Linnets director insists club will bounce back

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn director Jimmy Suckling has vowed his club will recover from their Conference demotion. Suckling was part of the Linnets' delegation in Derby who contested the Conference's ruling to withdraw Lynn's league membership for missing a ground grading deadline.

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn director Jimmy Suckling has vowed his club will recover from their Conference demotion.

Suckling was part of the Linnets' delegation in Derby who contested the Conference's ruling to withdraw Lynn's league membership for missing a ground grading deadline.

A Derbyshire FA panel rejected Lynn's bid to overturn the decision but Suckling insists the club is resilient enough to fight back.


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"The bottom line is King's Lynn FC is not dead yet, in no shape or form," said the local businessman.

"I'm sure we'll be up and ready to come straight back again because there is a determination to show these people and get back to where we feel we belong.

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"It's true that going down a level might have an impact in terms of the budget but we just don't know how much at this stage. We are like a lot of other clubs looking for sponsors and investment in the current difficult financial climate.

"The economic situation will have a serious impact on many sporting clubs - irrespective of the league you find yourselves in. The frustration for us is that last season was a learning process for us and we had to take that on board. On reflection maybe we underestimated what was required but I can assure you that wouldn't have happened again. This coming season I felt we could have been contenders."

Suckling played a key role in the club's lengthy discussions with Conference and FA ground grading inspectors following Southern League promotion.

"This is one of the toughest things I have had to take on board since becoming involved with the club," he said. "A lot of people put hard work and money into King's Lynn - not just this season but over many seasons - and we feel we complied with everything that was asked of us. I can understand they might feel a reprieve would open the floodgates but you must also look at the other way around.

"In this current climate to still raise the amount of money we required, then I think they should show a bit of leeway. We had a watertight agreement the money was there from the council and that clearly wasn't enough.

"We don't own the ground so we can't get funding from private sources. The council have been fantastic but they have to adhere to government legislation and allocate money on a yearly basis so we were up against that. We let the FA and the Conference know on many occasions exactly what the situation was so it's fair to say we feel badly let down."

Lynn officials wrote to the FA in January confirming public funding was in place to undertake an �250,000 upgrade. Suckling stressed the club also expressed concerns they would fail to meet the Conference's March 31 deadline.

"We told them it would be tight to get started at that stage and they never once said we should apply for dispensation," said Suckling. "There are certain things you would like to say about this whole process and certain things I can't say. I just hope in time the full story comes out. It's devastating.

"Look at the amount of work that has been put in to achieve two promotions in such a short space of time to get to this point - then we miss it for the sake of probably eight weeks or so."

Suckling revealed Lynn's Main Stand roof revamp during the summer of 2007 had a direct impact on carrying out work to other areas of the council-owned stadium.

"This whole process goes right back to 2004," he said. "At that point we had to supply two years of financial accounts when the club came out of administration to get any funding to finance improvements. From that date it became a race to get where we are and so far we've spent more than �700,000 on trying to achieve a Conference North grading. We had to do that in stages and the roof needed to be done for health and safety reasons before we did anything with things like changing rooms.

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