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Ford Set to Leave

By: Paul Holmes
Date: 15/07/2002

MORE bad news following the departure of Danny Butterfield and Michael Boulding plus the expected departures of Phil Jevons and Player of the Year, Danny Coyne. 20-year-old defender, and Young Player of the Year, Simon Ford looks set to snub The Mariners for Wolves.

The Grimsby Sports Telegraph reports that the centre back, who is already on trial at Molineux, has already played his first game for Wolves and hopes to secure a deal with the West Midlands club. Paul Groves had hoped that Ford would return to Blundell Park in time for the club's pre-season tour of Scandinavia but that now seems unlikely with two unnamed clubs prepared to swoop if Ford fails to secure a deal with Wolves.

Ford seemed to heading for the football scrap heap following his release from the Charlton Academy, Town however signed the defender on a 12-month contract. Ford got his first taste of life as a professional in the Worthington Cup game against Lincoln, coming on as a late substitute Ford almost won the game with as his header thumped against the crossbar. Ford then had to wait until the Preston game in December for his next game. Ford was then a key player until dropping to the bench following the arrival of Andy Todd on loan.

Appearances from the bench followed including replacing John McDermott at right back against Norwich and Burnley, and in the later game Ford was handed the captaincy for the final minutes. Despite all this Ford seems set to follow the trend of most modern day footballers and show no loyalty to Grimsby leaving them with a small tribunal fee, which is believed to come under £100,000. Whilst Ford now has numerous big name clubs chasing his signature he should well remember that it was Grimsby that gave him a second chance.

The Sports Telegraph also revealed a disgraceful action by Ford's agent George Lawrence. Town chairman Peter Furneaux claims that the agent demanded a fee of £50,000 for the re-signing of Ford, after the rejection the fee was then reduced to £20,000. "There is still a deal on the table for him, but we refuse to pay the agent's fee which was originally £50,000 for arranging a deal with what was effectively our own player.

"The agent has since said his fee is now only £20,000. Would you pay it?".

Furneaux does offer some hope though by suggesting that players will have to take a hard look at the wages they currently demand. "There are a lot of players out there who will have to start being realistic and when the season gets closer I think that we will happen.

"That will help is because we know we can't compete with clubs like Wolves, Aston Villa or Crystal Palace. We just can't do it."

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