Linnets prepare for legal battle with FA
Chris Lakey King's Lynn have resumed the battle to overturn their controversial demotion and are to take their case to the Court of Appeal. The appeal is being funded by businessman Michael Chinn, who has returned to the club's board of directors.
King's Lynn have resumed the battle to overturn their controversial demotion and are to take their case to the Court of Appeal.
The appeal is being funded by businessman Michael Chinn, who has returned to the club's board of directors.
Linnets chairman Ken Bobbins revealed the latest move in the drawn-out saga yesterday - but admitted that without Chinn's financial clout the club would have had to be content with accepting the decision by the FA to demote them from Blue Square North to the Unibond League for failing to undertake a �250,000 upgrade to their council-owned Walks Stadium.
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The appeal is being launched on the grounds that the decision by the FA was fundamentally flawed.
Lynn have always claimed they were victims of double standards and point to Conference South promotion chasers Hampton & Richmond, who were allowed to take their place in the play-offs even though they failed to secure council planning permission and funding to build permanent terraced seating that meets the league's stringent grading rules.
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Lynn have already had an appeal rejected by the FA and since then a legal team has examined the case and found room to manoeuvre.
“We have informed the FA that we are to take further formal action against the appeal which our barrister and his firm feel was a perverse decision,” said Bobbins last night. “We are awaiting their response.
“The barrister has looked at everything - it took the FA almost four weeks to produce all the papers, even though we should have had them within 10 days - and it is being based around the fact that our friends at Hampton & Richmond have for two years running done nothing to their ground.”
Bobbins says Lynn's upgraded floodlights are expected to be in place before the season begins and that the club will satisfy the Conference's grounds criteria.
“That was one of the two issues and they will be in place,” he said.
Bobbins accepts that if Lynn are successful then it could have huge repercussions for the Conference and Unibond leagues.
“Our barrister feels that before they structure the leagues they need to take our situation into account,” he added. “It does complicate things because they have to look at the make-up of their leagues, but I wouldn't like to say whether our decision to go to the Court of Appeal might force the Conference's hand into reinstating us.”
The other complication is with team-building: new manager Carl Heggs has come in and put his new broom to liberal use, with signings into double figures and more on the way.
However, Bobbins insists that the squad can play in either league.
“Our manager is of the opinion that he is putting together a squad that can compete very favourably in Conference North,” said Bobbins.
“I suppose the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but he has assembled a very strong, fit, young side, there's another signing imminent and we are hopeful of success.”
Key to this latest development is clearly Chinn, whose investment at The Walks is around the �200,000 mark.
“It wouldn't have been a question of financing this - we most probably would not have taken the action we are taking,” Bobbins admitted.
“We would have had to take what we had been given on the chin, no matter how we felt about it.
“Michael is very passionate about this club and he feels we have been hard done by and he feels it needs to be addressed.”