CLITHEROE are under investigation by the Lancashire League for allegedly paying an amateur player.

A protest was put in to the league, believed to be from Lowerhouse, concerning Clitheroe wicketkeeper Kurt Robinson.

As a result the league have opened an investigation into whether there has been any wrongdoing by the league leaders who are on the brink of winning the title in their first season in the competition having switched from the Ribblesdale League last winter.

Clitheroe require just three points from their final fixture, against Burnley on September 17, to win the title and could secure the trophy earlier if Darwen fail to win this weekend.

The Chatburn Road club recorded two wins last weekend but both were achieved without former Padiham skipper Robinson who was left out of the squad after the league advised Clitheroe not to play the wicketkeeper. However he has not been suspended by league or club.

The outcome of the investigation is unlikely to be established until after the end of the season, casting uncertainty over the final outcome of the campaign if Clitheroe do go on to secure the title.

The league have sought correspondence from Clitheroe and remain tight-lipped on any possible sanction if it is found that the club have breached the rules, although it is understood a penalty could range from a points deduction to expulsion.

Lancashire League chairman Mike Bibby said: "We have launched an investigation after a protest was made by another club.

"The Lancashire League do not allow amateur players to be paid.

"We advised Clitheroe not to play the player in question but he is not under suspension by the league or the club.

"We are now awaiting all the information and it will then be put to the clubs.

"At this stage it is in the hands of Clitheroe."