The tip of the financial iceberg

ARE the financial problems affecting King's Lynn FC just the tip of the iceberg in the non-league game?Many people I have spoken too recently think that could well be the case.

ARE the financial problems affecting King's Lynn FC just the tip of the iceberg in the non-league game?

Many people I have spoken too recently think that could well be the case.

Lynn were wound up last week, owing a �65,000 tax bill and are in the process of trying to raise that money in order to keep the club afloat.

It's a sad demise for a club who only a year ago boasted attendances averaging 900 as they strived to make their way up the non-league pyramid.


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So where has their money gone? In player's pockets most of it I reckon.

Because, just like the Premier League, much of a non-league club's finances (certainly from Step 5 upwards), goes on player's wages.

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Clubs will say otherwise, but I'm afraid if you took a team of 15 at an average Step Five club, and paid each player �40 a game (not excessive believe me!), that's �600.

An attendance of say 150 at a fiver a head is �750; Take into account officials' expenses, programmes, electricity, tax and various other sundries and that players' budget is a huge chunk of the takings.

Paying players, as low down as Step seven, is the worse kept secret in the non-league game, but I think even the average punter would be surprised at how much some players get.

But let me make my stance here.

I'm all for players getting paid. Why shouldn't they?

If people are prepared to pay through the turnstiles, then I have no problem with it.

However what I do have a problem with is some of these silly amounts; And I certainly have a problem with watching players who have little more than average ability, getting paid anything at all.

I heard a story this week that one senior club didn't train recently because it couldn't afford to turn the floodlights on! Unbelievable, but I bet the players wanted paying every week.

It's a fine line between running a football club like a business and wanting to achieve success and I know the chairman and committees of many of these clubs work their socks off in pursuit to keep a club going.

However here is a request from me to all non-league players as we head towards this festive period, to show your loyalty to your club. By now most of you are probably all in receipt of your Christmas Draw Tickets for your annual Club Draw to raise money for Club funds.

Make sure you sell them all, every last one of them.

Because you know you will expect your little brown envelope each week as we head into 2010, so help your club raise some money.

As for the bigger picture, I fear Lynn won't be the last club in this region to get themselves in a financial pickle.

(N) DO you agree? Do players get paid too much in the non-league? Should they get more? Years ago what did you get paid, or did you pay? And how loyal are today's players to the club's who pay them? Or does the highest bidder get their signature? mike.bacon@archant.co.uk

Follow Mike on www.twitter.co.uk Mike_Bacon

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