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‘The law saved our bacon’ - King’s Lynn Town owner

King's Lynn Town striker Adam Marriott, whose 28 league goals this season came close to being wiped out Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Town striker Adam Marriott, whose 28 league goals this season came close to being wiped out Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Burt Photography

Stephen Cleeve says only an 11th-hour reprieve saved his King’s Lynn Town team from seeing their results from this season wiped from the history books.

National League clubs are voting on whether or not to bring the season to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic and, if they agree to that recommendation, will then be asked whether results should be expunged or clubs should be promoted and relegated.

Cleeve is an advocate of the points per game assessment, which would see Lynn top the National League North and, therefore, earn promotion.

Numerous factors have yet to come into play, with much depending on what the Football League does, but Cleeve has revealed that his worst case scenario was saved by the intervention of legal eyes.

“What happened was there was an about-face and the reason for that were the Articles of Association so whilst I go on a little bit about the legals, people who are more worried about the legal aspect of the game than actually doing the right thing for football fans as opposed to doing things for lawyers, this seems to have saved the day for us, so I was rather pleased about this.

“The Articles do not allow, as far as I understand, for the league to treat the National League North and the National League South in a different way to how they treat the National League.

“If they null and void us they would have to null and void the National League which would therefore essentially mean no promotion.

“So the law saved our bacon, and thank goodness for it. I have something to be grateful for there, and apparently that was literally at the last minute.”

The National League board has asked clubs to vote with them in favour of bringing the season to an end.

“I have voted through gritted teeth,” he said on his podcast, I Bought a Football Club, “I didn’t want vote to finish it, but I think in the greater interest of the game it has to be done.”

Cleeve has been wrestling with the on-going financial fall-out, with players taking a 20pc wage cut and those on two-year contracts agreeing to be paid next season only when games have restarted, not when their contracts kick in, at the start of August.


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