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New Stadium U-Turn!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 22/06/2001

PETER FURNEAUX, Town's new chairman, in a surprise announcement today said that the current plans for the proposed new stadium at Great Coates could be changed to a smaller capacity ground which could be extended as the need arises.

The proposal would be to reduce the 20,100 capacity to one of 14,000 with Peter Furneaux saying "When you have a fan base of just 4,500 that seems a practical and realistic thing to do."

The stadium proposal is currently awaiting a decision from the Minister of the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions after being approved by NE Lincs Council. The club has been in touch with the ministry and expects to get a decision on the proposal soon.

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that should they get the go ahead for the project the club will hold talks with the developers about a smaller stadium.

".…We have to do things that are practical and reasonable for Grimsby Town.…."

The original plan which was initiated by former chairman Bill Carr was a 20,100 seater (estimated to cost approximately £12 million) which was thought to be the minimum requirement for teams to enter the premier league.

The board are concerned about the financial strain on the club of such a big project and they are concerned that the club might not be able to finance the borrowings necessary without a big increase in gates.

"For some time now successive boards and managers have tried to get the gate figures up and we will continue. But we have to do things that are practical and reasonable for Grimsby Town," said Mr Furneaux.

"Currently, our wage bill is two and a half times our gate income and we have to look to save money elsewhere to pay that."

"There is not a big pool of money that we could either spend on a new stadium or new players. We are looking at making savings all through the club so that we can service the wage bill," he stressed.

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