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Linnets boss – “I want a football club to come back to in the summer.”

todayMarch 5, 2021 6

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King’s Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse says he wants a football club to return to in the summer as Lynn’s financial crisis continues to bite.

Culverhouse is facing up to the prospect of having the majority of his first-team squad placed on furlough.

And, although he reluctantly accepts that his players can’t escape the financial implications of the Covid-19 outbreak, he feels the club have been forced into a corner by the National League.

Jubilation at Meadow Lane for Lynn's players as they snatched a late, deserved point at Notts County. Picture: Ian Burt. (44821976)
Jubilation at Meadow Lane for Lynn’s players as they snatched a late, deserved point at Notts County. Picture: Ian Burt. (44821976)

Lynn have already furloughed six players and another six faces are set to join them after tomorrow’s trip to National League trip to Woking.

“I don’t agree with it, but I get on with it,” said Culverhouse.

“Hopefully (on Saturday) we will have the same squad, but it is after then we are going to really struggle.”

“I think we have been put in a position that is not fair on us.

“It is not fair on these players and you can see what we are doing – and I have always said we are not far away and that is going to peter out I am afraid.

“All I worry about is, I want a football club to come back to in the summer.

“If we have to go down this route to secure the future of it we will do it, but all I want to do after this season finishes, which is a farce of a season, is make sure there is a football club there and see if we can improve what we are doing.

“It is the situation we have been put in – none of us wants to be in it but it is a farcical situation to be put in, it really is.”

Step One clubs voted to continue the campaign last month, despite the crisis created by the failure to secure continuing funding for the league as a whole.

Leading scorers, Adam Marriott and Dayle Southwell, midfielder Sam Kelly and injured defenders Aaron Jones, Rory McAuley and Alex Brown are the first batch of players to be placed on furlough.

Lynn’s boss now has the daunting dilemma of how he fills the squad gaps for the remainder of the season and the likes of former players Ryan Hawkins and Alfie Payne have been touted with a possible return.

The club have signed young defender Jak Hickman on a season long loan from SkyBet League Two side Bolton Wanderers.

Hickman started his career in the youth system with Coventry City and has also had experience of non-league football at Ashton United, Bromsgrove and Hereford.

His first goal for Bolton came on 17 November 2020, as he scored Bolton’s first goal in a 3–2 win against Newcastle United U21 in the EFL Trophy.

“People keep saying you can get freebies in, but freebies aren’t going to travel two hours to King’s Lynn and play for nothing,” Culverhouse said.

“So we will probably look at the youth section or the academy and try and bring people on, but I am telling you now, this is a man’s league.

“We struggled early on and we’ve got men and if people actually think we can actually fill our side with young boys and give them a run-around, it will do more damage than good.

“I know they think they are being part of it, but you have got to think who they are up against here and it could demoralise a few of them.

“We struggled with the physicality (early on the season) – and you are asking a kid to go and compete against big (Kyle) Wootton back there?

“They will get eaten alive. But this is the position we are in and we get on with it.

“We have had numerous agents saying that this player is available – no disrepect, but if they are any good they would be with a side, and I don’t want to lose what we have created here. I have always said that this is a tight group, very, very tight.

“They try and look after each other as much as they can and we are being pushed in a position that I don’t think is particularly fair on them. But, the league has put us in this position.”

As if things weren’t already bad enough for the Linnets chief, he is sweating on the fitness of a number of players for the trip to Woking.

The trio of Ross Barrows, Chris Smith and Cameron King all picked up knocks in the 2-2 draw at Notts County on Tuesday night and Culverhouse is hardly in a position to shuffle his pack against the Cards.

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