Question of the Week
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The Carr-Gate Tapes!
By: Bill Osborne
BILL CARR, the former chairman of Grimsby Town, was asked in this interview with Radio Humberside about his involvement with Grimsby Town and why he is opposed to the new share issue.
Mr. Carr and his colleagues Mr. Aspinall and Mr. Bygott, who are ex-board members, effectively blocked the share issue proposed by the current board.
What's going on with you and Grimsby Town Football Club at the moment? The club were trying to raise money through a new share issue, something you tried to do when you were at the club. As we understand it, you blocked it. Would that be accurate?
Carr: Well not me personally. I'd just like to say that I own less than 7% of the shareholding, so I'm not one of the major shareholders.
OK, but you were part of a group.
Carr: Well not a group at all. I think you have to realise that 40% of the shareholders voted against it. Now I'm not part of any group. I have a lot of friends, and I obviously have got still quite a lot of supporters but it's nothing personal with me. And this sort of power struggle that keeps repeating, it's certainly not on. There's no question of a power struggle. Mr Ramsden and his directors are in charge of the club and there's nothing we can do about it at any rate, if we wanted to that is.
You along with Mr Aspinall and Mr Bygott seem to be the major players in opposition as it were.
Carr: Only because we probably own 25% between us. But there's still another 15% at least of the other shareholders that oppose the share issue.
Why are you against the share issue?
Carr: Well I don't think it's in the best interest of Grimsby Town. I think we put this out a long long time ago for a share issue. We didn't get the share issue. We didn't moan and groan about it. We just went on with trying to do the best we could under the circumstances. I don't have to remind you that we made a profit 4 years out of 5 and then we finished 11th in our very last season. So we didn't do a bad job.
If you were for the share issue then, why are you against it now, because it would make money for the club?
Carr: Well it's not an issue of raising money for the club to my mind. It's about someone who wishes to secure full control of the club and I think that's not in the best interests of the club. It didn't work in the past and when I first joined the board it was exactly the same scenario as it is now - the club was disappearing down to the Third Division with no money basically.
As a man who's run the club, and who's been chairman of the club what's the solution because it looks like a crisis happening at Town?
Carr: It's nothing to do with me personally, any of my friends, or so-called friends. It is down to the club at the end of the day isn't it? It's up to the Chairman and the directors to get on with it. When we were there we gave the club a shot of money, we put in half a million pounds ourselves. And to my mind, and to my knowledge, despite what you hear, the directors are not putting money in.
So do you not want to get involved, or do you want to get involved?
Carr: Well that's a very deep question that isn't it? (laughs).
Well it's a yes-no answer isn't it?
Carr: Well it isn't - it's a mazy answer. There have to be circumstances in place before people wish to be involved. There are people out there I'm sure who would want to be involved with the club, or would put money into the club, but they won't in the present circumstances, and really I don't blame them for that.
Do you see it changing? Are you in a position to make change?
Carr: I'm personally not in a position to do anything. I'm just a shareholder.
Collectively with the three of you with 25% of the club.
Carr: Well even that's not enough. You need 51% to do anything. And when somebody already has 51% there's very little you can do about it.
We're talking about Dudley Ramsden aren't we?
Carr: Well we are, yes. And I think what's been so disappointing that large amounts of money has been promised to the club, that large commercial ventures were going forward, and I have to say that very little of that has come to any fruition whatsoever.
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