Boon sure King’s Lynn have learned a big lesson
King's Lynn Town joint boss Kevin Boon says the club will not fall into the trap of living beyond their means.
The 2009 winter of discontent, when King's Lynn FC was wound up with almost �80,000 worth of debts and the gates at The Walks locked for the season still linger, especially for Boon.
It was Boon, along with Gary Setchell who stepped in when Buster Chapman, the man behind the successful King's Lynn Stars speedway team, was awarded the lease to the football ground.
The new club, which went under the working title of Lynn FC, was later renamed King's Lynn Town after a fans' vote.
The ignominy of having a 'working' name shows what desperate times they were for the club, who were then forced to emerge from the ashes by playing in the United Counties League, having seen their advances rejected by the more local Ridgeons League.
Even their reserves were snubbed, the Anglian Combination voting against allowing them to jump straight into their Premier Division.
Today, the first team are in the semi-finals of the FA Vase, the final of the Norfolk Senior Cup and lie second in the United Counties League Premier Division, playing host to average crowds of more than 730.
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The ups and downs of life at The Walks are nothing new to Boon, who was director of football under Tony Spearing's management and became caretaker in March, 2002.
When Peter Morris lost his job in November, 2003, Boon stepped in again, as caretaker manager with Darren Bloodworth and between them they took the club to the Southern League Midland Division title, before stepping down in September, 2004.
Boon remained involved in local football, but it was no surprise to see him on the touchline at the start of the season.
He knows the club inside out; best of all, he knows what contributed to their demise, and insists it won't happen under the current regime.
The fans, he says, deserve better.
'It helps the club every time they come through the gate, they put revenue into the club and Buster has always said if the revenue comes in, the growth and strength of the playing staff would go up, and he has stood by every word,' said Boon.
'I think the fans can see what he is trying to do, but it will never go back to how it was before. Just because we are in a semi-final doesn't mean we are going to sign three or four players on mega money. That is not going to happen.
'We have always said King's Lynn are one of the best supported clubs in non-League football. You only have to look at our gates. We get gates that are often bigger than some Conference clubs.
'We went to Norton & Stockton up in Middlesbrough in an earlier round and took 300 fans with us. You look at league clubs, even some Championship clubs, sometimes even they don't take 300.
'King's Lynn is a working class area and when you look at the price of fuel and everything, the support of these people is fantastic.
'They have to pay money at the gate, petrol money to get there, expenses on the way. For me and Setch and everybody at the club, it is fantastic support.
'They are part of it. This is not just about the King's Lynn XI that starts or the five on the bench or me and Setch or Buster, it is about King's Lynn Town, and I have always had the same opinion, it is from the top to the bottom, that's what makes a football club.'
Lynn are expected to take up their full allocation of 600 tickets for today's game in Leicestershire and, while Boon knows they will help his own team, he does admit it could help their opponents too. 'A lot of the Coalville players are experienced and we found out against Rye that they could handle it,' he said. 'They came and played in front of nearly 2,000 people in the last round, but they handled it better than King's Lynn. We had a bad day that day – but we are allowed to have one bad day in a season and we had that against Rye.'