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Town to Kick Off Strike Action

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 10/11/2001

GRIMSBY TOWN'S players could spearhead any industrial action in the PFA's dispute with the Premier League over TV money. Strike action, which would take place during televised games, is threatened to commence on Friday November 23rd - the day on which Town play Burnley live on ITV Sport.

David Smith, Grimsby's PFA representative, told the Grimsby Telegraph: "If they [the PFA] say to go out on strike in any game from that weekend you'll find that the players will back them".

Although the Mariners' players would stand to lose out financially to the tune of £500 appearance money each, the staggering endorsement of strike action yesterday by the nation's professional footballers shows the strength of feeling that they are being short changed by the Premier League, and it would be a price Town's players would be willing to pay.

"It's not for us to get extra money and the players will actually lose money for not playing in the game," Smith revealed. Although a question mark remains over whether any strike action would be legal and the players might be in breach of their contracts, Smith believes their union would back them if it came to that. "The PFA won't put us at risk of losing our jobs," he said.

Although yesterday's vote by the country's players (in which 99% endorsed industrial action) means that strikes could take place within the next month, the PFA are understood to be prepared to wait until November 23 (the day of the Burnley game) before they instruct their members to "down tools".

The two parties are due to try and reach a compromise next week which, if it fails, will see the Premier League take out an injunction to prevent the strike action from going ahead.

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