Linnets begin legal fight

PUBLISHED: 13:02 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:16 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins confirmed a club delegation is travelling to London today for talks with their legal team ahead of a pending FA appeal.

King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins confirmed a club delegation is travelling to London today for talks with their legal team ahead of a pending FA appeal.

Bobbins, majority shareholder Michael Chinn and director Jimmy Suckling will meet the club's barrister from top law firm Blackstone Chambers to fight the Conference's decision to demote Lynn from Blue Square North over ground grading issues.

Lynn have yet to receive an appeal date from the FA following the Conference's threat to expel the club for failing to initiate a £250,000 upgrade to their council-owned Walks Stadium.

“We're meeting our barrister to formalise our legal approach,” said Bobbins. “He will also give us his considered opinion on how we can take things forward. Unfortunately the FA has not given us any indication yet as to when we can appeal the original decision. In fact we had to contact them to find out that they had received our initial correspondence asking for leave to appeal.”

Bobbins' is keen to rally support from across the non-league game to fight Lynn's demotion.

“I do feel there is a groundswell of support,” he said. “If you look at the letters in the non league press I think many people now feel it's no longer just about the football. It's almost reached the stage where it's not about what you achieve on the pitch as much as the state of your ground and the facilities.

“Two chairmen have phoned me to tell me off the record they've been confirmed in the Conference next season but are struggling to meet ground grading requirements. I feel that's just more evidence of double standards at play.”

Bobbins' believes Conference top brass should show greater flexibility to non-league clubs in the harsh economic climate.

“They need to be actively looking to encourage clubs who try to show some ambition, not penalising them,” he said. “It's like putting obstacles in front of clubs who are struggling to overcome them. Financially, it's not just the UK but the whole world that is now suffering economically.

“If the council didn't own our ground it would be very, very unlikely that we would be in a position to carry out this latest work on a stadium that has had upwards of £500,000 spent on it in the last few years.

“There is no way we could have afforded to do this work. Do you think a bank would lend to a football club in the current climate?”

Lynn's chairman is also urging the club's loyal fan base to back the Linnets' legal appeal.

“I'm angry that we are in this position but also frustrated that we have been attacked in certain quarters as well,” he said.

“This is a time for the club to come together. It's just a shame we have people who feel they don't want to work with the club but rather against it.

“It's a situation that is not of our making but I just hope common sense prevails. What happens in 12 months' time when the promoted clubs who have come up now don't meet ground grading and are threatened with demotion?

“Another four or five promoted clubs take their place and it just goes on and on.”

t The club have extended the discounted deadline for season tickets and vice-president memberships until May 31.

Ground only season tickets: Adult: £175, concessions: £105, children (aged 16 and under) £50. Main Stand season tickets: Adult £205, concessions £140, children (aged 16 and under) £75. Vice-presidents membership: £525.

For further information contact John Fincham at the club's commercial office on 01553 760060.

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