Linnets Chairman won't gamble with club's future

Chris Lakey King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins says he will not bankrupt the Linnets by bowing to player demands in the summer transfer market. Bobbins is financing manager Keith Webb's squad strengthening after last season's triumphant Southern League campaign, but has come up with demands which he believes are out of their league.

Chris Lakey

King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins says he will not bankrupt the Linnets by bowing to player demands in the summer transfer market.

Bobbins is financing manager Keith Webb's squad strengthening after last season's triumphant Southern League campaign, but has come up with demands which he believes are out of their league.

“Keith has come to us with a number of players, but their demands are so great that we just can't take them on,” he said.


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“It is a combination of everything - it is signing-on fees for some, they want bonuses, massive bonuses, and we are not prepared to do that.”

The Linnets have long been regarded as one of the better payers below Conference League level - a reputation that is now beginning to have an effect on transfer activities.

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“I think we are finding the same problem that we always find at King's Lynn,” said Bobbins. “There is this idea that we will throw money around willy-nilly for players and that is not the case at all.

“We are not going to bankrupt the club. We will do our best within the budget available.

“We have been an exceptionally big fish in the Southern League and now we are just one of the average teams, or so they believe, so that could work in our favour.

“Money doesn't necessarily make for good teams. It is spirit on the field that counts and we have got a good team spirit. Obviously you need a bit better class the higher league you go, but spirit is the main thing I feel.”

The Linnets have added midfielder David Bridgewater from Bromsgrove Rovers and defender Simon Weaver to their squad, but another three of last season's title-winners put pen to paper on new one-year contracts yesterday, including leading scorer and Southern League player of the season Joe Francis, whose efforts have been rewarded with an improved deal.

Danny Bloomfield is expected to follow suit today, with 11 players expected to stay on as Lynn look to make an impact on Conference North next season.

Webb is still looking for more recruits, but admits it's a while new ball game at Conference level.

“It's another level to what it was last year,” he said. “The players that we are going for are obviously that much better, players with a little bit of experience in the Conference and what I am finding is that those players don't make decisions straight away, they want to find the best deal for themselves, which is understandable. So I have had to be a little bit more patient, but come the start of the season I think we will have a squad that will do well.

“We are still looking and there are still one or two people to talk to and I would hope to bring a couple more in before the start of the season”

Webb says the decision to retain most of last season's squad is important - particularly for a side which is currently on a 20-game unbeaten league run dating back to January.

“I said at the end of the season that the players we have got are used to winning games, and that will come into play a hell of a lot at the start of the season,” he said. “We need to hit the ground running and we will go out there wanting to win these games rather than go out there not wanting to lose games, and that's a different mind set.

“The players will be encouraged and there will be demands put upon them as there were last season. We want to do well in the league - we have not just come along to make up the numbers. Hopefully all the good work we did last year and the additions we make will put us in good stead.”

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