Linnets chairman hopeful of promotion decision on Monday

Linnets' chairman Stephen Cleeve watches on. Picture: Ian Burt

Linnets' chairman Stephen Cleeve watches on. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

It seems good news could be on the way for King’s Lynn Town at the start of next week, with the National League potentially following the EFL’s lead and using a points-per-game method to decide the final standings.

The Linnets have anxiously been waiting to learn how the National League North table will be settled following football’s suspension in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, sitting two points behind York City but crucially with two games in hand due to postponements earlier in the year, having spent much of the campaign top of the table.

Encouragement arrived on Tuesday when clubs in Leagues One and Two voted to curtail their season and use an unweighted points-per-game method for the final standings, with promotion and relegation remaining but with play-offs still going ahead.

National League leaders Barrow always looked safe to go up due to League Two needing a new club after Bury went out of business but it looks like they will now be joined by a play-off winner, with clubs having until Monday to vote on proposals - which Lynn chairman Stephen Cleeve has outlined.

Speaking on his I Bought a Football Club podcast on Thursday afternoon, Cleeve explained: “There’s going to be no vote today whatsoever, there will be no conclusion today, no one is going to be promoted today at all.

“The questions will be asked and votes will be asked to be with the EFL on Monday and then the announcement will come on Monday, so Monday we know we’re at least going to be put out of our misery.

“So this is what I understand is going to happen. Barrow will be promoted as champions, the play-offs will take place in the National League.

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“Chorley will be relegated from the National League, there will be no other relegations from the National League so I guess the flip side of what I’m saying is that if you’re a Fylde or Ebbsfleet fan you are still National League status, you will not be relegated.

“King’s Lynn and Wealdstone will be promoted from the National League North and South on unweighted points-per-game basis.

“For that all to happen there will be no play-offs in the National League North and South because the government have prevented it.”

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Cleeve explained that a majority out of 32 votes is needed, with each of the 24 National League clubs getting a vote but the South and North divisions only getting four apiece.

“We just have to wait and see now how it all pans out,” the Linnets chairman added. “My guess is, and this is only a guess, that if the leagues vote no and against the motion, then the whole lot could be null and void - well Barrow could still go up, to fill the gap (in League Two).”

He concluded: “Probably not the news any of you wanted to hear, I apologise for being the bearer of bad tidings. It doesn’t really feel right with me because I believe there should be two promotions from the North and the South.”

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If promotion is sealed it will be the first time the town’s club has ever competed in the top tier of non-league, with Norfolk businessman Cleeve buying the Linnets after promotion to the Southern Premier Division in 2016 and building success with Norwich City legend Ian Culverhouse as manager, sealing promotion to National League North via the play-offs last season.

- You can listen to the latest edition of Cleeve’s podcast in full in the audio player above.

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