FA put block on Linnets survival bid

Paddy Davitt The FA last night appeared to dash King's Lynn's lingering survival hopes.Chairman Ken Bobbins revealed the footballing authorities had blocked an 11th-hour rescue bid for the Unibond Premier Division club after Lynn's board held positive weekend talks with a potential investor.

Paddy Davitt

The FA last night appeared to dash King's Lynn's lingering survival hopes.

Chairman Ken Bobbins revealed the footballing authorities had blocked an 11th-hour rescue bid for the Unibond Premier Division club after Lynn's board held positive weekend talks with a potential investor.

The EDP understands any takeover deal would hinge on FA approval for the new ownership of Norfolk's flagship non league football club. Lynn will officially be wound up in the High Court tomorrow unless they settle a �77,000 tax bill and provide assurances they can clear the remaining six-figure debts.


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“The FA has come back to me now to say they will not sanction an individual running the football club,” said Bobbins. “Under their rules football clubs must be owned by member clubs or limited companies, but not apparently by an individual. They are in the process of putting their reasons to us in writing so I guess we will get more official confirmation in the next day or two. Our solicitor is looking into it to see if there is any room for manoeuvre.

“The person who is interested was pretty adamant that he was not prepared to set up a limited company but I have yet to go back to him and discuss this latest development.

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“I don't know his reasons for that but unfortunately I think it will prove to be a major stumbling block. If that is the case it will be a great shame. I spent two hours with him on Sunday and he could really lift the club up.”

The FA were last night unavailable for comment but Bobbins admitted Lynn's hierarchy have no other options left on the table.

“We'd been working on this for a few days but until the FA came back to us we couldn't move forward with the process,” said Bobbins. “It's someone we have been in touch with for the past fortnight and even if we got a ruling from the FA in our favour it would still only be 50-50. If we can't do what this individual wants then the reality is it looks increasingly likely the club will be wound up.

“Nothing else has materialised. There are a lot of people coming forward saying they will do this or that but no one has put money on the table and said here you go.”

Bobbins revealed the current board planned to step aside if the planned takeover was sanctioned by the authorities.

“I would be prepared to stay on just to help the changeover in the initial phase,” said Bobbins. “Like I have stated at every stage, though, if someone comes along we are perfectly prepared to step aside and give up our shares and loans and let them take the club on - which also applies to Michael Chinn. No one to this point had come forward with a viable business plan. I see Anthony Robinson saying why we just didn't walk away but that just shows the naivety of people. The reality is no one has wanted to take it on. That includes David Handley. I tried to contact him, Tim Coates tried to contact him and he won't answer our calls.”

Bobbins confirmed he had also laid the groundwork for player/boss Carl Heggs to remain at the helm if the club survive.

“I spoke to Carl on Saturday and again on Sunday,” said Bobbins. “He assures me he is prepared to stay at the club. The contracted players are now free to apply to be released from their contracts but they are still technically our players. Carl is also confident the majority of players who have left or are in talks with other clubs would come back if the club can be saved.

“There is no problem between us. The deal was I would contact him when there was something worth contacting him about - which I have tried to do. The situation in the last few days is we had this hiatus after the High Court hearing was moved to this coming week - which was no fault of the club, contrary to what some people are saying.”

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