Buster Chapman in plea to King’s Lynn Town fans following release of accounts
King's Lynn Town chairman Buster Chapman yesterday went on the offensive in a bid to halt declining attendances at the Evo-Stik Division One South club.
Chapman published an open letter with a detailed breakdown of the club's accounts since they were formed back in 2010 to address claims his family have profited from their period at the helm.
According to the figures released, the Linnets' hierarchy are projecting a �50,000 drop in match day ticket revenue for their third season in business compared with the inaugural campaign when they averaged league gates of 726.
Lynn's player budget has increased during the same period from �70,000 to �116,000, but Chapman warns that is unsustainable with the average league attendance during the opening weeks of the new campaign dipping below 500.
'We all make mistakes and I am certainly not afraid to admit the ones I have made,' said Chapman. 'But when Lynn FC Limited won the bid to resurrect King's Lynn Football Club the one mistake I promised not to make under my guard was to allow the club to get into financial difficulty once again.
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'I promised the fans I would keep the club on the straight and narrow and to achieve this I would run it like a business, where we would only spend what we can afford and hopefully create a positive cash flow in order to build up a cash reserve.
'In the first two seasons I have delivered on this promise and don't wish to fail on it this season either, and hopefully now the facts have been made clearer our supporters will feel assured that the money they pay for their ticket is being used for the right reasons.
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'We have a great team producing the right results on the pitch, so I hope we can once again reach an average of 700 supporters or more so I don't have to consider cutting the playing budget.
'Our club deserves to be playing at a much higher level so I ask you all to get behind it and show your support.'
Chapman dismissed any suggestion his family have profited from their time at The Walks or diverted funds to help with the running costs of their speedway operation.
'Some people have even gone as far as saying that the speedway is subsidised by the attendances at the football and sponsorship deals have only been done for the benefit of personal gain,' he said.
'These comments are hard for me to take as they are complete fabrication; the truth is that myself and my family have neither taken a penny in wages or a share of the revenue.
'Unfortunately anonymous people have been allowed to make unfounded accusations that myself and my family have been personally profiting from the football club and encouraging fans to stay away as a result.
'I sincerely hope that I can draw a line under these rumours and stop any future ones from surfacing by releasing a detailed summary of our certified accounts along with a financial forecast for this current season.'
Chapman insisted he remains as committed as ever to helping push Lynn further up the non league pecking order.
'I would like to assure the town and its supporters that the panic button does not need to be pressed, due to the club having financial reserves to fall back on which were built up from the previous two seasons of success,' he said. 'Personally I believe the lower than expected attendances are due to a mixture of reasons which many parties, including ourselves, have to take responsibility for.
'Supporters should be aware that the financing of the team comes directly from themselves and the sponsors, which is a marvellous achievement in modern day football and something we should all be proud of. It symbolises the passion and commitment the club has to move up through the leagues on its own merit, but as with everything in life our club has to find a level of sustainability and at present we are falling short by an average of 220 people per game.'
The club is offering supporters discounted admission to next week's top-of-the-table home league meeting with Coalville. Fans will be entitled to a �2 discount when they produce their ticket stub from this weekend's game against Romulus at The Walks.