Linnets in battle to keep stars

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins insisted yesterday he will fight tooth and nail to keep hold of prized playing assets Andy Johnson and Julian Joachim.

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins insisted yesterday he will fight tooth and nail to keep hold of prized playing assets Andy Johnson and Julian Joachim.

Bobbins plans talks with potential new backers early next week in the wake of former director Michael Chinn's sudden departure from the Blue Square North club.

A bullish Bobbins moved to allay fears Chinn's exit could spark a mass player exodus - starting with the high profile former Premiership duo. Joachim was unveiled as the club's major summer signing ahead of Lynn's Conference bow while ex-Norwich midfielder Johnson only moved to The Walks last month after his release from Championship side Barnsley.

“Players like Andy and Julian form the basis of what we are trying to build here - a team for the future,” said Bobbins. “Let me make it clear they are the last two players I want to lose at the club because we see them both as pivotal figures in helping this club move forward.

“I really hope we won't have to get rid of any players. I've got talks planned with possible investors and we are doing our utmost to keep the club in its present form. If we don't get that investment then clearly myself and my fellow directors will meet next week to see how we move forward. Obviously among the options under discussion would be whether we must make cuts to the playing staff or ask the players to take a pay cut. But let me stress at the moment that is not an option because we are not in that position.”

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Linnets' boss Keith Webb reiterated it was business as usual ahead of the club's scheduled weekend league trip to Solihull.

“Of course it's a blow to lose Michael but right now the financial side is nothing to do with me,” he said. “I have nothing to do with it. My responsibility is to the players and that side of the club. There are members of the board who deal with that side of it and as far as I am concerned that is their domain and I won't get involved.

“What's happened is Michael has resigned from the board and the chairman is looking for new investors. That is it. Until he tells me we can't afford to keep all these players on board, then it's a case of waiting to see. No decision has been made so it's no good me pre-empting anything. The chairman is actively looking for more investors and has been doing so for a while now. I will continue to do my job as normal. It might even be a situation where we do get some one in and he comes to me and tells me to go and spend some money.”

Webb admitted the financial uncertainty is an unwanted distraction with Lynn the latest in a clutch of league rivals battling to combat the current economic downturn.

“You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know the credit crunch is biting,” he said. “Clubs will obviously have to look at their financial situation and you just hope people in positions who run football clubs do it in a manner which can keep those clubs going. For me, it's business as usual until I'm told different. I'm not going to deviate from that because I've got enough problems on the football side ensuring we build on Saturday's performance.

“Obviously players have financial commitments as we all do but until the club come and say to the players what the situation is then we'll have to try and keep people focussed and keep their minds on the job. As a manager I can't do anything else.”

t Solihull officials are scheduled to hold a pitch inspection today ahead of Lynn's Blue Square North visit this weekend with further snowfalls predicted overnight in the Midlands.