King’s Lynn Town owner dips into his pockets after fans’ wasted trip
PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:00 11 February 2020
King’s Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve says he will ‘power’ fans to the club’s rearranged game against Gloucester City after their wasted trip on Monday.
Players and fans made the long trek after being told the game was on, despite the effects of Storm Ciara, only to learn an hour or so before kick-off that the pitch was unplayable.
Cleeve criticised the late decision, but there was some compensation for the travelling supports, who made a 340-mile round trip for nothing.
In a tweet, Cleeve said: "Very sad for the fans for the debacle surrounding tonight's game. For those of you that travelled by mini-bus @a10autocentre have kindly donated a bus for the rearranged fixture and I personally will pay for the diesel. Least the club could do in the circumstances."
Around 18 fans travelled on the minibus - arranged by two fans with the approval of the club - with independent travellers swelling the away day support to around 50 hardcore fans.
"Really, this gesture by Stephen really is the least we could do," said club general manager Mark Hearle. "Many of those who travelled had booked time off work, they've given up time and money in their efforts to come and support the players - and it is not as if it was a particularly pleasant journey over there given the weather conditions.
"And the players and management really do appreciate their efforts and support at away games. So a lot of people have lost out after a situation which was not of our making."
The pitch at Evesham - where Gloucester City groundshare - had been cleared for play on the morning of the game, earlier than the planned mid-day inspection. But it rained early in the afternoon and by the time the Linnets arrived, there was standing water on the pitch and it was clear the match could not go ahead.
"There was a breakdown in communications involving three clubs - Gloucester, Evesham and ourselves, who were the innocent party," added Hearle. "When we got there it was clear there was a zero chance of us playing."
One fan who made the trip, Andrew Howells, tweeted: "Very poorly handled and a complete waste of an evening" - summing up the thoughts of many.