northern League) Division One South champions had provisionally been placed in the Evo-Stik Premier Division when the country's governing body released their planned non-league structure for Step One to Four of the non-league ladder last month. However, the Linnets were hoping they could be moved into the Southern League – a decision which would have saved Gary Setchell's men about 2,000 miles in travelling for matches next term. Their efforts came to no avail though as Lynn hierarchy were told that the FA had turned down their request during a hearing at Wembley yesterday.

Setchell said: 'We'd have had eight or nine games within 100 miles of us if we'd have gone in the Southern League, whereas we've only got three or four in the Northern League.

'It would have generated more derbies and local games. For example, we'd have played St Neots and when we did a few seasons back 5,000 fans came through the gate in three matches. That's not going to happen now. We did this for the interest of the club and the fans as the travelling would be so much easier for us in the Southern League. We put that across to the FA but they weren't interested in that. Truro and Bideford are a couple of long journeys that helped increase their total average and they didn't look at the bigger picture.'

Chairman Buster Chapman said he was disappointed by the FA's decision and felt it was the wrong one for his club. The Linnets are now going to spend more time, and money, on travelling to away games ahead of the reformed club's first spell at Step Three.

Setchell added: 'The players we've got would have been totally committed to King's Lynn if we were playing in the Northern League, Southern League, Timbuktu League or on the planet Mars. It just means we've not got a lot of games between 140-220 miles, and a couple of long ones, rather than a couple of long ones and a lot between 50-130 in the Southern League.'