Kings Lynn Town owner questions National League consultation process on play-offs

PUBLISHED: 17:26 07 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 07 May 2020

Stephen Cleeve is hoping King's Lynn Town's efforts this season don't go to waste Picture: Ian Burt

Stephen Cleeve is hoping King's Lynn Town's efforts this season don't go to waste Picture: Ian Burt


King’s Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve has questioned why National League teams with no direct interest in possible play-offs were asked for their views on them as a way to end the current campaign.

The National League board admitted they have yet to decide how the cancelled season pans out and heard the views of 65 of the 68 clubs that make up its three divisions when they met on Tuesday.

A number of clubs, including the Linnets, want to retain the play-off places which could see them earn promotion to the National League – they are currently second, two places behind York with two games in hand.

But the National League say it cannot take the next step until the Football League announces its own procedure.

Lynn will be hoping the promotion and relegation issues between the two leagues leaves a space open for promotion from their division – the North. Cleeve advocates settling final positions using a points per game method – which leaves Lynn top and automatically promoted.

“I believe the play-offs should be played but if they can’t be played I believe the second team, which would be York City, should be promoted as runners-up,” he said.

While it is a complex and vital issue for teams at the top of their respective tables, Cleeve questions why those without direct interest have had an input.

“I thought that was odd ,” he said, speaking on his I Bought a Football Club podcast. “The National League asked every club what their view was on the play-offs and I don’t understand why they did that. I think that every club that could be involved in a play-off, either on points per game basis or on a basis of where we are now, who is in play-off positions and who could be entering the play-offs with points per game, should have been asked the question and I understand that.

”But what on earth is the relevancy of a club that finished rock bottom of the league, no disrespect to Bradford, but why would they ask them whether there should be play-offs or not? Why ask them? It is of no consequence to them and it is pointless.

“We voted there should be play-offs if it was humanely possible. It could be used as a pre-season opener, I don’t think people should be able to sign extra players, we disagree with that, we felt people should have to go with the same teams they started off with and there should be contract extensions if necessary, where the FA accept those players can’t move on until they have played those games - nevertheless I accept that could be fraught with legal difficulties. But it is not right someone can boost their team for one game, it makes it all lopsided.”

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