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Shock Hux Takeover Bid!

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 22/06/2001

FORMER Grimsby Town Vice Chairman Bryan Huxford is attempting to gain overall control of GTFC by buying shares in the company from existing investors. Mr Huxford, who was sensationally forced to resign in a board meeting last month, has lined up a merchant bank consortium to back his plans.

"I am prepared to buy all the shares that are out there" Huxford, who has major investors lined up to inject some much-needed funds into the club's coffers, told Radio Humberside. Explaining the position which the consortium waiting in the wings were currently in, the former Town director said: "They are very, very keen, but they'll only work for one party working for one benefit and that can show a way forward for the club.

"This isn't me playing games - I want to buy the football club and take it up to the next level. It will not work in this day and age with a committee running it. There has to be one boss and he has to be prepared to gamble to move the club on." said Huxford on the job of holding the GTFC reins.

The club's share capital is believed to currently stand at a mere £270K, with any move to float new issues onto the market having been blocked by the "old" board whenever a proposal has come before a meeting of the investors in the company.

Huxford's consortium is prepared to pay over the odds for shares in the club, even though he claims that their nominal face value of £1 per share does not reflect the club's true value in the current climate. "The balance sheet suggests they ain't worth a pound but I am prepared to go above their face value." explained the ex-Vice Chairman. "This is a totally serious offer and it's on the table right now. I really don't know what the directors will do but I urge them to think carefully about what is in the best interests of the football club."

The two factions amongst the club's backers have fought over the years for outright control of the Mariners' boardroom, but with neither group having the two-thirds majority required to pass any major resolutions. The situation over the past few years has ground to a frustrating stalemate of peripheral interest to the ordinary fan, with neither party apparently prepared to budge to accommodate the other.

In the past eighteen months alone there have been three chairmen and the situation at the club at times has resembled a game of musical chairs. The entire board memorably resigned en masse in December 1999, when the now-departed Huxford and Everitt came to the helm, only to be forced to quit themselves just eighteen months into the job.

In the event of Huxford's takeover bid failing due to the personalities involved, the Grimsby-based businessman appealed to other interested parties to attempt to unify the club with a common aim and put aside the vendettas of the past.

With the club just a season away from moving to a brand new all-seater stadium on the outskirts of the town at Great Coates, and the team surviving against the odds last year in the First Division with a new manager in charge for the vast bulk of it, stability both on and off the pitch is currently at a premium.

Whether Huxford's daring new move to buy outright control of the club will put an end to the squabbles of the past remains to be seen.

What do you think of Hux's plans for the club? Replies to the Pontoonites Message Board

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