Linnets are hit by big financial blow

PUBLISHED: 09:55 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn suffered a serious financial blow yesterday with the shock resignation of major investor Michael Chinn. The Lincolnshire-based businessman stepped down from the Conference North outfit's board of directors, citing 'personal reasons' behind his decision to quit.

King's Lynn suffered a serious financial blow yesterday with the shock resignation of major investor Michael Chinn.

The Lincolnshire-based businessman stepped down from the Conference North outfit's board of directors, citing 'personal reasons' behind his decision to quit.

Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins launched a public appeal for new backers to come forward in a bid to plug a growing deficit in the club's finances following Chinn's sudden exit and the loss of vital sponsorship revenue.

“We've had a couple of big blows recently,” said Bobbins. “Including a substantial sponsorship cheque that rebounded leaving quite a hole in the finances. Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control that cheque hasn't been honoured but the money had already been allocated. Michael's situation hasn't helped us.

“Essentially we had a sum of money which had been earmarked which won't now subsequently appear in the budget. You wouldn't obviously expect me to go into detail regarding the reasons behind Michael's decision to leave the club but what I would say is we are in the same situation as any football club or business for that matter - we are feeling the pinch at the minute.”

Bobbins refused to rule out cutting the club's four figure weekly wage bill which could see Linnets' boss Keith Webb forced to offload former Premiership big earners Julian Joachim and Andy Johnson.

“We have to look at things seriously in the not too distant future and assess where we go from here,” said Bobbins. “I think it's fairly clear that we won't now make the play-offs and therefore we must take on board the overall picture at this stage of the season. Keith to a degree is aware of the situation but to an extent it is out of his hands until we decide on a way forward.

“This is a process that has been on going for the last two months or so. It's not solely down to Michael's decision to leave but there certainly won't be any panic measures. Nothing is going to happen for the rest of this week. The four remaining directors will sit down - probably towards the end of next week - when we will look again at the overall situation.”

Bobbins admitted his club is just the latest among a host of other league rivals hit hard by the economic downturn.

“The credit crunch is biting - no question of that at all,” he said. “Hinckley put all their players up for transfer, Harrogate asked all their players to take pay cuts and as I understand it Farsley Celtic are suffering serious financial problems so unfortunately it's pretty common throughout the lower reaches of football at the minute.

“We are assessing all our options but we desperately need new investors to come on board and push the club forward. The facts are we have been looking for quite some time because we are short of directors - not only to ease the financial situation but to provide new ideas and fresh impetus. I'm currently in talks with one or two people but at this stage we are nowhere near being in a position to bring anyone on board.”

Chinn tendered his resignation on the eve of Lynn's weekend Blue Square North win over Gateshead. The former Boston United backer - appointed as a director at The Walks in 2006 - had pumped in an estimated five figure sum during his spell at the Norfolk club. Lynn won the Southern League, Premier Division title last season to clinch promotion to the two-tier Conference set-up for the first time.

Webb's side is currently 14th in the league standings - nine points away from the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's scheduled league trip to struggling Solihull.

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