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Facing the Facts

By: Justin Contegiacomo
Date: 15/12/2001

NO MATTER what we think, Grimsby Town Football club is a business and should be run as one. If the business goes bust there will be no Football.

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FACT - We have the smallest attendances in the division (little/low regular income).

FACT - GTFC is not attractive to big business or sponsors (the above being a factor). Evidence from Huddersfield, Wigan or Reading suggest that a new ground attracts new supporters and new sponsors. Support the New Stadium Campaign - it may help the club survive.

...The days of local businessmen running clubs are over...

FACT - The days of local businessmen running clubs are over, it's big business. Mr Ramsden and NISA Today may be big, but does he have the disposable income (cash to spend) on GTFC? You can not tell this just by the value/size of the company.

FACT - Clubs such as Sheff Wed (£15million - source: GET) and Coventry (£60million? - source Radio 5) to name just two are in debt. These clubs can in the short term afford to sustain these losses, as their assets (players/ground) are worth more than the debt. If they need to rise money they can sell their assets (players) to raise income or reduce the losses.

Take a look at Napoli (1990's) and Fiorentina - both clubs were on the verge of going bankrupt having massive debts and had to sell their assets (players) to survive - they only just managed it.

Coventry I believe have had to sell ownership of Highfield Rd to raise money, Notts Forest are under administration I believe and Paul Hart can not increase the size of the squad i.e. no loans, no free transfers, no triallists.

In my opinion, clubs such as Bradford, Sheff Wed, Sheff Utd, Wolves, and Coventry are pushing for this new 'Phoenix' league in order to get a bigger slice of the money cake, as they have debts sustained from living (or trying to achieve) the Premiership Dream. If a new league was to be set up, GTFC is NOT the first club that they would invite to join as there are far more marketable clubs out there for sponsorship deals etc.

In my opinion I see the following situation at GTFC - As a club GTFC is worth less than £10 million. If the club was to get £10, £15, £20 million in debt by buying players to try and live the dream we would have to sell our assets (players) to pay off the debt. They are not worth £10 million however, and therefore the club would be bankrupt, there would no longer be a GTFC. No "sugar daddy" or company would take on this debt for a small unfashionable fish in a big pond.

Although the loss of Broomes is a major one, the loss of GTFC would be far and away a greater one.

Do you agree or disagree? Answers on the Message Board.

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