King's Lynn player exodus
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn boss Carl Heggs last night culled his Unibond Premier Division squad with the debt-ridden club poised to fold in the next few days.
King's Lynn boss Carl Heggs last night culled his Unibond Premier Division squad with the debt-ridden club poised to fold in the next few days.
Heggs allowed a dozen of his former promotion-chasing squad to either sign or hold talks with a series of teams across the non league pyramid.
Lynn's players are owed unpaid wages for the past fortnight and facing a second weekend of postponed fixtures and no prospect of fresh investment on the horizon Heggs has sanctioned the break-up of his team.
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Club chairman Ken Bobbins admitted last night it was now looking 'very difficult' for Norfolk's premier non league outfit to avoid a High Court winding up order triggered by an unpaid �67,000 tax bill.
Lynn officials were given a seven day reprieve earlier this week after the High Court was unable to hear the club delegation's petition to rescind the original order.
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Heggs' tough decision came following talks with majority shareholder Michael Chinn who revealed in the EDP on Thursday both were now considering their own positions at the ailing club which is more than �150,000 in debt.
“My loyalty had to be to my players,” said Heggs. “They haven't been paid for two weeks and in some cases, three, so they showed tremendous loyalty to stay as long as they have. But they all have families and with Christmas around the corner I would hope all our supporters understand. No one knows what is going to happen to the football club at the moment. All I do know is those players came to King's Lynn to play for Carl Heggs. So it's my duty to get them fixed up.
“I'll see it out and I think the two local keepers Ally (McAnally) and Danny (Gay) will do the same but I've told all of them to go and find another club. It's heart-breaking. Having to ring them all up to break the latest news was really tough. They were all distraught.”
Heggs revealed Lynn's squad would have stayed one more week if the club's hierarchy had raised enough funds to pay his players.
“What upsets me most is the total lack of communication from the chairman,” he said. “I think it's appalling that he has not rung me up over the last few days and explained the situation. Whatever you say about Michael he deserves a pat on the back for trying to graft his way out of this.
“Let's be straight. We're in this position because of mis-management but mistakes happen. We all make mistakes. I signed Craig McAughtrie. That was my biggest mistake, but Michael has tried his hardest. What I don't understand is Norwich City have offered us a bucket collection. They get 25,000 crowds. Even if they'd all put in 20p that would have been a week's wages. I also suggested a practice match between the first team and the reserves with no tackling from the insurance point of view. Get a crowd down paying �5 each and I'm sure they'd have turned up to watch.”
Heggs will decide on his own future within the next 24 hours - but hinted he would consider being part of a re-formed King's Lynn club lower down the pecking order.
“It depends if I was in another job or not,” he said. “If the club had to re-form and depending on whoever took charge then I'd have to think seriously about being the manager to take it forward - given that opportunity. I'm only 39 so I've got youth and vigour on my side. It's not like I'm 53 and I've had enough.
“I would love to help build a wonderful club back up again, even if it went down two levels. Right now, I'm very disillusioned and probably not the right man to take it on. It's not about Carl Heggs. It's about King's Lynn.”