Linnets officials to meet council over ground furore

Chris Bishop Council leaders meet beleaguered King's Lynn officials on Monday for talks on the club's last ditch appeal against relegation. Linnets' fans learned on Wednesday that their team was being demoted from the Blue Square North after failing to make improvements to The Walks before an April 1 deadline.

Chris Bishop

Council leaders meet beleaguered King's Lynn officials on Monday for talks on the club's last ditch appeal against relegation.

Linnets' fans learned on Wednesday that their team was being demoted from the Blue Square North after failing to make improvements to The Walks before an April 1 deadline.

They have until May 2 to lodge an appeal against the decision, which would consign them to either the Unibond Premier or Southern Premier leagues.


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West Norfolk council has earmarked �250,000 towards the work, which includes new changing rooms and floodlights.

Chief executive Ray Harding told the EDP: "We need to put in an appeal and make as good a fist of it as we can.

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"The nature of the work we're proposing would be much better done in the close season, because we're going to be ripping out the changing rooms and changing the floodlights. You can't do that in the winter, when they might want to use them."

Mr Harding said the council's normal four-week tendering was being reduced to a fortnight, to ensure the work was carried out by August 1. He said the work would go ahead whatever the outcome of the appeal.

Council representatives met with Conference ground grading officials at the football club last month following an initial Conference ground inspection in October 2008.

Harding also confirmed the council had sent written assurances to Conference officials that improvements would be completed ahead of the 2009/10 kick off.

"We agreed that we'd take on upgrading the floodlighting, increasing the size of the changing rooms and providing additional changing rooms and medical facilities," he said. "We've written and confirmed to the Conference that we'll carry out that work during the close season, it's a real shame if they think that's not an adequate response."

At a council meeting on Thursday night Liberal Democrat leader Ian Mack pressed council leader Nick Daubney over why the work had not been carried out sooner.

"I remain very concerned as to how we got into this mess in the first place," he said. "The Borough owns the ground and allocated money several months ago to upgrade the facilities. I want to know why work didn't take place in a timely fashion, who was responsible and how we can put this right.

"I've read that the Conference chairman has said they need to be flexible and this is a clear case when they have to be very flexible because this is a good club and the finance is there to remedy the problem and we want to find a solution that gives King's Lynn its rightful status.

"I think it would be devastating for King's Lynn FC to be demoted. Lynn has been a resilient town in this recession, people have a lot of pride in their club, it gives them a spring in their step and keeps them going so I think there would be a lot of people disillusioned and disheartened if this was to take place."

Last night Daubney said: "The important thing now is we all get behind this appeal and do all we can to ensure it's successful.

"This council has done everything it could do and everything we said we'd do."

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