Prudent Linnets will spend budget wisely

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins has warned potential new recruits the Blue Square North outfit will not be held to ransom. Lynn pulled out of a big money deal for Rushden striker Daryl Clare, with league rivals Gainsborough Trinity confirming over the weekend they are now in talks with the 30-year-old.

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins has warned potential new recruits the Blue Square North outfit will not be held to ransom.

Lynn pulled out of a big money deal for Rushden striker Daryl Clare, with league rivals Gainsborough Trinity confirming over the weekend they are now in talks with the 30-year-old.

Linnets' chief Keith Webb is poised to step up his search for reinforcements this week but Bobbins ruled out jeopardising the club's long term future.


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"I don't think King's Lynn, in terms of paying players, is the worst by any means in non league," he said. "Players and agents have to start being more realistic. The kind of demands that were put upon us recently by a player we were trying to sign, when you take into account wages and the add-ons he wanted, were tantamount to a League One financial package.

"We're very much on the limit, if not slightly over, the limit at the present time in respect of our playing budget and we certainly don't intend to go any further than that."

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Bobbins insisted football is not immune from the deepening economic crisis gripping the country.

"I'm absolutely astonished that these footballers don't appear to be in the real world," he said. "They still think they can command money for what are average players if you judge them in the context of the wider football business as a whole.

"They might do a great job for King's Lynn but they want wages it seems to me on a par or better than what players are getting in the Football League. It is unbelievable.

"They want the same money for playing part-time as if they were full-time. If you look at the sudden influx of money the Blue Square Premier has received in recent seasons, then collectively the top Conference league appears to have increased its wage structure to the extent where if it's not the same, then it's very close to League football.

"That in turn impinges on us because the players those clubs release who could do a great job expect to get substantially more than in the recent past."

Bobbins forecasts testing times ahead for the non league game.

"I think in order to counteract the downturn in wages a lot more players will be reluctant to travel," he said. "Of course that is bad news for us because the majority of our boys have to trawl in from quite some distance away if we want to be competitive. We spoke to two lads at Stafford recently and they really would like to play for King's Lynn, but one of the lads has two children and a full-time job, like most of them do.

"He would have had to take time off twice a week to train with us, which would cost him money and then on the travel-side you're talking about a four-hour drive each trip.

"He didn't ask for too much money. In fact we offered him considerably more than he was getting at Stafford, but he just said he was really sorry and that he was going to a club 30 minutes down the road. For him he was going to be better off because he won't be getting any grief from his wife and he'll see his children more."

Bobbins still remains confident Lynn can bolster the playing squad for the second half of their debut Conference campaign.

"Keith is constantly looking at players at all levels," said Bobbins. "There has been a lot of conjecture previously about Danny Wright, who eventually went to Histon. We approached Dereham and they wouldn't let us speak to the player at the time because I believe there was already a tentative agreement in place to go to Histon. It wasn't that we didn't want him or didn't think he had potential.

"Keith went back into the Ridgeons and got Joe Francis, and I know he has spent a lot of time at games but the gulf is quite considerable from that level to our level. It's not just about having the ability to step up as a player but also the inclination with all the travelling involved.

"If this crunch really does hit football badly then I wonder if a lot of lower Football League clubs might have to consider going part-time, in which case there might be even more players about in our region. I hope in the future you will have players based around the likes of Peterborough, Cambridge, maybe even the Norwich area who would consider travelling to King's Lynn instead of maybe the other direction to play for arguably bigger teams at the moment."

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