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Troubled Times!

By: Richard Lord
Date: 21/05/2002

GRIMSBY Town Chairman Peter Furneaux has issued a stern warning to the players effectively saying they take a pay-cut or the club goes into administration. 14 players' contracts will have to be re-negotiated and the club have contacted the PFA over the matter.

Grimsby Town must halve their annual £3m wage bill and this can only be achieved if the current 14 players under contract agree to re-negotiate their deals. If the club had got relegated last season clauses in the players' contracts would have activated and they would have had to accept reduced offers anyway.

"We don't just want to get rid of 14 players. We want to bring in other players too so that we can still compete in the first division," said Furneaux, speaking after an emergency board meeting.

"But we have approached the PFA to discuss how we can re-negotiate the current contracts of those players. We have lost 55 per cent of our income and we can't afford to pay those.

"The facts are simple. Even the fourteen players who are currently contracted earn in excess of what the club can afford. Players contracts need to be renegotiated in order that more players can be brought in within the financial boundaries available and Grimsby Town can fulfil its fixtures next season.

"We are not discussing putting the club in administration. We are discussing ways to make sure that we stay in business. We want to maintain the highest class of football possible we can. We are now looking at strategies that will make that happen.

"We still want to have a team that people will want to watch and that can compete again." But this process is thought to be met with disagreement from the squad players, as one unnamed Mariner revealed to the Grimsby Telegraph.

"The only solution is for all the players to be sold - but who have Grimsby Town got that are of any transfer value in today's market?" said the player. "I can't see any players agreeing to take a cut and I can't believe this has happened.

"The club must be in a real terrible situation. I can't see how it's going to work. Even if it does, what sort of frame of mind will the players be in at the start of next season knowing they have that hanging over their heads?

"We've known it for a long time, but effectively every player is for sale at the club. But there isn't a transfer market out there. I can't believe the change from the euphoria at the end of the season at the last home game when we stayed up, to what we're finding now," he concluded.



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