Lynn chairman Stephen Cleeve.

FOOTBALL: After months of waiting and meetings galore, King’s Lynn Town have been crowned National League North champions, reports Chris Milsom.

Wednesday evening’s announcement means the Linnets will be playing in the National League next season, just one step away from the Football League.

The news came following a meeting of all National League clubs to determine final positions and promotion/relegation issues after the season was ended prematurely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A 1-0 defeat at home to Bradford Park Avenue in March left the Linnets trailing table-toppers York City by two points but, crucially, with two games in hand.

Those gave the Linnets a points-per-game average of exactly two, compared to York’s 1.96. It was the finest of margins but enough to earn the crown and promotion.

A National League statement said: “Following a vote by all member clubs, and subject to FA Council approval, the Vanarama National League, North and South seasons 2019/20 will be concluded with final league tables compiled on an unweighted points per game basis.”

That also means Barrow are champions of the National League and Wealdstone of the South Division.

End-of-season play-offs will proceed, subject to the competition rules and the applicable government guidance on the phased return of elite sport.

Linnets chairman Stephen Cleeve said: “I am absolutely delighted for the manager, his staff and all of the players. 

“But most of all I’m over the moon for our fantastic supporters, who deserve this promotion to the top level of non-League football, as well as all our sponsors and the people behind the scenes. Their hard work is never forgotten. 

“I am so relieved that our fellow clubs have decided upon this decision and I thank them for that.”

Director of football Rob Back added: “It has been a very long process but to finally get there is amazing. When I used to watch from the terraces it was always my dream to see us playing National League football so it really is my dream come true.”