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King's Lynn Town chairman says club is 'in the lap of the gods' due to National League financial crisis

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Stephen Cleeve says King's Lynn Town is in the lap of the gods as they await the outcome of the National League's resolution vote.

As expected, club owner Cleeve has voted to end the season because of the on-going financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cleeve told the Lynn News: "I really don't know what the future holds, we really are in the lap of the gods.

The Walks - home of the Linnets. Picture: Tim Smith (44216863)
The Walks - home of the Linnets. Picture: Tim Smith (44216863)

"I haven't had any other contact with the league since we voted so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

"My feeling is that the National League season will carry on and if that's the case we will have to sit it out.

"I'm not saying that we should stop, but the league should allow King's Lynn Town to stop.

"It is already costing me a large amount of money and it cannot carry on. When you've got business costs and there's no income coming in, it's obvious what's going to happen.

"Our situation isn't about suiting ourselves, it's about being here next season. Something has got to give, it's just basic economics."

A statement on the King's Lynn Town website this morning read: "We can this morning, confirm that the club has returned voting submissions to determine the outcome of the 2021/22 season.

"We have voted in favour of resolutions 1, 2 and 4."

The first resolution, which would allow clubs in each of the league's three divisions to vote separately on whether to end the season, needs a 75 per cent majority to be passed.

The other two resolutions, proposing that either the National League solely or the three divisions collectively are annulled, only need a simple majority to be passed.

General club manager Mark Hearle and chairman Stephen Cleeve commentating on the live stream. Picture: Tim Smith. (44199805)
General club manager Mark Hearle and chairman Stephen Cleeve commentating on the live stream. Picture: Tim Smith. (44199805)

Cleeve confirmed that the club has applied for a loan with Sport England, which is the first stage of getting a possible grant.

The Lynn chairman has also appealed to supporters to help the club as much as possible.

"I understand that money is tight and families come first, but even if people were just to buy a matchday programme at £5, it would be a massive help," he said.

"Darlington fans raised £100,000 at the start of the season and Chesterfield supporters raised £25,000 in 48 hours, so if we could sell a 1,000 programmes at £5 a time it would be a lifeline to us."

The 66 clubs from the three divisions received the resolution after learning that £11million due to be offered as part of the Government’s Sports Winter Survival Package would be in the form of loans rather than grants.

Clubs have 28 days to consider their position and vote.

National League chiefs have claimed they were told by in a meeting on November 17 that the second round of a coronavirus rescue package would be in grants, something which DCMS has since denied.

In a bid to clear up the confusion, Yeovil Town chairman and owner Scott Priestnall has revealed that DCMS are being asked to supply the minutes from the meeting, but it has yet to submit them.

Aldershot chairman Shahid Khan told the PA News Agency: “We started the season on the back of the guarantees from the Government saying that we will get grant money up to December and support will continue if crowds aren’t allowed back in up to March.

“Sadly, three months into it the DCMS has moved the goalposts and this is not what we as a National League started the season on.”

King’s Lynn Town, without a National League fixture tomorrow, are due to travel to Bromley on Tuesday night.

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