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Chairman Peter Furneaux Speaks Out.

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 15/02/2002

TOWN Chairman Peter Furneaux today called for the whole community to get behind the Club for the final run-in to the end of the season. "Perhaps people do not realise what this football club means to the area," he said. "It puts Grimsby on the map every time football is mentioned in the media."

"But make no mistake, life is tough at this level. We are competing against some of the biggest clubs in the game - such as Wolves, Birmingham, Manchester City and Coventry.

"We are at least a division higher than other massive clubs - Stoke City, Cardiff, Bristol City and Swindon. Yet we are surviving on lower gates than some clubs in the Third Division. We have defied the odds for more than a decade, but in today's money-oriented game the sums don't stack up."

The club will spend over £5million this season. Gate receipts are £1.3 million. The club is currently being financed by the Directors to the tune of approximately £1million, which is something that the majority of supporters will not be aware."

The Chairman continued, "The Board backed Lennie Lawrence with more money than any Town manager in history in an attempt to push the club up the league. He brought in many players. The long term results were not satisfactory. Paul Groves has a tough task - of that there is no doubt - but the points are there to play for and now is the time when we have to ask the people of this area if they want a football club playing at this level."

"We expect Sheffield United to bring 2,200 fans - and they have little to play for!"

While other clubs in the first division charge £20 a seat, this weekend the Mariners play their great rivals from South Yorkshire, and have a scheme in place to encourage more families to attend. Two juniors will be admitted free with every full paying adult in all areas of the stadium. That means that for £15, three people get to see the game e.g. father and two sons or alternatively, mum and dad can bring up to four children with them for just £30.

Mr Furneaux emphasised, "People may disagree with this or that, but football is all about opinions, on and off the field. There is no place for petty disagreements now. The club's first division future is at stake."

"It is time for everyone to pull together and show the nation just what this community can do when faced with a battle against the odds," he proclaimed. "Many outside of the area have condemned the Mariners to relegation already and the "Grimsby don't belong in the first division brigade" would not shed a tear if this became a reality. As the management and players fight all the way, will YOU be part of the glorious struggle?"



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