ACCRINGTON Stanley have denied snubbing Hyndburn's highest honour after failing to accept the council's Freedom of the Borough on Monday.
Chairman Eric Whalley and the club were due to receive the accolade following their historic return to the Football League but Mr Whalley had told Hyndburn Council they were unable to accept it at this time.
The news follows a string of disagreements between the club and the council, with Mr Whalley questioning whether the council wanted a League club in Accrington as he had found it unsupportive.
Mr Whalley was on holiday and unavailable for comment but Rob Heys, chief executive, was quick to deny there was a "snub".
He said: "It is wrong to suggest there is a rift between the club and the council. On some issues we are bound to have differing opinions but on the whole we enjoy a good working relationship.
"Personally, my biggest gripe is being used as a political football by various people. We are not a political organisation and we seek the support of all the people in Hyndburn, including our councillors, regardless of their political colours."
He added: "We look forward to continuing to work with the local authority for the good of Hyndburn."
If Stanley do accept the award they will join illustrious names including the Queen's Lancashire Regiment.
Council leader Peter Britcliffe announced the award in April as congratulations poured in from all over the world after the club ended 44 years of hurt since they famously resigned from the League in the midst of a financial crisis in 1962.
Councillor Britcliffe said: "Stanley haven't yet taken up our offer of the Freedom of the Borough but there is nothing untoward. They are just unable to accept it at this time.
"I am a little disappointed as they have helped put Accrington on the map."
He said the offer would remain open and denied that the council had been unsupportive, saying that it had sponsored the club for a year and had paid for various improvements at the ground including the car park.
He added: "Our record speaks for itself. Accrington Stanley will do what they have to do and we will continue to support them in any way that we can."