The Grimsby Town FC


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We're In this Together!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 18/05/2001

AS THE DUST settles and the sign on the door says 'Business as usual' and the manager continues his rebuild of the team, perhaps now is the time to try to estimate what the repercussions are likely to be with the loss of the two main players on the board.

The board structure now stands at 5 with Dudley Ramsden, Peter Furneaux, Jim Arnell, Alec King and Peter Jackson.

One can assume that other candidates may be in the offing but in that regard one would hope that the people called to board duty have something to offer rather than being nominees to keep the numbers up.

Once the board has its full complement one would also hope that the drive would continue to secure a more positive outcome to the season than a repeat of the perpetual struggle to survive. If that is the objective then that has to be driven throughout the club from the direction of the boardroom.

Where is that drive going to come from? Without being judgemental it will not be easy to find someone willing to take over the driving duties bearing in mind what happened to their predecessors who were condemned retrospectively for saving the club but gaining instead of plaudits, the reproachful "we could have been in trouble if we had gone down"

Unfortunately, that was history by then and we never did go down. Perhaps the board should have remembered that inquests are for the dead, not the living, and Grimsby Town is alive in the first division.

But there again, nothing is as simple as it seems and if reports are accurate about the boardroom battles or unrest, the reasons may not have been as important to them as the outcome.

But whatever the outcome, and whoever was right or wrong, it presents a very challenging future for those in charge. The club is not paying its way. Even with the additional sources of income from TV, the website and its commercial department it has insufficient income to stave off the bailiffs and develop the playing squad at the same time if the attendance figures remain at their present level.

It may well be able to do one, but without additional income it cannot do both and remain viable. Now if we take on board the new chairman's statement regarding tighter control of the finances, then it is not difficult to see which area might be stretched for funds.

But with the news that Lennie Lawrence has been given the go ahead to continue his recruiting campaign to some degree, there is a glimmer of hope and it may fall upon Lawrence's head to save the day. If Lennie can build a team capable of sustaining the sort of performances seen over the last few games of last season it could be the turning point for the club.

It could prevent the usual desperate struggle for survival and, at the same time, create a renewed interest in the stay away fans of last season emphasising once again the crucial part we, the supporters, play in the overall success of the club. In that regard, the events over the last couple of days have hardly inspired them.

Notwithstanding that, the confidence of the fans boosted by retaining first division status must be carried on into the next season. We have to forget the past and look forward again because without the support of fans the club may as well close the doors before the season even starts.

There will be no more borrowing of next season's TV money to get us out of trouble. The club will have to live on its current income.

There have been some rumblings of disquiet among many fans who are fearful for the future and one cannot blame them for that. But the future of this club really does depend upon the confidence and the support of the fan base and if that does not improve during the next season, at best it might mean division two football the season after. At worst, administration or liquidation.

It must never be forgotten that the success of any club will always largely be in the hands of its supporters and in that regard we should not rely entirely upon the board to bring home the bacon.

It is too early to prophesise the future with the changes to the board but one thing is certain. If the whole team, including board, staff and supporters do not pull together, the future may be even more perilous than the past few weeks.

The board yesterday claimed we came close to going into administration if we had not survived the drop. If that is so, that threat is still there and will continue to be there until there is a change in the club's fortunes and, right at this moment in time, the only people who can change the club's fortunes in the short term are you. The fans!

We are all this together because withoutyou, there is no future!!

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