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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on