Dead king could lead to club being kicked off ground

 

While more illustrious rivals like Chelsea ponder leaving their traditional home to cure the unimaginable ill of only having a 42,000-seater stadium, one altogether more modest football club faces the prospect of being turfed out of the ground it has occupied for around nine decades because today marks the twenty first anniversary of the death of the Norwegian King.

An obscure clause in the agreement which handed amateur club Cromer Town FC its home in the aftermath of the First World War means that the death of the “People’s King” in 1991 set a time-bomb ticking for the Norfolk club. And the deadline is today.

The landowner Evelyn Bond-Cabbell agreed to allow the club to play its home games on her land, Cabbell Park, as a mark of respect to the townspeople who lost their lives in the Great War. She also hoped it would help with local unemployment following the conflict. But a clause hidden away in the 1922 lease meant that the club would have to vacate its home 21 years to the day after the death of King Edward VII’s last grandchild, King Olav V of Norway.

Cromer Town FC are vying for the title in the Anglian Combination Premier Division – ten tiers below the Premier League – and are four points clear at the top of the table.

Talks have been ongoing for more than two and a half years to find a solution and the local council says it has scheduled more meetings in the next few weeks. A spokesman added yesterday that “arbitrary dates”, such as today’s deadline, would be regarded as flexible and that, were it eventually forced from its home, the club would have to be given time to fulfill its remaining fixtures.

The club hopes to stay at its home ground in the long term. But Mrs Bond-Cabbell’s great grandson Benjamin Cabbell Manners, a local councillor, current chairman of Cabbell Park trustees and owner of Cromer Hall, has said he is considering a change.

He said: “The trust disappears 21 years after King Olav’s death. I can confirm that when the trust goes, the legal right for the football club to play at Cabbell Park goes with it.” He told the Daily Telegraph as talks got underway in 2009 to try to secure the club’s future: “We will be looking at the wishes of my great-grandmother to see how it’s taken forward. She provided a sports field for all of Cromer to enjoy. Her wishes were paramount.”

More than two and a half years later, an agreement is still to be reached.

Plans to move the club to an out-of-town ground along with the local youth teams floundered last year when club officials questioned the plan’s viability and claimed that the 21-year countdown had not yet started.

They said that relative of the king the Earl of Harewood, who was unborn when the lease was signed, was legally “in being” at that time. The Earl, however, died last year at the age of 88, meaning that, should he be accepted as the last remaining family member, the clock may once again be ticking.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions