'As a chairman I have noted how few friends I have at the club' - Lynn owner Stephen Cleeve
PUBLISHED: 14:40 13 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:29 13 November 2019
King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve says he has "few friends" at the club he owns.
The Linnets are flying high in the National League North under the management of former Norwich City player and assistant manager Ian Culverhouse.
But that relationship has come under strain again in recent weeks, with Culverhouse publicly showing his frustration at the inability to bring in a central defender to cover for injuries.
For Lynn fans it is an unwelcome reminder of the split between the two which saw Culverhouse leave the club at the end of the 2017-18 season - before returning just over a year ago to mastermind promotion.
While gates are up, so are expenses, and Cleeve has gone public to argue his case.
"As a chairman I have noted how few friends I have at the club," he wrote in his programme notes for Tuesday's 5-2 home win over Leamington.
"I do not even need to use the fingers on one hand to count how many people support my corner and have my back.
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"I get a lot of nice platitudes to my face, but a lot of chat which is not so good when my back is turned.
"As lots of other club directors tell me, you need a skin like a rhino to survive, which is a shame as I would much prefer everyone to pull together in the same direction.
"In addition, I have always tried to be respectful to everyone I deal with irrespective of whether or not I agree with their views, and often I find that the same courtesy is not afforded back to me.
"Not only is there the financial commitment, but the number of hours that it takes is enormous. Many clubs in our league have full-time non-football staff; we can't afford it and so most of the workload comes back to me.
"On average I put in at least 40 hours a week."
Cleeve urged Lynn supporters to do what they can to support the club financially.
"If you would like this club to grow please do what you can if you can afford it," he said.