Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
Peace? Or A Bad Move By Board?
By: Bill Osborne
IN THE ARTICLE in the Grimsby Telegraph on Tuesday November 27, relating to the "Boardroom Struggles" it was reported that Grimsby Town chairman, Mr. Peter Furneaux was seeking to end the factional differences that exist between members of the past board and the current board.
In that regard one can only praise the efforts of the chairman and the board who, in order to resolve some of the differences that existed, invited Mr. Fenty and Mr. Rouse to join the current board despite the fact that they were part of the previous board.
Grimsby is a small town, relatively speaking, and it is not good to have warring factions in the club, which has more important problems to resolve than shareholders differences.
In my own case, I supported the Ramsden, Huxford and Furneaux group in their successful bid to displace the Bill Carr faction and gain control of the club. I felt at the time that a change was needed and the Ramsden board would do a better job.
I have seen no reason to change my mind on that issue but, in fairness, I have to say that not everything that Bill Carr did was wrong. I have said on numerous occasions that Bill Carr was the chairman who initiated the new stadium project, and in light of the recent "Phoenix League" move, he obviously was aware of what might happen in the future which was why he proposed a seating capacity of 20,100. He was also the chairman of the club when we went to Wembley twice and who can forget that.
Mr. Carr has always stated that he would do "whatever is in the best interests of the club." So going by that statement, one can only assume that when Mr. Carr voted against the new share issue at the recent EGM, he must have done so because he believed it was NOT in the best interests of the club. Praise to him if that was the case.
But after the EGM, Mr. Furneax invited those who voted against the proposal to the boardroom to seek a way forward on the share issue. An invitation that Mr. Carr and his colleagues accepted.
Now, according to the report in the Grimsby Telegraph, discussions are going on with the likely outcome that Mr. Carr and his colleagues may be invited to rejoin the board. An event that will probably bring joy to some and despair to others.
Under normal circumstances, there would be no problem with them accepting the invitation, but if the offer to join the board was conditional upon them voting in favour of a new share issue, then that raises another problem.
If Mr. Carr and his colleagues voted against it in the first place because it was not in the best interests of the club, one would hope that they would not now change their minds in order to regain a seat on the board. That surely would not be in the best interests of the club.
On another matter, when Mr. Carr was chairman he set the entrance fee for new directors at 50,000 pounds. It would be fair therefore, to ask Mr. Carr that if he and his colleagues are returning to the board, are they bringing their 50,000 with them? The club could certainly do with it.
On the other hand, if it helps to dispel the factional differences, that always affect the voting at the AGM, which on occasions has prevented the club going forward, perhaps inviting the previous board members on to the current board may be the answer. If they can work cordially with each other to do what is best for the club it may prove to be the right thing to do.
But let us hope, that in the end, it was not too high a price to pay for peace.
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