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A Perfect Day

By: Alan Readman
Date: 04/08/2002

THE man who first said, "Football's a funny old game", deserves his place amongst the great philosophers of our time.

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Just as all true GTFC supporters were about to reach for the revolver along comes one of those entirely unpredicted days and here we are, spirits lifted, morale boosted, eagerly awaiting the new season as if this grimmest of pre-seasons had never really happened at all.

Thursday's judgement against the League in the Carlton and Granada case seemed to most of us to have brought down the final curtain not only on the catalogue of depressing news which had blighted virtually every day since claiming First Division survival in April but also, most probably, on the club itself. Surely, we thought, the next day's bulletin would bring the news we most feared and least wanted to hear.

Ah, we of little faith! Even if the latest trials and tribulations in the Board Room had raised questions about their ability to weather the storm we should not have doubted the very perversity of football itself and its never-ending capacity to surprise and dumbfound. That roller-coaster of emotions which appeared to be plunging us down into the abyss on Thursday evening was catapulting us back towards the stars only 24 hours later.

Am I exaggerating? Probably. But who cares! Such days as Friday come along rarely so let us allow ourselves the luxury of hope. Someone has turned the light back on at the end of the tunnel. If it was Mr. Fenty, then good for him. Let him dance to his heart's content. If it wasn't Mr. Fenty, no matter, lets rejoice anyway.

Why? Well for one thing lets be glad that the Board was wise enough to budget for the probability that the ITV-Digital case would be lost and would not, as some of us more naive souls fondly hoped, result in a substantial windfall for new contracts and new players. But of course financial prudence is not the stuff of which dreams are made, not for the fans at least, so let's be glad too that there is still money enough for the likes of Steve Chettle and Darren Barnard. For make no mistake about it these are good players.

And that is the point. They are the quality of player who even 12 months ago might not have thought much of coming to Blundell Park. But now things have changed and a contract at Grimsby Town is better than nothing at all. Such players as these, and Terry Cooke too, now want to come here. Once here they will discover like others before them, perhaps to their surprise, that it is a good place to be. And Paul Groves and Co. will get the very best out of them as they have already done with others. So it follows that if this present crisis can be overcome then in a strange way the club may stand to gain not lose from the new age in football brought about by the collapse of TV revenue.

Of course there remains a fragility about the situation at the moment. To get through we need everyone especially at the top pulling together in the same direction. Above all the people of Grimsby must now show that they want a football club in the town. We need support as never before. Income from the turnstiles is now more vital than ever. So take a friend. Fill the ground. Lets help turn the tide and make this a new beginning not an end.

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