Don't look down! Lowestoft Town legend Micky Chapman's message after cash crisis revealed
PUBLISHED: 14:24 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:48 06 March 2018
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Lowestoft Town legend Micky Chapman insists the club shouldn’t relinquish its Bostik League Premier status lightly.
Some fans have called for the Trawlerboys to drop out of the Isthmian set-up back into the Eastern Counties League, in whatever form that takes from next season, after the scale of the club’s financial issues were revealed.
This would then potentially give the club a chance to reset itself and bring through a group of young players using a much reduced wage structure.
However, Chapman, who spent 33 years at Crown Meadow as player and manager, believes that would undermine the years of hard work to get the Trawlerboys up the non league ladder.
“I really don’t believe the answer is to drop down the leagues,” said Chapman, who was part of the management team, alongside Craig Fleming and Ady Gallagher, that helped the Blues rise through the non league pyramid. “I haven’t got the answers – I’m just looking on as a supporter now and I want to see the lads stay at as high a level as possible.
MORE: Why are Lowestoft Town facing financial crisis?
“After we worked so hard to get the club up the leagues I think it would be a mistake to go back down. It’s a very long way back – you’ve got clubs like Dereham, Wroxham and Mildenhall, who all have designs on going up the leagues – they are all progressing.
“I think it would be a backwards step.”
It remains to be seen what players manager Dale Brooks has to work with for the club’s 11 remaining games this season after Leiston swooped for top goalscorer Jake Reed on Monday whilst other players, who haven’t been paid for January, are considering their options.
However, Chapman believes Lowestoft have the right man at the helm to lead the Blues to Bostik Premier Division safety before the club assesses its options in the summer.
“I think Brooksy can keep this side up as long as he gets as much help as the club can afford,” added Chapman. “He is fighting an uphill battle but he is a good guy and he’s got his head screwed on.
“The club is going to have to rely on youth and Brooksy is the man that can complement that with the contacts that he has with professional clubs in the game.”
MORE: Lowestoft Town are running out of money
Chapman is still a regular at home games and called on supporters to get behind the club.
“I get there as much as I can and they are still the first result I look for on a Saturday afternoon,” he said. “The club is in my heart and I hope they come through this because it’s gut-wrenching for me to see this happen.
“But we used to say when we were on a bad run that the only way to get through it is to stick together and it’s as true now as it was then.
“It doesn’t matter how this situation came about - the only thing that matters is how the club gets itself out of it and everyone has got to pull together - players, committee members, fans - everyone has got to do their bit.”