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Norwich United see claims of death threats towards players

The club, based at Plantation Park in Blofield, saw a large number of players go on strike over the issues, leading it to field a team made up of youth players for its Thurlow Nunn Premier match against Brantham Town on Saturday.

Brandon Town had been due to play the club’s under-21 side on Saturday, however this match was called off as the Planters did not have enough players to fulfil both fixtures, with the club apologising to its opponents.

Norwich United are due to play Heacham at home in a league game on Tuesday evening.

Allegations came to light on Friday, when one of the team’s strikers Matt Blake took to Twitter to claim he had received death threats in front of his teammates and there was a secret camera filming them in the dressing room.

Norwich Evening News: Matt Blake playing for former club LeistonMatt Blake playing for former club Leiston (Image: Newsquest)

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Mr Blake’s tweet read: “I have had to endure a constant bombardment of backstabbing and ruthless behaviour since my return to Norwich United, a lot has gone on and previous complaints have been made from others.”

In the social media post, Mr Blake – the club’s modern day record goalscorer – also made claims about a threat being put on his life following the team’s previous match at home to Mulbarton Wanderers. 

Norwich Evening News: Norwich United in actionNorwich United in action (Image: Newsquest)

He said: “I’ve tried to stay calm for as long as possible, but also couldn’t just sit on my bench with someone approaching me with his fists clenched.

“I felt threatened and singled out, I had no choice but to defend myself I have two girls at home and will never tolerate a threat on my life.

“I also was continually approached outside of the dressing room near the pitch, as I stood in the same spot I was again being approached a number of times which resulted in me having to move from a palm to the face.”

A further tweet saw him claim he had seen a screenshot with someone saying the dressing room had been secretly recorded.

Despite the allegations, Mr Blake said he still loved the club and thanked his teammates for striking.

Norwich Evening News: A number of Norwich United players went on strike for Saturday's match against Brantham TownA number of Norwich United players went on strike for Saturday’s match against Brantham Town (Image: Newsquest)

He added: “I’m sorry for all the harm this has caused people at the club, people have resigned and people are horrified, I love the club and have always have, same goes for chairman.

“Lastly I want to thank my teammates for standing up and not playing in the game, it’s not just about me it’s a handful of different things involving everyone this means a lot.”

Following Mr Blake’s tweet, his teammate Kyran Cooper backed him saying the situation at the club was a “disgrace” which could “not be swept under the carpet”.

A match report for Saturday’s game on the Norwich United website described the issues as a “tumultuous 48-hour period” confirming that a number of players had withdrawn from the squad.

Norwich Evening News: Plantation Park, the home of Norwich United Football ClubPlantation Park, the home of Norwich United Football Club (Image: Newsquest)

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A Norwich United spokeswoman said: “We’ve not spoken about it yet, we will do in due course.

“We tend not to get involved in social media stuff as it’s toxic.

“We’ll leave it up to the manager and he can talk about what he needs to, when he needs to.”

Norwich Evening News: Norwich United have seen poor results this season winning just one of eight matchesNorwich United have seen poor results this season winning just one of eight matches (Image: Newsquest)

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Officials at Norfolk FA said they were yet to be made aware of the incident, but said it would be investigated if any concerns were identified.

A spokesman said: “If there are any issues then our safeguarding and disciplinary team will look into it.

“We won’t be commenting further until a thorough investigation has taken place.”

Following the dispute, Norwich United’s press officer, Joe Norton, announced his resignation on Twitter, with Norwich United thanking him for his service.

The team has seen poor results this season winning just one of their eight games in the league.

Norfolk police said they had not received any complaints.

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