Linnets call on the football world to help in financial crisis

King's Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve

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

King’s Lynn Town have made a last-ditch attempt to save their season by launching a Linnets donation pledge scheme. 

The club is calling on football fans from Norfolk and around the world to help them continue their National League season, which could end on Saturday if financial help is not forthcoming. 

Lynn owner Stephen Cleeve can’t afford to carry on funding the club without matchday income and has said this weekend’s game against Weymouth will be their last. 

Cleeve’s concern is the punishment that the National League could impose on Lynn for failing to fulfil fixtures – including relegation. 

He wants to avoid that at any costs and believes a special £300 season ticket could be the answer. 

“Through no fault of its own the club has found itself in a position that it can no longer afford to participate in the National League without the assistance of monies in a grant form,” he said. 

Two more games then we're gone - Cleeve

“If the club took a loan in the current circumstances it would saddle it with a debt which would be around its neck for many years to come. Add to that the prime minister’s announcement that supporters will not be allowed into sports grounds until at least May 17, meaning we could have possibly one game this season with a crowd on May 29, which even then would be limited. 

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“The Linnets donation pledge is a way for not only supporters of King’s Lynn Town, but supporters of football around the county, the country and even the world to rally and support the club in these very difficult times.” 

In return for their investment, fans will be able to watch the next 10 games played at The Walks where crowds are permitted. This may be the Aldershot fixture at the end of the present season or the pre-season games and early league fixtures of season 2021/22.    

Cleeve said: “It would be fair to say that unless a substantial amount of these pledges is taken up there is no guarantee that we will be able to continue this current season. I have also estimated that it will cost around £100,000 if we do not continue the season. 

“I thank you in advance of your donations to our tremendous club.” 

One of the first people to donate is Kevin Dack, an assocIate director of Norwich City, who said: “As a Norwich City supporter and general football fan of 50 years it is very frustrating to view the challenges faced by King’s Lynn Town and other similar community football clubs in the face of the pandemic. In general, I would have hoped that football in a wider sense and/or the government would have resolved the issues. Community football clubs are a vital resource which we must seek to protect. In that spirit I am happy to make a £300 contribution to King’s Lynn’s fundraising initiative and wish them well in their bid to retain their recently achieved status within the National League.” 

To make a pledge, go here