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Chester joint-manager blasts comments from King’s Lynn chairman over postponements

Chester joint-manager blasts comments from King’s Lynn chairman over postponements as the National League took the decision to allow games to go ahead at the weekend.

Anthony Johnson hit back at Stephen Cleeve, who suggested an ulterior motive for play-off sides postponing their games on Saturday.

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Chester postponed their National League North clash with Boston United, in order to protect the ‘at risk’ groups among the fan base, staff and volunteers. The same decision was made by Altrincham and York City who were due to meet on Saturday.

Linnets chairman Cleeve suggested that play-off chasing clubs had taken such a decision to preserve their own points per game ratio should the National League end early.

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Cleeve, in response to a comment asking whether points per game ratio would be a fair way to settle the league early, wrote: “It would, that’s why teams that are playing each other in the play-off places are cancelling games, because it would affect their average points total.

Another comment read: “Stop the opaqueness that’s what makes it odd – Chester have no players or staff with the virus just stewards who were worried about catching it.”

Johnson came across the comments, and replied back: “Why didn’t they cancel their game? When I saw they were playing Guiseley, whose under-19s had played Harrogate Town a few days before who had a confirmed case of coronavirus, who called their game off on the Friday. Why would you play your game knowing that? Why would you do that? Unless you wanted to get one over everyone else who had called games off because of it.

“He claimed we were trying to gain points per game out of it. What a stupid comment to make. We had a fully fit squad of 20 players.

“For the first time since me and Bernard have been here every player was fit for the game. We couldn’t wait for it as we wanted a reaction to the Bradford (Park Avenue) defeat, Boston had a couple of injuries, had to travel to us and had a couple of new signings who hadn’t really trained with the group. We had an advantage.

“Why wouldn’t we want to play the game? It makes zero sense. It is just a little bit bizarre and what we did on the Friday was right.

“We have too many high risk people who this could affect at our football club, volunteers, stewards, staff and supporters.

“We’re not putting people at risk. Why should we?

“All that matters in life is health. That is all that we want from life is health and happiness.

“Let’s get to the crux of this matter, we haven’t got a case of this illness and we wanted to play. We were at home, a massive game against third place but it pales into insignificance when there are people we care about in all of our families who are at a high risk of infection.

“It shouldn’t be a conversation. I just find it bizarre we are sitting here a week later and we still don’t know what’s going on.”

It was finally on Monday evening that the National League made the decision to suspend the season until early April, something many clubs and managers feel should have been made on Friday, along with the Premier League and EFL.

Fans gave their reaction as Chester joint-manager Anthony Johnson blasts comments from King’s Lynn chairman Stephen Cleeve…

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