The Grimsby Town FC


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Weather Report

By: Todd Bontoft
Date: 06/11/2000

With all the floods and gales and rain buffeting the British Isles, it's perhaps topical to imagine the future of our club's new stadium plans as a weather report. It would read as a continual period of dull cold rainy days since 13 July - when the council rejected the amendment to the local plan

Since that fateful day only the very occasional glimmer of sunlight has lifted the gloom. The long-term forecast remains uncertain, with a brave person forecasting the future of the club itself, never mind the new stadium.

Just offshore is a major weather front bringing with it the possibility of the worst weather experienced since Mike Lyons was the manager. Should the stadium not materialise the viability of a football club losing reportedly around £15,000 a week does not look good. Despite Lennie Lawrence's fine work in turning around the on pitch fortunes of the team, any new found optimism is fragile at best. Should the council relent and the new stadium be built within a reasonable time-scale the wind will have completely changed direction. A high-pressure zone will have been pushed over North East Lincolnshire promising a fine Indian Summer, and perhaps an exciting and memorable period in the club's history would be about to unfold.

Elsewhere, the weather engulfing the future of Hull City, has improved a thousand fold. Many a natural disaster has befallen the Tigers in recent seasons. David Lloyd, Pestilence; financial difficulties, Famine; and a long summer storm witnessed the black-and-ambers locked out of Boothferry Park. The 'owner', David Lloyd, not even allowing the ground staff entry for cutting the grass, severely affecting the playing surface before the season's commencement.

Along with our own Blundell Park, Boothferry park has equally been renowned for an exceptional playing surface, winning many an award for the division's best pitch.

Since then, the weather has turned Californian, with the team playing well, but more importantly the support of Hull City Council. The council is forging ahead with plans to build and fully finance a new community stadium. Plans have been slightly down graded it's only - yes only - a twenty five thousand seated stadium. So while we live under a North East Lincolnshire imposed cloud, Hull City Council has brought a ray of sunshine to the supporters of their professional football club.

But Hull City Council has not stopped there. Only this week, to make things considerably easier for the rugby league club, Hull FC, the council has committed to purchasing their existing ground for £750,000. The rugby league club, can stay as tenants for as long as is necessary until the new community stadium is completed. Meanwhile, the rugby league club has a significant sum to invest in its long-term future. Once the rugby club vacates to the new stadium, the council will not be making a quick kill, by selling the stadium for development, but is to use the facility for more community sporting facilities.

Clearly, Hull City has a great deal of financial resources at its disposal following the sale of its telecommunications company. But it is ironic that a team, which in the last few seasons narrowly avoided dropping out of the football league, is so genuinely appreciated by its council. Whereas, Grimsby Town maintains more than creditable first division status and is more or less ignored by its council and gets little in the way of even tacit support.

As a Mariner, you expect the British climate to be replicated on the pitch, but it's troublesome to experience an avoidable depression off it.

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