A football player embroiled in a chaotic saga at his club is celebrating after being found not guilty of accusations made by his former manager.

The turmoil at Norwich United emerged during a war of words on social media in September when star striker Matt Blake claimed he'd received death threats in front of his teammates and that there had been secret filming in the dressing room.

Norwich Evening News: Plantation Park, home of Norwich United FCPlantation Park, home of Norwich United FC (Image: Denise Bradley, Newsquest)
Darryl Tate, who was appointed first-team manager in July, responded by claiming he was punched twice in the head by a member of the club.

Since then the club has stepped down from the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division, at step nine of the football pyramid, after a host of players resigned.

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In October, the Norfolk Football Association's probe into the chaos was escalated to officials in the national investigations team.

Norwich Evening News: Darryl Tate, left and Matt Blake, rightDarryl Tate, left and Matt Blake, right (Image: Matt Blake)
Mr Blake was later charged by the FA with improper conduct, including violent conduct and allegedly punching/striking manager Darryl Tate at Norwich United's training ground on August 31, 2023 during a training session.

However, a hearing concluded on Tuesday and found Mr Blake was not guilty of the charge.

The news comes as a huge break for the player, who said: "I'm relieved to be honest.

"What I've been through with this whole ordeal is mind-blowing, when all I wanted to do was turn up, be around good people and score a goal or two.

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"For someone to come after everything I've worked for has put me under a lot of stress and trauma.

Norwich Evening News: John Hilditch, owner of Norwich United, declined to comment on the matterJohn Hilditch, owner of Norwich United, declined to comment on the matter (Image: Denise Bradley, Newsquest)

"The suffering I've had to endure is nothing short of catastrophic.

"But I'm so grateful for how my teammates have stood by me throughout the incident."

Mr Blake, 35, had enjoyed a prolific and successful previous spell with the Planters and re-signed in the summer after spells with Leiston, Ipswich Wanderers and Diss Town.

His lawyer, Ross Burrows, added: "My client was cleared of any wrongdoing by the FA, during a joint hearing with Darryl Tate, the Norwich United manager. 

"I am pleased for Matt, he has excelled in football over the years and to be faced with this charge was an undeserved finale to what was an otherwise unblemished career. 

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"The charge itself was completely without merit and should never have been brought against him. 

Norwich Evening News: Matt Blake in FA Vase action for Norwich United during his first spell with the clubMatt Blake in FA Vase action for Norwich United during his first spell with the club (Image: Newsquest)

"There were clear and obvious motives at play, designed to deliberately sully a character’s reputation. 

"I am pleased for Matt as he can now move on and continue to be proud of his record as an outstanding striker."

John Hilditch, who owns the Blofield-based club, declined to comment on the verdict.