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Jan/Feb 2000 Review
By: Rob Sedgwick
After weeks of press speculation about Jack Lester, the Grimsby striker (pictured) finally moved to Nottingham Forest for Â£300K. Before he left "Super Jack" told The Fishy why he had made the move in a farewell message to the fans.
With the new board having taken office in December 1999, a war of words between the two factions was still rife during much of January in the press. The new board in a Press Statement revealed that the club's accounts were not in quite the order that the previous regime's chairman Bill Carr had portrayed during the preceeding months's AGM of the club's shareholders, claiming.
"The new Board having been in office just over one month have collectively spent hundreds of hours investigating the Company's current financial position and regret to have to reveal that the suggestion by Mr Carr that the Company's finances were in good order, could not be further from the truth."
The old board hit back in a Statement of their own asking the new board to resign, and questioning the new board's interpretation of the figures.
"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." the old regime responded in their statement
On the pitch, the new millennium celebrations continued for the Mariners throughout January, and long into the following month, with Town winning four and losing just two of their first six league games of 2000. The most notable of the victories in January was a memorable 1-0 triumph against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Events in the boardroom continued to dominate the news off the pitch in February with first the announcement of four new directors to join the board with 'immediate effect'. "The additional directors will be making a 'substantial investment' in the club said Town Vice Chairman Bryan Huxford at the time.
The following day the club announced that former manager Lawrie McMenemy (pictured) would be returning to the club in an "advisory capacity". "Big Mac" told the press of his appointment as follows:
"The board has asked me if I can help in a consultancy sort of way. It's nice to stay in football in some sort of capacity and I'd always be prepared to help Grimsby in any way I can.
"I don't want to stand on anyone's toes. I think there's a good manager there in Alan Buckley who is doing a good job", said the man who led the Mariners to the fourth division championship in 1971/72, in what was the Geordie's first managerial post.
The news prompted great joy in thousands of Mariners fans, and great sorrow to Grimsby manager Alan Buckley who hit out at the board very publicly in the press at the time, saying furiously: "Alan Buckley doesn't need a football consultant and if people think that I do then they don't begin to understand one per cent of me."
The announcement, as it happened, turned out to be slightly premature, as McMenemy had not yet decided whether or not to take up the post, as he explained in this Real Audio Interview.
On the pitch, of the four matches played in February three were relegation "six pointers", all of which the Mariners critically (as it turned out later) triumphed in, against Swindon (1-0), Port Vale (2-0) and Crystal Palace (1-0). The first league defeat of the Millennium finally came on the 19th of February in the form of a 3-0 defeat at Norwich in front of the Sky TV cameras.
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