Yarmouth Town ‘must build on lifeline’

Yarmouth Town Football Club has been urged to build on the lifeline thrown to them by local businessman Mike Smith's sponsorship.

Arthur Fisk, who chaired an extraordinary general meeting to discuss the crisis-hit club's future on Tuesday evening, said afterwards: 'We have been given a lifeline and it's up to us to build on it.'

He thanked everyone who had rallied around the club, including fan Rich Davison, who was spurred into launching a 'Save the Bloaters' fund-raising campaign. 'We are indebted to Rich, his wife and his daughter. It's a great example.'

The meeting revealed that the 114-year-old club had debts totalling �5500, the majority of which was owed to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, owners of the Wellesley ground.

Club chairman Colin Jones said the meeting had generated ideas that 'the committee will consider and look to move forward',

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New vice-chairman John Barnden emphasised his priority to 'keep the community' with the club.

He admitted that the five-figure sponsorship deal struck with Mr Smith and his Harfreys Industrial Estate-based oil industry company DSL 'was a bonus for us and it calmed things down a little bit.'

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Mr Smith said: 'It seemed inconceivable that the club was heading towards possibly becoming dissolved, I've run and owned businesses in Yarmouth for 30 years and thought this is a good opportunity to put something back.'

The meeting was attended by around 50 people including Norfolk County FA's chief executive Shaun Turner.

He said: 'We can help ensure that things are done correctly, to guide and give advice on what would be a good decision for the club.'

Borough councillors were also present along with former professional footballer Paul Gibbs, who stressed the importance of a strong youth policy.

Four people volunteered to become committee members. When appointed they will bring the club committee up to full strength of 15.

Tomorrow Yarmouth Town get back to business on the pitch when Mike Derbyshire's men entertain mid-table Stanway Rovers (3pm) in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.

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