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Old Board: Resign
By: Rob Sedgwick
Old Board, Resign and We'll Take Over
News From 26th January 2000
Grimsby Town's former board today called on the new directors to resign for the sake of the club.
The full text of the statement is as follows:
"The former Grimsby Town board feel compelled to write in reply to the sensational statements made by Grimsby Town chairman Doug Everitt on Wednesday, January 19. In our opinion his statement is no more than a smokescreen to hide the new board's inability to run a first division football club.
"Before we make comment on the many inaccuracies, we feel it vital to bring to the public's attention that the old board offered to meet the new board. This meeting was arranged on Sunday, January 16 and was attended by Dudley Ramsden and Brian Huxford. This was arranged at our request, when it became clear to us that the new board did not realise what they were taking on when they voted themselves into office.
"The discussions were hard hitting and followed an invitation for the old board to resume their positions as directors. It was then discussed that the former board would gladly retake its position, only if Dudley Ramsden gifted his shares back to the club. This would also avoid the prospect of a disruptive minority having control of the club. This one simple condition appears to have been too much to accept for the benefit of Grimsby Town Football Club.
"According to Mr Everitt, financial plans do not exist for the new stadium project. This is not the case. Of course, a project of this size and complexity cannot have complete financial plans until the project has received planning permission. Surely he must know this? Only then can the detail of the project such as sponsorship, new income revenues and funding packages be finalised.
"However, we commissioned a consultation document, which included forecasts, anticipated cashflow requirements and projected new income streams, which indicated a Â£1m additional annual income to the club. In addition to the consultation document, the Chiltern development team of consultants produced a portfolio of documents to attract major sponsorship. All agreements entered into regarding the new stadium project were meticulously scrutinised and agreed by the former board of directors and the club's solicitors.
"The damming and deceiving headline, "five-year lock on the new stadium", is totally inaccurate. Should the club receive planning permission in March and the board choose not to move forward with the project, then the agreements with Chiltern Developments would not lock the club into any financial costs whatsoever.
"It is true the former board did sign documents relating to the new stadium project the day before the AGM. This document was simply an extension of those already signed with the developers. To quote the club's solicitors "the document does not commit the company to anything more that it had previously committed itself to, although it does in effect firm up certain of the positions and in particular the cost of the stadium".
"Mr Everitt then questions the motives of the directors who resigned at the AGM. Following the shareholders vote by a show of hands 40-6 in favour of Mr Carr, he was then removed from office on a poll vote by Mr Ramsden's representatives and Mr Huxford. Then similar treatment befell Mr Fenty. Surely Mr Everitt cannot question the integrity of the other directors who resigned when they could see clearly who would be running the club, against the wishes of the vast majority of shareholders present.
"Mr Everitt uses his accountancy skills to paint an unnecessarily bleak picture of the club's finances. Both he and his colleagues had the opportunity to question the club's directors and accountants five weeks ago at the AGM before voting themselves into office (Smokescreen!)
"We would also like to point out that an offer of a meeting before the AGM was made to Mr Ramsden's representative Mr Doug Everitt and his colleagues to bring to their attention the club's future financial requirements so they could be fully aware of the responsibility they would be taking on. An offer that was refused.
"With the knowledge of published facts that the club had a trading loss of Â£1m and a future stadium cost requirement of Â£4m, why does Mr Everitt now express surprise at the club's financial requirements? (Smokescreen!)
"It has become clear that the current board have not introduced any new finance into the club and have even failed to fulfil their financial obligation, which is to give personal guarantees as required by the club's articles. Failure to conform to this within a period of seven days from the date of election (a period, which has already expired), means those persons are in default and are automatically disqualified from office. Furthermore the new board has failed to appoint a fifth director (the minimum requirement to form a quorum). Where is Mr Ramsden? This means the club does not have a board able to conduct it's business and technically the appointment of the new chairman, Doug Everitt, contravenes those articles too.
"Does Mr Everett thinks that the rules of the company's articles do not apply to his administration?
"Everybody knows 90 per cent of football clubs have trading losses, why does Mr Everitt think our club should be any different. In the last 10 years our club has only made one trading profit. The sale of players has been the only way the club could and has balanced the books.
"It defies belief that Mr Everitt can suggest the players are worth nothing. The valuation quoted in the press of Â£721,750, which doesn't even include Danny Butterfield or Jack Lester, just two of our prize assets, should not be conveniently removed from the balance sheet. (Smokescreen!)
"Mr Everitt suggests that the club is insolvent when really what he should be saying is that the club is completely without financial support from it's new directors or Dudley Ramsden.
"Their prolonged efforts to overthrow the former directors should have given sufficient time to form a plan to manage the future of the club. "What is the real motive of putting the club into administration? (Smokescreen!)
"Mr Everitt tells us that it is only by their efforts that they have saved the club! From what? Can he tell us exactly what is it they have done to save the club from a disaster, which did not exist until the new board took over? (Smokescreen!)
"Mr Everitt then states letters and requests from the club's bankers were ignored or not acknowledged, which is completely untrue. The previous board enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the club's bankers to which we believe the bank would support unequivocally.
"It remains to be said that the former directors are seeking advice about the libelous content of the statement by Mr Doug Everitt printed on Wednesday January 19, 2000.
"The commitment to Grimsby Town Football Club by the former board was unquestionable. We make it crystal clear to the current regime that if they have serious difficulties coping with the obligations imposed by being directors of a football club they ought to resign en bloc before any further damage is done.
"To that end, we repeat, we are still more than willing to retake the reins at Blundell Park with only one simple proviso; Mr Ramsden must give up his shareholding.
"They have no excuses left and nowhere to hide. Either they get on with the job in hand or get out before it is too late."
Statement from the Former Directors of Grimsby Town Football Club Mr W Carr, Mr S Bygott, Mr C Aspinall, Mr J Teanby, Mr M Rouse, Mr J Fenty.
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