Linnets board makes apology to fans
Annabelle Dickson King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins admitted last night his board had failed the club's supporters.Bobbins spoke of his 'deep regret' that the 130-year-old Norfolk institution was wound up in the High Court over an unpaid �77,000 tax bill.
King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins admitted last night his board had failed the club's supporters.
Bobbins spoke of his 'deep regret' that the 130-year-old Norfolk institution was wound up in the High Court over an unpaid �77,000 tax bill.
The former club chairman along with fellow directors Michael Chinn and Tim Coates were unable to launch a successful rescue package with the ailing Linnets more than �150,000 in debt.
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Lynn's affairs are now in the hands of the Official Receiver who will attempt to raise funds from any saleable assets at the former Unibond Premier Division club.
Registrar Simmonds dismissed the petition after counsel for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, Catherine Addy, informed the court they had received a solicitor's letter withdrawing the club's application.
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“It's a bitter blow all round,” said Bobbins. “King's Lynn FC should not be in this position but circumstances contrived to put us in this position. It isn't something Tim, myself or the other director are exactly proud of but all I can say to everyone is that we have worked our socks off over the last four, five, six years. It's just unfortunate this has happened at a time of recession.”
A club statement blamed the economic downturn for eventually forcing the proud club out of business.
It read: “In a time of recession it is very difficult task to tempt people or businesses to 'invest' in a football club. The only feasible offer on the table unfortunately did not comply with the FA and their decision is final. Thanks to the generosity of a local couple we had raised sufficient funds to pay the tax but it would be pointless to pay the tax if provision was not in place to take the club forward.
“Please try and remember some of the many good times over the past few years. Again we are truly sorry that this situation has occurred. We would also like to thank the many people who have assisted and supported us during our time at the club and especially those who have remained supportive over the last difficult months.”
Council officials have already pledged to play a pivotal role in helping any new club re-form at the council-owned Walks stadium.
The EDP understands preliminary talks between the council and interested parties are already underway to launch a football club lower down the football pyramid from next season.
“It is a sad day for King's Lynn that their football club has been wound up,” said Nick Daubney, council leader. “This is not good news for the town, of course it's not, but we cannot stop the winding up order. King's Lynn needs a football club. What we have to do now is find a good and constructive way forward - let's take the opportunity to get a club going that can succeed in the longer term.”
North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham backed a new stronger football club to emerge.
“I think it is very sad, but we shouldn't despair,” he said. “First of all, there shouldn't be any recriminations. That would be a mistake. The directors put a lot of time and money into the club. Things might have been handled a bit differently but there is no point in recriminations.
“It is a sad day for the town - people were looking forward to a lot of fun following the Linnets in the months ahead. Every town needs a football club and without a football club it is not going to be the same. It is very sad, but The Walks is not going to be sold as it belongs to the borough council. The silver lining is that the borough council owns their ground. There will be a new club that will rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
“We are very lucky that the club ground didn't belong to the company - if that hadn't been the case it might well have sounded the death knell for future football in King's Lynn.”