Lynn FC chairman in unity plea to Trust

PUBLISHED: 16:37 17 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:55 10 September 2010

New Lynn FC chairman Buster Chapman has urged the supporter-led Blue and Gold Trust to help him re-build the town's football club after refuting claims he made 'broken promises' to the fans' body.

New Lynn FC chairman Buster Chapman has urged the supporter-led Blue and Gold Trust to help him re-build the town's football club after refuting claims he made 'broken promises' to the fans' body.

West Norfolk council awarded Chapman a 25-year lease on the council-owned Walks stadium last week in favour of a rival proposal from the Blue and Gold Trust.

The supporters' body released an initial statement outlining 'mixed feelings' over the council decision but pledged to 'sit down with Buster to discuss how we can meaningfully place supporters at the club's heart'.

However, Trust chairman Neil Timms then publicly disclosed Chapman's group had offered them a boardroom seat during talks prior to the council's final decision.

Chapman's winning bid document submitted to council chiefs last week stated they had considered offering the Trust a boardroom place but felt this would not provide all supporters with an equal opportunity for representation.

“It saddens me that the officials of the Blue & Gold Supporters' Trust have chosen this moment to detract from the positives and overshadow what is a great moment for King's Lynn and West Norfolk,” said Chapman. “They and every other supporter are entitled to their view, but I find it hard to believe that without contacting the club or the council through the proper avenues first and establishing the facts, they have publicly condemned the decision which allows all fans to be treated without prejudice and with total equality.

“Lynn FC fully supports the Trust, their aims and their vision, as we would do with any other supporters' group or trust that may be established in the future. To publicly announce that I have 'created a smokescreen and broken promises' is totally inconceivable and unfounded. Over time we need to build a sincere relationship that is beneficial to both parties, and this is certainly not the way I would have hoped for it to have started.”

Chapman reiterated the newly-formed club would strive to be open and accountable with supporters.

“I do not intend to enter into a debate about the council's decision to award the bid to Lynn FC instead of the Supporters' Trust,” he said. “But what is clear is that we met every single point of the criteria that was set out by the council. It is not fair to tar us with the same brush as the old board and suggest that without the Supporters' Trust having a seat on our board we will hide things from the public.

“It is a naive and misguided opinion that is simply not true. I really hope that the Supporters' Trust can now draw a line under the past and look to the future.”

The Blue and Gold Trust confirmed over the weekend it would be willing to hold fresh talks with both Chapman and council chiefs.

Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds revealed at the official presentation ceremony on Thursday that officials had discussed the possibility of both groups working in tandem.

“We asked the question whether they would consider having supporters on board and Mr Chapman said they would like to have monthly forums with the fans,” she said. “In other words, that proved to us as a council they wanted to work with the fans.”

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