Chapman outlines vision for new club in King's Lynn
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn speedway chief Buster Chapman is ready to transform the town's footballing fortunes after being awarded a 25-year-lease on the council-owned Walks stadium.
King's Lynn speedway chief Buster Chapman is ready to transform the town's footballing fortunes after being awarded a 25-year-lease on the council-owned Walks stadium.
As exclusively revealed in yesterday's EDP, West Norfolk council sanctioned Chapman's bid to launch a new club in favour of a rival proposal from the supporter-led Blue and Gold Trust.
Chapman will become managing director/chairman and majority shareholder of the new club trading as 'Lynn FC Limited' under the proposed football name 'Lynn FC'.
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Former Linnets' title-winning boss Kevin Boon was unveiled as vice- chairman and director of football with Boon revealing he is keen to recruit respected coaching duo Keith Rudd and Darren Bloodworth. Lynn must now formally apply to join the Ridgeons League for 2010/11 before the council finalise the long-term lease.
“I'm attracted by the challenge - simple as that,” said Chapman. “I've been in King's Lynn nearly 13 years now and it saddened me when I heard initially the club was about to go into receivership. It was my wife actually who said why don't we have a look at it and Jonathan said the same so I thought, 'why not try and make it successful.' We'll try to do the best we can and I hope the future is rosy.
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“I'd love to fill the place and in a few years have supporters here trying to buy season tickets to sit in the stand.
“That's what I would love and it would be fantastic to see it happen but it's going to take a long while. We're not expecting to see it happen in the next couple of years. We want to build a club that is successful and people want to be a part of - not just paying fans but local companies.”
Chapman has allocated initial funds of �100,000 to start up the new company and is confident Boon can lead Lynn FC to the top of the non-league pyramid within a decade.
“To start with, any business needs an input, an injection of money to get it going and a lot of time and effort,” he said. “But it's actually how you spend that money wisely and the time and effort you are prepared to put in. We've learned a lot of lessons at the Norfolk Arena and all those mean we now can come here and move things on quicker.
“We spoke to Kevin and the people around him and they feel like I do, that it is an achievable goal to be competing at the top end of the non-league game.
“That support in the town and the surrounding areas is what gives me the belief it's possible.
“We need to put on good entertainment and of course we all want to win. None more so than me because I am a terrible loser although I have learnt you can't always win everything. Sometimes you put on a good show, work as hard as you can and still come out the wrong side. But we'll give it a really good try.”
Chapman also confirmed Boon will have a free hand on the football side of the business.
“I've known Kevin for years, ever since I was first at King's Lynn speedway. I like him as a person and we get on well,” said Chapman. “I won't be touching the football side. I might go in and encourage the players if we felt that was necessary but that is Kevin's area.
“In that respect it'll be the same as the speedway. I don't interfere with Rob Lyon and what he does. He is our speedway manager. Rob does his job and only if there are any major queries or problems does he come and see me.”
Chapman's camp ruled out offering the Blue and Gold Trust a seat on the board but pledged to engage with supporters via monthly forums and through the newly launched website, lynnfc.com.
“I have a lot of admiration for the founders and members of the Trust,” he said. “Their bid shows that they have the best interests of the club at heart and I fully support their values and aims.
“After the council revealed that we had won the bid it was really nice to receive a phone call from the Trust wishing us luck and giving us their full support, it was much appreciated and I look forward to building a good working relationship with them.”