Linnets angered by appeal delay 'farce'

PUBLISHED: 11:17 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:17 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins yesterday labelled the FA decision to postpone his club's ground grading appeal as 'farcical'. Lynn's scheduled FA hearing in Derby on Tuesday to fight their Conference demotion has now been delayed until the end of next week after talks with Leagues' Manager Mike Appleby.

King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins yesterday labelled the FA decision to postpone his club's ground grading appeal as 'farcical'.

Lynn's scheduled FA hearing in Derby on Tuesday to fight their Conference demotion has now been delayed until the end of next week after talks with Leagues' Manager Mike Appleby.

The club's battle to fight their league expulsion after failing to initiate a £250,000 upgrade on the council-owned Walks Stadium will be heard at Derbyshire FA headquarters next Thursday at 11.30am.

Bobbins confirmed any attempt by the Conference hierarchy to block Lynn's right of appeal had been rejected by the governing body - but Lynn's chairman is upset at the latest twist in their battle to remain in Blue Square North.

“It does seem unfair in the extreme,” he said. “We've spoken to Mike Appleby who has told us the date has to be changed due to the fact he has been away from his office for most of this week. It's a complete nonsense and from our perspective this seems to get more farcical by the day. Whether he is in the office or not should frankly make no difference. If they knew the date of the appeal then you expect a body like the FA to be working towards that date.”

Bobbins is relieved Lynn will get their chance to contest the Conference's original expulsion threat after lawyers acting on behalf of the league contacted them earlier this week to challenge the 'validity' of their pending appeal.

“Obviously there was a big concern that we might not get an appeal,” he said. “The Conference has been told that is our right and there is nothing they can do about it.

“Perhaps that forced them to realise at this late stage they will have to contest it.

“I'm led to believe by the FA that the Conference's lawyers have also contacted them to ask them how are they to proceed at the appeal. I don't know whether the delay is to give them more time to prepare or not. Obviously we have no recourse whatsoever in this matter. If the FA say is it not happening next Tuesday then we have to go along with that.”

Bobbins admitted the enforced delay brings further knock on effects.

“We already have a barrister on notice for Tuesday which we will have to cancel and it's not that easy just to drop everything when you still don't have a date because barristers are clearly booked up well in advance,” he said. “Some of the club delegation had already arranged overnight stays for Monday, so we were in Derby and ready to go, and there was another club who were also due to have a case heard. I don't really know what is happening to them.

“The authorities should take into account that we are a part-time, non-league football side. It's not like a league club where your officials are paid and always available.”

Lynn's managerial search remains on hold until the club's short-term future is decided.

“We can't appoint a manager or sign players because we have no indication as to what league we'll be in,” said Bobbins.

“We don't know whether we'll be in the North or the South, the Unibond or the Southern. We can't budget for any manager because obviously if we are in the lower league then the budget will be considerably less. It's a ridiculous situation.

“We've had a fair amount of interest in the manager's position but I'm sure if we knew what league we were going in we'd have had more. There are a lot of potential managers out there who are probably thinking, 'until I know what league they are in I will hang fire'.”

The FA's National Leagues' committee is scheduled to announce the final revised non-league pyramid structure for the 2009/10 season on May 26 - despite the inevitable unresolved issues relating to Lynn and other clubs in financial turmoil.

The Conference set-up for next season must be ratified at their annual general meeting on June 13.

t Former Linnets' defender Simon Weaver has become manager of Blue Square North Harrogate Town.

Weaver made 33 appearances for Lynn last season after his switch from Boston United, before helping Ilkeston earn promotion to the Conference set-up.

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