King's Lynn football ground improvements row boils over
A war of words has erupted between a supporters’ group and the owner of King’s Lynn Town Football Club over the funding of ground improvements.
Club chairman Stephen Cleeve says he is taking legal advice about the activities of the Blue and Gold Trust, which he said may not benefit the club at all.
But the trust has now hit back, denying suggestions that it is raising money under false pretences and said it has been open and transparent about its aims.
In an open letter to fans, the group said: “We find it bewildering that our efforts are dismissed in such an aggressive manner.”
The row appears to stem from the trust’s decision to set up a fund to help pay for improvements to the Walks Stadium which would be needed for the Linnets to satisfy ground regulation standards at higher league levels in the future.
Both parties appear to agree that they discussed a proposal from Mr Cleeve for the trust to fund a replacement changing room boiler and that the trust turned it down.
In his programme notes for the club’s game with Buxton last Wednesday, Mr Cleeve wrote that decision raised the question of whether the trust was raising money “under false pretences”.
He added: “I will be taking legal advice and will see what options the club has, as many fans will have no idea that they money they are giving to the trust may possibly not benefit the football club at all.”
But the trust argues the fund, which it says has been in existence for more than a year, was intended to help Mr Cleeve achieve his stated objective of leading the club into the Football League and his comments contained “many inaccuracies and untruths”.
The group has offered to refund any donors who may be uncomfortable with the position.
But its letter said: “Any monies raised would be ring-fenced and used to support any ground improvements identified by relevant ground inspections as the football club progresses through the leagues.
“The conditions of the fund were explicitly detailed on the trust website. Those who have donated to the fund have done so on this basis.”