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Linnets chairman hits out after league tells club to compensate rivals for letting children in free

By Lynn News Reporter

King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve, centre, with manager Simon Clark, left, and assistant Sam Gaughran
King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve, centre, with manager Simon Clark, left, and assistant Sam Gaughran

The chairman of King's Lynn Town Football Club has hit out after being ordered to compensate rivals for offering free child admission to playoff matches earlier this year.

The club has been found to be in breach of Southern League rules requiring teams to agree admission rates before the showpiece fixtures.

But Linnets chairman Stephen Cleeve says he has been touched by offers of help since he spoke out about the issue earlier today.

He argues the club is being singled out for an issue that the other teams involved are equally responsible for and described the decision as "completely ridiculous."

Fans packed into the Walks twice in a week to see Lynn face Weymouth and Slough Town in the end of season playoffs in May. The club maintained its policy of not charging under-16s for admission to the fixtures.

But that wasn't agreed between the clubs and complaints were subsequently lodged with the league.

Mr Cleeve said the club had been ordered to pay just over £1,100 to compensate the clubs and the league for the breach, based on a £4 admission charge for each child admitted to the two matches.

In the case of Weymouth, he said that equates to just £77, while Slough, who beat Lynn with a dramatic late winner in the final, would receive around £670.

But he believes the other clubs involved are also responsible because they did not raise the issue before the game.

He said: "If they had a complaint, why didn't they complain before the game?

"What you hope for is some common sense to be applied but what is applied is the letter of the law."

He feared that the money provided by a newly-recruited sponsor would be taken up by the payment, which is due within seven days.

But KLFM have given £250 towards the cost while the Vancouver Quarter shopping centre also offered help over social media.

Mr Cleeve tweeted: "Genuinely touched with the offers to help the club."

The furore erupted ahead of Lynn's opening fixture of the new league campaign against Biggleswade Town at the Walks tomorrow.

The Southern League has been approached for comment.

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