AFC Fylde owner David Haythornthwaite warns clubs could take legal action against relegation

AFC Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite believes clubs could take legal action if they are relegated without another ball being kicked.

Thursday, 19th March 2020, 6:00 am
David Haythornthwaite is confident AFC Fylde will beat the drop if the season resumes
David Haythornthwaite is confident AFC Fylde will beat the drop if the season resumes

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The Coasters chief told The Gazette yesterday that current league positions could be final if the coronavirus pandemic prevents the season being played to its conclusion.

Fylde remain in the National League relegation zone and owner Haythornthwaite said: “Whether it’s Aston Villa or Bournemouth, for anyone that has a chance of escaping relegation to then be condemned – in our case with nine games to go – would be totally unreasonable.”

As to the prospect of legal action in such a scenario, he added: “We would definitely consider our position very strongly.”

However, Haythornthwaite is confident his club will retain their status if the season resumes.

Jim Bentley’s team had finally hit some form before play was suspended, seven points from their last three games having left them just four points from safety.

The chairman added: “We’ve played pretty well, and have lost and drawn a lot of games we shouldn’t have.

“I’ve never been at the bottom before – I suppose the last time was when I was supporting Blackpool! – but they say everything goes against you when you are down there and that appears to be the case.

“You just find yourself in that rut and it’s hard to get out of it. But we stopped it with a clean sheet against Solihull, then all of a sudden we’ve got seven points and you’re confident of another three next game.

“We have 27 points up for grabs, so we were confident of getting clear. It was a known fact that only three teams were going down anyway because of Bury (the knock-on effect of that club’s demise).

“If you had asked me 10 days ago, I wouldn’t have been quite as confident but I just knew that one win could change it all. For it to come with a 94th-minute winner at Dagenham... sometimes it’s just written for you, isn’t it?”

Haythornthwaite was hoping Fylde could continue to train as normal during the lockdown.

However, the club has suspended all “football activities” at Mill Farm, with players and staff told to stay away for the rest of the week.