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The Players' Future!

By: Richard Lord
Date: 25/05/2002

THERE has been much talk this week surrounding the club's finances and the effort to cut the annual £3m wage bill in half, but it appears the 14 under-contract players are unwilling to renegotiate. Who are the 14 players and who are those who already face an uncertain future?

David Smith and Bradley Allen have effectively been given free transfers by the club, and it looks as though Mike Jeffrey will be heading in the same direction. For Wayne Burnett and Ben Chapman the future is uncertain and much of their hope will rest on the outcome of the Board's rescue package.

It has been reported that Danny Butterfield has been offered reduced terms by the club but at this point it is unclear if the youngster is prepared to take a drop in wages. Only Simon Ford and Mick Boulding have had concrete offers put on the table by the club, and both have yet to make decisions on their future.

However, there are other players who have been forgotten - the likes of Chris Bolder and Graham Hockless, who joined the club last summer on one-year deals. They are likely to be at the bottom of the retained list and it is their future that hangs in the balance, not just at Grimsby but also in the profession.

Those are the out-of-contract players, but one youngster who is still under contract is Chris Thompson. He was given a two-year deal last August. He, along with Danny Coyne, John McDermott, Tony Gallimore, Alan Pouton, Stuart Campbell, Paul Groves, Steve Croudson, Steve Livingstone, Paul Raven, Stacy Coldicott, Menno Willems, Jonny Rowan and Phil Jevons are the 14 players who are reportedly refusing to budge on their current deals at the club.

If the players do go ahead and refuse to take a pay-cut, then it is possible the administrators will come in and most of them will be made redundant - if the example of Bradford is followed.

What it would result in is a squad full of youngsters and an uncertain future in the First Division. A team without Coyne, Pouton, Campbell and Coldicott would surely be heading towards the drop.

So the players have to look at the situation carefully. As it has already been pointed out, they either take a 50% pay-cut and continue to play for Grimsby Town Football Club, or they refuse and end up having their contracts terminated anyway.



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