Council reveal King's Lynn vision

PUBLISHED: 11:25 07 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:52 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn's football future will be revealed on January 14.

West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney confirmed the lease on the town's council-owned Walks stadium is set to be awarded following a cabinet meeting and final presentation by interested parties during the early part of next week.

King's Lynn's football future will be revealed on January 14.

West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney confirmed the lease on the town's council-owned Walks stadium is set to be awarded following a cabinet meeting and final presentation by interested parties during the early part of next week. The club's former finance director David Handley, King's Lynn Stars' speedway chief Buster Chapman and the supporter-led Blue and Gold Trust have until Monday to formally submit their proposals.

The EDP can reveal the winning bid must satisfy three key council criteria:

A sound business plan which demonstrates a clear and realistic vision for the new club

A football board that has an 'appropriate' mix of business and football knowledge

The involvement of supporters in the strategic direction of the new club

A commitment to play a 'full and active part' in King's Lynn's community football programme - which is based at The Walks stadium but independent of the actual football club - must also form part of any successful proposal. Finally, the lease will only be awarded on the basis the new club has been accepted by the Ridgeons League for 2010/11 and affiliated to the FA.

Daubney said: “Subject to Cabinet approval of the process and criteria and subject to the receipt of satisfactory proposals, we are hopeful that we will be able to make a decision on January 14 as to who will be taking up the mantle of King's Lynn football club. They can then get on with the important matter of bringing football back to The Walks.”

A statement released to the EDP outlined officials have drafted a report on the future of the stadium which will be discussed today at a council meeting. The report recommends no change in the terms of the lease from the previous club's board who had rented the ground at a nominal annual rate.

It reads: “A report has now been produced setting out the council's aim to facilitate the re-establishment of a successful football club representing King's Lynn. The report proposes that the stadium should be leased to any reformed club on the same terms as it was leased to the previous club. A process has therefore been developed to enable a panel of members, assisted by the chief executive and a representative of the Norfolk FA, to select an appropriate group or consortium to reform the club.

“Subject to formal Cabinet approval on January 12, the groups have been invited to submit their proposals expressing how they will meet the three selection criteria. They will need to demonstrate that they have a clear and realistic vision for the club, supported by a sound business plan. They will need to demonstrate that their board will have an appropriate mix of the business skill and football knowledge required to run the club as a successful business. The council will also be looking for a clear explanation of how supporters of the club will be involved in its strategic direction.”

The fan-led Blue and Gold Trust held talks with both the Norfolk FA and Ridgeons League before Christmas regarding their intention to reform a new club - a key council component.

“The council will not finalise a lease for the ground until such time as the successful group or consortium can demonstrate in writing that they have been accepted by the Ridgeons Premier League and have been affiliated to the Football Association,” reads the statement. “Due to the need for expediency, the groups and consortia have been advised of the process and invited to submit formal proposals and attend an interview on January 13. Any comments or amendments arising from the Cabinet meeting will be incorporated into the interview process.”

Formal submissions will also need to cover Health and Safety and Equal Opportunities policies along with detailed explanations of proposed business structures.

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