King's Lynn chairman in bullish mood
King's Lynn Town chairman Buster Chapman insists his club will not make the same mistakes as the old regime. Chapman had to defend his vision for the re-formed Linnets at a stormy fans' forum dominated by finances rather than football matters.
King's Lynn Town chairman Buster Chapman insists his club will not make the same mistakes as the old regime.
Chapman had to defend his vision for the re-formed Linnets at a stormy fans' forum dominated by finances rather than football matters.
'I'm not ambitious enough to put this club into massive debt again,' he said. 'If anyone thinks we are going to go out and pay players wages we can't afford they have got a big mistake coming because I won't do it. We need lads who want to play for King's Lynn for an affordable amount of money. I will not put the club in jeopardy over overpaid players.
'We are not basing our model on a previous business that went bust. We will invest a �100,000 of our own money, or more, and we have to do things that enhance and encourage people to come. The first thing you have to do is put a half decent team together that is affordable, then make the stadium more family friendly and encourage more fans to come along. We have experienced it at the speedway where you can put some of the best riders in a team but if the stadium itself is not up to scratch people just don't want to come and watch.'
Chapman was clearly angered by one questioner who claimed some fans might be suspicious of his family's motives for taking on the lease at the council-owned stadium.
The accusation was quickly retracted after the club's new chairman launched a robust defence of his track record running a successful speedway business. Chapman insists profit is not a dirty word if he can re-produce the same winning formula at The Walks.'It's going to take five years of my family's investment and time and effort from everyone but why shouldn't a business make a profit?' he said. 'If it doesn't then it's in trouble and it will collapse but we've proved that at the speedway where we re-invest and re-invest until you reach the point where it becomes a viable business.
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'Until then it's a risk and this is going to make big losses in the first three years but if it's strong down the line and we make a profit then anyone who wants to see King's Lynn do well should be happy as well. I've slogged away at the speedway when it was losing tens of thousands each year but we stuck at it until it turned a corner and I can promise you I won't give in with the football either.'
Operations Manager Jonathan Chapman confirmed any short term revenue generated would be ploughed back into the club amidst questions over the share structure and long term ownership strategy of their limited company.
'There has to be investment in the club over the next five years but if, and it's a big if, things go to the plan on the initial investment there should be eventually a return,' he said. 'But during that five year period we haven't allowed for any dividends for the directors and we will simply run on a strict budget.
'If we are doing exceedingly well in five years and there is a profit, great, that would be well deserved but to grow you have to keep re-investing over the first five years and we will re-invest.'
Chapman also revealed the new owners have yet to formally sign the stadium lease awarded by the council in January. Lynn's hierarchy refused to disclose the exact reasons for the delay, which are believed to centre around unresolved issues relating to the King's Lynn community football scheme.
Council chiefs made it clear during the bid process any proposed tenants would have to work in tandem with the community football programme based at the ground.
'The intention from our point of view always has been to work with the scheme and I hope that we will have more news on that in the future,' said Chapman. 'We had plans that we would like someone to perhaps come along and help us with the reserves next season but that is not possible from the FA's point of view because they are not affiliated to the football club.
'We are definitely not running a youth team next year because we are dropping down to a level where everything would become too compact between the sides. The FA have told us in writing that the community football scheme cannot run the reserves so that is out of our hands and we can't change that.'