'We can't carry on without help' - King's Lynn Town boss

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse against Notts County

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse giving instructions from the sidelines during the game against Notts County - Credit: Ian Burt

Ian Culverhouse insists King’s Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve cannot be expected to fund the club out of his own pocket as the future of the National League season hangs in the balance. 

Cleeve says he cannot afford to shell out tens of thousands of pounds with no income from gate receipts and a lack of government funding. 

King's Lynn's owner Stephen Cleeve against Notts County

King's Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve - Credit: Ian Burt

The National League is currently asking clubs whether or not they want the season to be scrapped - but meanwhile, games go on and the cost creeps up. 

"Will we be here again?” asked Culverhouse after Tuesday’s defeat at home to Notts County. “I don’t know. It is hard to say, but what I will say is we can’t carry on doing what we are doing without help. It is too much for Steve (Cleeve), it really is. He is funding it as much as he can and hopefully I am not out of order by saying it, but it is a big ask for him, a really big ask. 

“He has no income coming through the gate and he has no personal income coming in. It is hard at the moment, it is hard times, but we are not the only ones - there are a few of us like it.” 

Dion Kelly-Evans and Michael Gash

King's Lynn striker Michael Gash squares up to Notts County's Dion Kelly-Evans - Credit: Ian Burt

Lynn were due to travel to Dover on Saturday, but the game has been postponed because the south coast club have furloughed all their players. 

The wait for the club vote could last until the end of February – the league gave them 28 days to make up their minds, which has meant continuing expense. 

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Culverhouse said: “I think waiting 28 days, the whole of February, when we still have to carry on playing – if Dover had carried on that is probably around £3,000 he (Cleeve) had got to pay out for that weekend, so it is too much money. Without any money coming through the gates it is hard to keep dipping into your pockets.” 

Lynn’s game against Notts County on Tuesday night was an occasion that in normal circumstances would quite probably have attracted 3,000 fans, who could have had an effect on the outcome. 

Adam Marriott for King's Lynn against Notts County

The heat of battle as King's Lynn Town striker Adam Marriott tries to win the ball back against Notts County - Credit: Ian Burt

“You have 3,000 behind you and I think we would have scored,” said Culverhouse. “It is hard at the moment because we are missing the fans because they are a big driving force behind what we have done here and it is just a shame that they are missing these games at the moment. 

“We really have missed them - even against Torquay, having 600 here, they made a noise and they drove the football club on. And tonight they would have got behind us and they would have been proud of that performance, I’m sure, and that is what the players deserve. “ 

King's Lynn Town defender Aaron Jones has an Achilles injury

King's Lynn Town defender Aaron Jones looks set to miss the rest of the season with an Achilles injury - Credit: Ian Burt

Culverhouse also confirmed that right back Aaron Jones had suffered an Achilles injury in training on Monday which looks set to rule him out for months. 

“It’s a shame because he started the season really well then obviously got his injury and he has come back and he was looking strong again,” he said. “It is just a freak accident in training, no one around him, and it is heart-breaking for him, because that’s a bad one. He will come back strong because he is a hell of a strong character and we wish him well in his recovery – we will look after him.”