'Why are we playing for the sake of Notts County or Torquay to go up? - Linnets boss'

Ian Culverhouse during King's Lynn Town v Barnet

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse on the sidelines during the big win over Barnet - Credit: Ian Burt

Ian Culverhouse says the National League are holding a gun to the heads of clubs facing the threat of demotion if they fail to fulfil their fixtures. 

King’s Lynn Town could well be forced to curtail their season after Saturday’s home game against Weymouth because of the financial implications of playing matches behind closed doors. 

Dover Athletic have already called a halt and are now facing FA charges for failing to fulfil fixtures – the punishment for which could lead to fines, a points deduction or demotion. 

Lynn could be next on the charge sheet, and Culverhouse – who has led Lynn to successive promotions and a place in the National League for the first time in the club’s history - believes the possible punishments do not fit the ‘crime’. 

Stephen Cleeve at King's Lynn Town v Barnet

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

“I think it would be an absolute disgrace if they punish teams in that way,” he said after watching his team thrash Barnet 5-1 to climb out of the relegation zone. 

“They are holding a gun to clubs’ heads – it is not fair. If clubs can’t continue then why are you doing that? You’re threatening them with demotion? That’s poor, very poor.” 

National League clubs voted to carry on playing – although Lynn were among a number of the more impoverished clubs who wanted the season to be declared null and void. 

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“At the moment it seems like they are trying to make us play for the promotion and that’s not fair on the people that can’t,” said the Lynn boss. “Why are we playing for the sake of Notts County or Torquay to go up? I don’t get it. 

“I think the communication between the league and the clubs is poor.” 

Dayle Southwell King's Lynn Town v Barnet

Dayle Southwell celebrates after scoring King's Lynn Town's fourth against Barnet - Credit: Ian Burt

Lynn’s players shrugged of the background noise to thump Barnet, having discussed the situation on Saturday – when their scheduled game at Dover was postponed. 

Culverhouse said: “We had a chat when we were in on Saturday and we just said, ‘let’s control what we can control’. We can control things out on the pitch, that is what we are in charge of. We can’t control all the other stuff. We’ll let them get on with it and what will be, will be. But like I have said before, it is very hard for a single owner to keep putting his hand in his pocket when he has no income coming in and the thing we have to bear in mind is this football club has to survive. 

“We have been down this road before and it took us a long time to come back and now we have got to make sure we secure the future of this football club.  

“We need to be thinking along those lines rather than can we carry it on. It is important we look after this football club.”