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Will you attend any Checkatrade Trophy games next season?

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Town Will Be Fighting To Keep Players!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 22/04/2002

A REPORT in the Grimsby Telegraph today indicates that the Mariners have a fight on their hands to retain their star players. With Bradford City ready to make a swoop for Simon Ford and Leicester City making Boulding an offer he will find hard to refuse.

The Mariners are in a terrible situation as they wait for some sign that the ITV Digital fiasco might be resolved.

Lennie Lawrence at Cardiff who knows Ford well is also in the hunt for him and it looks as if Town might lose one of their best youngsters.

Newcastle are also interested in him and Grimsby Town just cannot compete with the offers being made for him.

Ford is reported one of the favourites to scoop the Young Player of the Year award tonight.

He cannot leave the club on a Bosman as he is under 24 but his contract does expire in the Summer and a fee would have to be set by a tribunal.

Paul Groves told the Telegraph "The ITV Digital deal is the crux of anything we do. That factor, and waiting on our status, have been the two reasons we have had to wait to do anything. We've spoken to Simon and told him we want to keep him, and we're in talks with his agent."

"But, again, it's a question of how much we can commit to when we don't know how much we've got."

The Mariners will probably make Ford an offer sometime this week.

Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock has confirmed that Mick Boulding is his target man but he too has to wait for his board to give him the funds saying "Boulding would attract anyone at this level, but this is a financial matter."

Leicester City however are reported to be offering to triple Bouldings wages.

Late News West Ham are reported to be making a move for Boulding.

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