Featherby: No panic measures

PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn's director of football Neil Featherby last night ruled out a mass player exodus at the cash-strapped Blue Square North club.

Defender Ben Chapman and reigning player-of-the-year Joe Francis both left The Walks just a day after a clear-the-air-meeting to address the on going wage situation following the recent exit of major backer Michael Chinn.

King's Lynn's director of football Neil Featherby last night ruled out a mass player exodus at the cash-strapped Blue Square North club.

Defender Ben Chapman and reigning player-of-the-year Joe Francis both left The Walks just a day after a clear-the-air-meeting to address the on going wage situation following the recent exit of major backer Michael Chinn.

Chapman linked up with Unibond Premier leaders Eastwood while Francis has moved to Southern Premier title challengers Corby.

But Featherby remains convinced Lynn can ride out the current financial storm and revealed the Linnets are poised to agree a loan deal with Championship neighbours Norwich City for a new attacking recruit.

“I've spoken to Bryan Gunn and we hope to be in a position to do something in the next day or two,” said Featherby. “Yes, I can confirm we had a meeting the other night. The reality here is Michael Chinn was the major backer and his leaving creates a massive hole in the finances. We have to address that moving forward but there is no panic.

“I've only come in during the last week or ten days and if I'm honest I have been surprised by the situation but the really positive thing is we now know who is on board and who isn't. Everyone left here is committed to achieving the same thing and the aims we outlined recently remain the same. We plan to keep going forward with the same ambitions but being more cautious with our outgoing costs until we can attract new investors. Hopefully we are in a position to announce another investor later this week and possibly one or two more in the future.”

Featherby is confident the club can hang onto their senior stars.

“As far as I'm concerned Ben and Joe are the only two players who will go,” he said. “I've spoken to the majority of the lads and would be disappointed now if anyone else left. Although we are losing Ben and Joe the other players have responded magnificently. Ben has family and financial commitments - that is totally understandable and Joe felt that he had a better chance of week in and week out guaranteed first team football at Corby Town which he hasn't been able to command this season at King's Lynn.

“I've heard stuff saying Lynn turned down £25,000 from Brighton in the summer for Joe. I was his representative so I know exactly what the situation was. There was interest but the only firm inquiry came from Brighton. At the time, however, they wanted someone who could go straight into their first team rather than wait for a player to develop so it didn't happen.”

Featherby admitted the club would not rule out potential player wage cuts in the short term while the board steps up their hunt for fresh investors.

“I've negotiated most of the contracts that are here right now,” he said. “I know they would struggle to get that at other clubs in this current climate. Senior pros like Mark Peters, Andy Johnson, Mark Camm and Adam Smith have all called me saying they do not want to leave and really love playing their football at King's Lynn.

“Jono has been ringing around talking to the players - especially some of the younger lads - and Scott Howie called the manager to say he is committed to stay. I've been on the phone non stop since 6am today and I can promise you there is still a real determination from everyone at the club to fulfil our aims and objectives.”

Read Mark Hearle's latest exclusive behind-the-scenes club column today only on edp24.co.uk/kingslynn

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