Not so fast Mr Handley
Paddy Davitt Blue and Gold Trust chairman Neil Timms last night ruled out any deal with the other three groups bidding to re-launch a new King's Lynn football club at The Walks.
Blue and Gold Trust chairman Neil Timms last night ruled out any deal with the other three groups bidding to re-launch a new King's Lynn football club at The Walks.
Timms confirmed he would not accept former finance director Dave Handley's offer to attend his scheduled meeting later this week with council officials.
The fans' body has already held initial talks with the local authority owners of the council-run stadium to take on the lease and help re-form a club at Ridgeons League level next season.
Timms reiterated that the Trust is committed to a democratically-owned football club rather than private investor ownership, with speedway chief Buster Chapman and a fourth business group also bidding for control.
“Purely on the basis that we have met the council and are working on submitting our own bid I think it would be inappropriate to turn up at Dave Handley's meeting,” said Timms. “Or any other interested party for that matter. Even if I didn't say anything it would look like the Trust were advocating his plan.
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“I did speak to him and said I would go back to the other members to see if they felt the same. It wasn't a case we had to ballot members on whether or not I would attend.
“When you have one man putting money into a football club it has happened time and time again that as soon as they walk away what are you left with? Nothing. We've had two administrations and a winding up order in 15 years. That is proof it doesn't work.”Handley has already promised former boss Carl Heggs a four figure weekly budget next season to kick start Lynn's move back up the non league football ladder.
“There isn't the need to be throwing around the sort of money Dave Handley is talking about,” said Timms. “Plenty of other clubs in the Ridgeons Premier run on much, much less than that. You don't actually need that kind of risky strategy of throwing money at it.
“The way forward is to cut your cloth and play at the level you can afford to play. That doesn't mean having a lack of ambition. We're all fans, of course we want to be back at Conference North and above but you've got to do it the right way and one individual throwing money at it is not the right way to do it.”
Timms also held recent discussions with speedway boss Chapman and has pledged the Trust's support for which ever group is awarded the stadium lease by the council.
“Our position is that we fully intend to put forward a bid to re-form the football club,” he said. “But at the end of the day we will work - and we've made it quite clear - with whoever the council deem it right to give the lease to. We still firmly believe the way forward is through supporter ownership.
“If that doesn't happen and either Buster or Dave Handley or this other business group win the lease we won't go away. We're still the Supporters' Trust and we still represent the supporters' interests. We want to work with whoever runs the football club.”
Timms does not expect a council decision until early in the New Year.
“We've had an initial meeting and Dave Handley is going in later this week,” said Timms. “I think then they'll put a set of criteria together, almost like an application form, and invite all the parties back to present their business plan. At that stage you would expect them to make a decision. We don't believe that will be before early January. I would be shocked to get any resolution prior to Christmas.
“What we as a Trust have already done is notify the leagues' committee of our intention to re-form a new club - after conversations with the Norfolk FA and the Ridgeons League. As far as we are concerned that has already been done now.”