BRADFORD (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower hopes the legal case against Ossett United does not have a knock-on effect throughout non-league.

The Northern Premier League club owe £135,000 in damages and legal fees after a court in Manchester ruled in favour of a Radcliffe Borough player who suffered a broken ankle in a fixture involving Ossett Town.

Town merged with Ossett Albion to form Ossett United in 2018 and play at Ingfield, where Town played their home matches.

United - who say they had the recommended insurance - are now in real trouble with worries that they may have to sell their ground to enable them to fund the cash required.

Ossett chairman Phil Smith has issued a warning to other non-league owners that they must be careful when it comes to insurance on their players.

He said: “I have had other chairman throughout the league making contact and raising their own concerns.

"They are worried that an immeasurable amount of claims can now be raised from previous incidents at their club resulting in them actually losing their football club, it’s quite a scary situation we are all now in.

"I urge all sports clubs to check their insurance policies immediately. However, that will only protect future events, not the ones in the past like the one that now threatens our club.”

Ossett play in Division One (North West) of the Northern Premier League - two tiers below Park Avenue - although Bower still has his concerns on how the situation could affect his club.

He said: "It’s a very difficult situation, I don’t know too many ins and outs to it.

"You would like to think the leagues and FA will look into this urgently to make sure clubs are protected from this in terms of insurance procedures and what needs to be in place.

"Hopefully clubs will protect themselves moving forward.

"You don’t want erratic claims like this because it could damage the reputation of non-league football."

Ossett say their 'league-recommended insurance policy' did not protect them from damages or legal fees for the claimant should the case be lost.

Ossett director James Rodgers told BBC Look North: "It's really serious. We don't have that kind of money in the bank, we run week-to-week.

"We had the recommended insurance, we did as we were advised but it doesn't cover player-to-player cases.

"If we have to sell the ground it would be significant because this is our home.

"We have set up a GoFundMe page and we are trying to avoid selling the ground."

Ossett appointed former Bradford Park Avenue and Bradford City player Wayne Benn as their new manager this week.

Benn, who has also been assistant-manager at Avenue and Guiseley, takes over the 19th-placed club after moving from Northern Counties East League Premier outfit Hemsworth Miners Welfare.