King’s Lynn Town Football Club unlikely to work with Blue and Gold Trust

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Talks to bring King’s Lynn Town’s ownership and the club’s Blue and Gold Trust closer together have broken down.

The two parties have met for a number of meetings, but a positive outcome now looks unlikely after Linnets chairman broke his silence on the progress in his recent programme notes.

Mr Cleeve said: “I wanted to give the trust an olive branch and a chance to see if a bridge could be built between the Trust and King’s Lynn Football Club.

“The trust wanted to buy shares in the football club, but made it clear to me that they did not value the club at the same price that I paid Buster (Chapman) which meant they were asking me to sell them shares at a discounted rate.

“I explained that there is a huge disconnection between the club and the Trust.

“The trust has never put a pound into the club or even hired a room to have a meeting. I explained that for trust to be built we need to work with each other for a year so that we can see the whites of each other’s eyes.

“However for that to happen the trust would need to invest £10,000 into the football club. The key to this investment was that the money could be spent on whatever they felt fit.

“All I asked for was receipts, so they had full control over the money and where it was to be spent and I would have no input.

“In return, I agreed to hold quarterly board meetings with an elected trust member that they could choose and update them with all club matters.”

Mr Cleeve added: “My offer might not exactly be what they wanted, but sometimes you need to compromise a little on your ambitions to achieve your goals.

“We now seem to be at a stalemate and there remains a lot to do to grow this club.”

In reply to Mr Cleeve’s comments, the Blue and Gold Trust released a statement saying: “In his programme notes, Mr Cleeve alludes to a meeting with Trust officials but has been selective in publishing the full discussion that took place, which concluded in him agreeing to a further meeting after Trust members voted and commented on his proposal.

“All trust members were contacted and appraised of the proposal and given the opportunity to comment.

“Those who responded amounted to a clear majority of trust members and they rejected the proposal as not being in the long term interests of the Trust or the football club.

“Since then, the directors of the trust have identified a number of initiatives where they could help KLTFC, some of which would have necessitated expenditure of trust funds.

“To that end, it is disappointing that Mr Cleeve has chosen to publish this article and seemingly endeavour to discredit the Trust without firstly affording them the courtesy of a further meeting to which he agreed.

“The trust chairman has been trying, without success, to contact Mr Cleeve for a number weeks in an effort to arrange such a meeting and we recently received an e-mail from him raising a number of issues which will be discussed at the next board meeting on December 8.”

But club liaison officer Paul Bland said the club has seen positive changes since Mr Cleeve took over as owner in May.

Mr Bland told West Norfolk Council’s environment and community panel on Wednesday that the club is “on the right track”.

The club’s food, ticketing, and attitude were all praised by Mr Bland, who said: “It’s quite an exciting time really.”