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The Gravy Train Has Crashed!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 29/03/2002

GRIMSBY chairman Peter Furneaux, has confirmed, according to media reports, that unless the television deal can be successfully renegotiated, eight players may have to be released during the summer.

Last year a loss of £2,467,086 was reported despite £1,265,000 coming from ITV Digital.

But the staff costs were £4,345,000, which was £1,375,000 higher than the previous year and it is the ITV Digital money that is one of the root causes of the wages hike with players demanding more. But the Mariners are looking to break even this year due to the board's prudent handling of the balance sheet.

".…The gravy train has come to an end!…."

"When we negotiated our contracts with the players last year, we wrote in a bonus for them if we again retained our place in the First Division." he said.

If the ITV Digital deal is not settled and clubs get nothing Mr Furneaux said, "we would await the recommendations from the Football League, but we would have to renegotiate the contracts of the remaining players. There are a lot of players on the market and they know that the gravy train has come to an end."

On the Youth setup he said "No more television money would also have an impact on our youth scheme. We have a staff of 50, including coaches, administrators and players. This number might also have to be reduced. We might have to reduce our contribution to the youth set-up here."

The club get £162,632 in grants from outside bodies for the developmental area and the club contributes £102,211, excluding staff costs. But it is not expected that cuts to the youth development area will be wide reaching as the club knows that home grown players are less costly than the transfer market and one transfer can bring a huge amount of money to the club.

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