Cleeve threatens legal action after King’s Lynn play-off game is postponed

Stephen Cleeve, owner King's Lynn Town Picture: Ian Burt

Stephen Cleeve, owner King's Lynn Town Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

King's Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve says he will not hesitate to take legal action if his club is unfairly treated by the postponement of Wednesday night's play-off semi-final.

Hours after Lynn's game against Stratford was called off, the other semi-final, between Alvechurch and Stourbridge, also bit the dust 'in the interests of fairness'.

The issue came to light when the Linnets released a tweet late on Tuesday night, without adding further details, although it appears to be a problem within their opponents' camp over the fielding of an ineligible player.

A four-figure crowd was expected at The Walks for the game, but there is now confusion over whether it will even go ahead.

'As a club if the outcome is not fair to our club I will not hesitate to take legal action and protect all the hard work that everyone has put in this season,' Cleeve said on Twitter. 'This process has already started. The whole affair stinks of incompetence - enough is enough.

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'The situation with our play-off games is farcical - the lads deserve to be treated fairly and be given the same rest periods as the other semi-finalists – anything else favours the other finalists and gives them an advantage.

'Not blaming Stratford but this situation arose in February. Why is it only being dealt with at the 11th hour? The other semi-final must be played on the same day as ours and of course the NPL winners get stress-free extra-time to prepare for super final.'

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A statement on the club's official web site said: 'Late yesterday evening, King's Lynn Town Football Club were informed by the Southern League that our scheduled play-off semi-final match against Stratford Town, due to be played on Wednesday evening, has been postponed due to an investigation by the FA into Stratford Town allegedly fielding an ineligible player.

'At the moment we have no further information as to how this matter is to be dealt with and resolved by the FA.

'Further discussions between the involved parties will continue later. When we have further news on the situation we will release the information via our usual media partners.

'As soon as we receive clear information as to the outcome we will make an announcement in regards to people who have already purchased online tickets for this fixture.

'The scheduled opening of the club's box office this evening has now been cancelled until further notice.

'This will be the only comment from the club for the time being.'

A statement on the Evo-Stik League web site said: 'Following the FA highlighting a potential issue of an ineligible player for Stratford Town today which may result in potential points deduction, the League's Board has had to make the decision to postpone the scheduled play-off semi-final tie since this may have implications on Stratford Town's involvement.

'Both the FA and League know of the urgency in dealing with this matter and are committed to resolving it as soon as possible.

'A further statement will be made on Tuesday regarding the matter.'

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