Conference bid to block Lynn battle against relegation

PUBLISHED: 10:59 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:17 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

Conference officials last night launched a legal bid to block King's Lynn's pending FA appeal over their demotion on ground grading issues. Linnets' chairman Ken Bobbins confirmed club solicitor Phil Hanby had been contacted by Conference lawyers, who now intend to lobby the FA ahead of the scheduled May 26 hearing.

Conference officials last night launched a legal bid to block King's Lynn's pending FA appeal over their demotion on ground grading issues.

Linnets' chairman Ken Bobbins confirmed club solicitor Phil Hanby had been contacted by Conference lawyers, who now intend to lobby the FA ahead of the scheduled May 26 hearing.

Bobbins admitted a potential counter legal challenge has left his club in limbo after spending the early part of yesterday finalising their legal case.

Lynn have employed top London barrister Adam Lewis to contest the Conference's original expulsion threat for failing to initiate work on a £250,000 upgrade to their council-owned Walks Stadium.

“We had no inkling that this was in the pipeline,” he said. “Our solicitor suddenly gets a call from their solicitor to advise him that they are attempting to overturn our right of appeal. All we have asked during this process is to exercise our right to appeal. We're not asking for any special measures and that is what we thought we had.

“The FA now needs to come out officially and state whether or not our appeal will be heard on May 26. Until that happens we are in limbo.

“Why should the Conference decide a fortnight after we lodged our appeal that they want more time to put together a legal challenge? I guess the FA would have to hear the Conference's grounds to block our appeal but we should also be present as well at any hearing and with the Bank Holiday weekend approaching that doesn't leave much time for this whole process.”

The Conference's late legal bid comes after Lynn submitted their detailed appeal document last week.

“It strikes me perhaps they have realised there may be certain inconsistencies in the whole ground grading system,” said Bobbins. “If we win the case then it blows the whole thing open and you'll then have five clubs contesting decisions next season on this issue and so on. We included the Hampton and Richmond situation in our grounds for appeal because we feel that smacks of double standards. They didn't have council planning permission to build a new stand until May 14. Even at that point there were no guarantees the council decision would not have been overturned. Clearly the Conference feel they need to appoint a barrister to pick holes in our document. I don't really know if there is even any precedent for them to attempt to block an appeal.”

Bobbins insists Lynn's case is not the same as local rivals Cambridge City who lost an FA appeal over Conference ground grading issues last summer.

“The Conference have already tried to tell me in the discussions I've had that there is no difference between the two,” he said. “I disagree. They weren't sure whether or not the club was going to move from their current ground and as a result could not give any undertakings to being work.

“We are doing the work and we've got the funding in place which is quite the opposite. At no point did we say we couldn't do the work only that we could not begin it by the date they requested.”

t Former Lynn loan defender Luke Graham has signed a one year deal with Blue Square Premier club Mansfield Town. Graham made 33 appearances for the club last season in an extended loan spell from Kettering.

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