Champions elect Clitheroe face possible investigation

Clitheroe players celebrate their win over Haslingden last Saturday. Photo: Keith Driver
Clitheroe players celebrate their win over Haslingden last Saturday. Photo: Keith Driver

Champions elect Clitheroe could be investigated by the Lancashire League after a rival club lodged an official complaint regarding their conduct.

The Twenty20 champions, who require just three points to clinch the title in their debut season at this level following their switch from the Ribblesdale League, are facing allegations that a small collective of the club's amateurs are receiving remuneration for their involvement.

The charge has been sparked by a senior member of the Lowerhouse Cricket Club executive and, pending a review from the committee, a full examination in to the matter may be launched.

Liverpool Road stalwart Stan Heaton wrote: "Circumstances have lead to a senior member of the club executive being made aware that three Clitheroe players are receiving remuneration for playing cricket for Clitheroe Cricket Club. This is against the rules of the Lancashire League.

"Firstly members ought to know that Lowerhouse are by no means comfortable with having to make this complaint as we recognise the potential damage that this can cause.

"Hitherto we had a very good relationship with Clitheroe CC, went across pre-season at their invitation and shared ideas with them and were very pleased to see them in the league.

"We especially have a good junior relationship with them over many years. Having to make a complaint about a club where we have friends on and off the field is distressing for all concerned."

He continued: "Secondly, the club had two choices under the Lancashire League rules. Either, do nothing or pay £50 to make a complaint.

"Feeling unable to ignore what we were aware of, and therefore making the complain , we find that we have become the investigators in both providing information to the league and being recipients of further information from other sources.

"Dutifully we will pass this information on to the Executive unless specified otherwise by the informant.

"There have been many comments in the public domain relating to timing and also suggestions of sour grapes.

"We must stress that we can only report the incident at the time it comes to light and that the initial notification to the Lancashire League was made the day after the incident occurred.

"Similarly, to us it would not matter if Clitheroe were top of the league or bottom, we felt duty bound to make the formal complaint to uphold the integrity of the league.

"Finally Lowerhouse CC are not judge and jury. We are simply acting in what we believe to be the best interests of the Lancashire League."