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Lennie Lawrence Warns Of The Future Changes

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 30/11/2001

IN a hard-hitting statement today Grimsby Manager Lennie Lawrence warned of changes that will come within the next 18 months saying Grimsby must retain their first division status.

Lennie, talking to the Grimsby Telegraph after The Football League issued a statement saying that they had agreed to investigate whether it is necessary to undertake a major restructuring programme.

At the meeting of the 72 League club chairmen in Nottingham, Bradford, Coventry, Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves, Manchester City and Birmingham - admitted they had held talks together about the creation of the breakaway Phoenix League.

But Lawrence says that any League based purely on riches would be 'morally wrong' and against everything that football stands for.

"What I believe passionately is that, maybe as soon as the year after next, there will be a second division of the Premier League. Call it what you like," said the Mariners boss.

"If you believe that, like I do, then what happens to our club in the next 18 months will determine our future for the next 10 years.

"It's morally wrong that clubs should be excluded on grounds other than football. It would be against the whole spirit of the game, but there will be people who want it."

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