Ex-King's Lynn boss joins Chapman bid
Paddy DavittKing's Lynn speedway chief Buster Chapman revealed yesterday former Linnets' title-winning boss Kevin Boon would manage the newly formed football club if West Norfolk council sanction his bid for control.Paddy Davitt
King's Lynn speedway chief Buster Chapman revealed yesterday former Linnets' title-winning boss Kevin Boon would manage the newly formed football club if West Norfolk council sanction his bid for control.
Chapman confirmed he wants Boon to run the club's football affairs and has targeted promotion to the Conference Premier within eight years.
The Stars' owner, along with former finance director David Handley and the supporter-led Blue and Gold Trust, have until Monday to formally submit proposals to secure the lease on the council-owned Walks Stadium.
Council leader Nick Daubney disclosed in the EDP earlier this week a decision is expected on January 14 following a scheduled cabinet meeting and final presentation from the interested parties.
Boon guided Lynn to their first league title in 50 years alongside Darren Bloodworth in 2004 but has been out of the game since spells at Ridgeons League outfits Diss and Fakenham.
The popular businessman has agreed to return after a successful four year spell at The Walks which ended in October 2004 when he rejected a boardroom role.
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'Other parties bidding for the lease have approached me but I am only interested in working with Buster,' said Boon. 'He already knows how to run a successful team and I have the upmost respect for him. He has set sensible targets and wants the club to move up from the Ridgeons Premier to the Blue Square Premier within the next seven to eight years. He also wants me to use as many local players as possible to achieve this. We are lucky enough to have the community football programme already in place and I also want to set up other programmes to help us discover new players.'
Chapman insists Boon's backing is a key part of his bid to re-launch football in the town after the previous club was wound up in the High Court over an unpaid tax bill.
'I have lived in the town for 12 years and have attended enough matches to understand who was who at the football club,' said Chapman. 'Because of my connection with the speedway I often had a chance to talk to everyone connected with the club and one of the most genuine people I met in that time was Kevin Boon. I am glad to say has accepted the position of director of football and team manager at the new club - subject to me winning the bid.'
Chapman and son Jonathan have also held talks with the Blue and Gold Trust and confirmed they have set up a limited company to comply with FA football ownership rules. Chapman's last ditch bid to save the failed Unibond Premier Division club before Christmas was rejected by the governing body.
'A limited company has been set up as requested by the FA trading under 'Lynn FC',' said Jonathan Chapman. 'Although the club will still be known as King's Lynn it will be branded Lynn FC. We have had a meeting with the supporters' trust and understand the reasons why they exist and we would aim to work with them and all supporters to move the club forward.
'As well as the new branding it will also have a new website and an updated club emblem. The old emblem was slightly tired so we have sharpened it up and re-arranged the blue and yellows to enable it to stand out more prominently on the shirts and clothing. I look forward to presenting it to the fans if we win the bid.'
Chapman senior is adamant the community would be at the heart of the new football club - under the slogan 'Together we will draw strength'.
'It represents exactly how I feel about bringing the club, the community and the fans together to make it work,' he said. 'We have to learn from the past and it seems that there was never enough interaction between the directors and the fans. I have learnt through the speedway club that you must embrace everybody if you are to be successful as they can give you strength when you need it most.'
Chapman also plans to re-produce the success of the Stars' speedway study centre children's learning project.
'It may take a few years to get off the ground here in King's Lynn but it is so important to the community as it gives children an alternative way to learning with astonishing results,' he said.