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King's Lynn Town chief's fury at play-off resolution

PUBLISHED: 17:52 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 20:31 01 May 2019

Linnets' chairman Stephen Cleeve is furious over play-off farce Picture: Ian Burt

Linnets' chairman Stephen Cleeve is furious over play-off farce Picture: Ian Burt

The chaos of King's Lynn's play-off semi-final appears close to resolution - but owner Stephen Cleeve is furious at the outcome.

The chaos of King's Lynn's play-off semi-final appears close to resolution - but owner Stephen Cleeve is furious at the outcome.

Cleeve said the club had received notification late on Wednesday that the Linnets' semi-final against Stratford or Coalville will now be played at The Walks on Monday, and the other semi-final between Stourbridge and Alvechurch will be played at the same time.

The final will then be played on Wednesday whilst the date of the “super final” remains the following Saturday.

Lynn were due to have played on Wednesday night but this was postponed whilst the FA investigated claims Stratford played an ineligible player earlier this season.

Both semi-finals were then moved to Friday evening “in the interests of fairness” but the goalposts moved again on Wednesday afternoon.

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It has left Linnets boss Ian Culverhouse with a dilemma over preparation as he awaits news of whether the Evo-Stik League will punish Stratford, allowing Coalville to take their place in the semi-finals.

If Lynn do get through on Monday they will have just two days to prepare for the semi-final, which would also be at The Walks. If they made it through that game, they would have only three days to prepare for a 'super final' against South Shields or Warrington, who would not only have home advantage but will also have longer to rest as their play-off final is on Monday afternoon.

Despite saying there would be a statement on Wednesday lunchtime, the Evo-Stik League has yet to formally announce the final decision.

As well as the footballing issues facing Culverhouse, Cleeve could lose thousands of pounds because of what he labelled “incompetence” by footballing authorities.

“It's hard to quantify just how much we could lose,” he said. “It's difficult to organise all sorts of things like ticketing and policing when they haven't even told us who we are playing yet.

“As far as the playing side is concerned the manager has been unable to prepare as well as he would have liked given the way the dates for our games have been changed and who exactly we will be playing.

“It has proved that football is run by organisations that are not fit for purpose. What we have witnessed is incompetent.”

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