Linnets chairman's challenge to would-be 'saviour'
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins last night challenged potential saviour David Handley to 'show us your money' and save the Unibond Premier Division club.
King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins last night challenged potential saviour David Handley to 'show us your money' and save the Unibond Premier Division club.
Bobbins revealed the current board had attempted to contact Lynn's former finance director to discuss a rescue plan to avert a High Court winding up order triggered by an unpaid �67,000 tax bill.
Handley insists his consortium is prepared to consider bailing out the Linnets or take over the running of any re-formed club in tandem with the supporters.
However, Handley again refused to deal with Bobbins or majority shareholder Michael Chinn after his acrimonious recent exit - leaving Bobbins to step up his search for vital fresh investment.
Lynn's chairman held four hour talks with a potential moneyman yesterday having stated in the EDP he had someone in mind to potentially settle the tax bill but not the club's spiralling six figure debt.
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Bobbins also confirmed League One neighbours Norwich City were prepared to offer them the opportunity to hold a bucket collection at City's next scheduled Carrow Road game on December 5.
“Unfortunately that would be too late for our purposes,” said Bobbins. “We have held discussions with Norwich but there is no possibility of any direct financial assistance. Since the news came out we've had no other offers - other than the one interested party who I met and who now has gone away to think about the situation. If someone comes to us with a proposal we will consider anything at this stage.
“I can confirm that both myself and other members of the board have tried to contact Dave Handley since the winding up order. We want to find out what his intentions are but so far he hasn't responded to our requests to talk.”
Leicester-based businessman Handley reiterated he had no plans to thrash out any survival blueprint with the current board.
“I haven't spoken to them and I won't do that,” he said. “Once the knives were out for me and how I was treated means I can't engage with those people - so that is not going to happen. They have to make their own minds up. Ken has said he could possibly raise the funds to pay the tax bill so at the moment he is in control of this process. There are certainly no hidden agendas on my part. They just have to make a decision themselves.”
Handley confirmed his consortium do not have the funds to buy out the existing Linnets' hierarchy.
“I want to try and do something to help,” he said. “I have a consortium in place but we are not in position to pay off all the debts and buy the shares of the current board. If they walked away then we would have to think about the possibility of coming in and taking on the debts if that situation arose.
“I know the council have said that The Walks will remain a sports facility - whether with the club in its current form or with a new club - and my consortium would look to engage in talks with them as soon as. I'm not going to go in to make money. I know that is not going to happen, but I want to run the club and tell people the truth about what is happening.”
Handley appealed direct to fans via the club's web site to back his takeover and pledged to try and keep player/boss Carl Heggs at The Walks.
“If anyone can try and keep Carl I think I would be prepared to give it a shot,” said Handley. “Even if it was the case that the club had to re-form next year in a lower league we would try to arrange some attractive friendlies for the rest of this season.
“I know contacting a fans' forum is not the usual method of how you go about things but tell me a better method of direct action? The feedback and response I received shows how important the issue is and that has convinced me to get involved with this.”