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Another Blow For Town

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 10/07/2002

TOWN have suffered a new blow worsening their financial crisis as players refuse to take a pay cut. All 16 players have unanimously rejected the chairman's pleas for them to wait for their appearance bonuses.

The Grimsby Telegraph report that the 'no' vote comes as every aspect of the club is examined as part of the stringent new cost-cutting measures designed to save them from extinction. Club staff have already had to accept pay cuts of between five and 20 per cent.

But Manager Paul Groves and his players decided to give chairman Peter Furneaux's proposals a firm "No" after meeting the PFA.

It was hoped the players would accept deferred bonus payments as a way of keeping the club afloat following the collapse of ITV Digital. The Mariners will receive £364,000 from the revised deal with Sky TV, with £60,000 for every live game, far less than the club had expected and budgeted for and leaving a gaping hole in their resources.

"We're working with, and being guided by, our union to try and find a possible way to help the club through this short-term problem which has been caused by the reduced TV deal." said the club's PFA representative Paul Raven.

The Telegraph revealed that many of the players' deals are weighted towards appearance bonuses, with a lower basic wage, and it was felt they couldn't afford to wait until possibly Christmas before they picked up their backpay.

"We now know what the deal is and we can act accordingly." said Peter Furneaux, who said he agreed with Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan when he argued that first division clubs have been short-changed. "It's good for the lower league clubs, but the first division sides have lost a lot of money - £1.7-million." END

It seems that Peter Furneaux will have to make further changes to the budget plan to see Town through this season and it appears that the players are standing fast and not helping. Not that they can be blamed entirely as they too have mortgages and other commitments but one can assume they are not among the lower paid.

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