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Dear Mr Rouse!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 03/09/2002

I am not, in real terms, what you would call a betting man. I do however have a weekly flutter on Oz Lotto and I have been known to play the odd game of bingo. I also had the pleasure once of driving past the Star Casino in Sydney. As for those steeds of the turf, I know very little.

Home > Features > Dear Mr Rouse!

But I do know what a horse's arse is, which brings me to the point.

First, may I offer my heartiest congratulations to you on your recent elevation to the ranks of the "major shareholders" of Grimsby Town Football Club via your acquisition of Mr John Fenty's shares.

Having now joined that elite group of shareholders of the club, you will no doubt be aware that, in your new role, there will also come some expectations.

There will be some expectation from your fellow board members, the fans and supporters that you will actively seek to drag the club from the edge of the financial precipice on which it is currently standing, by injecting some significant capital into the club in the form of gifts or loans.

After all, that appears to be the criteria you are setting, in the current disagreement within the boardroom.

My understanding is that you are calling for the resignation of Dudley Ramsden, because he has decided that he will not put further funds into the club for the time being. (It would be fair here to remind you that Mr Ramsden and his family have put more money into the club over the last 20 years or so than any other shareholder or director and is one of the two directors who have kept the club afloat this last two seasons.)

Although one can understand your disappointment with his decision, one would hope that this is not a case of the 'kettle calling the pan black' and that you will shortly be announcing your own significant contribution to the club's coffers, because up to now, there has been no announcement that you have put one penny into the club since your appointment to the board!

To assist you in this, I can offer you exclusive front-page space on The Fishy to make your announcement, in order to give it the widest possible coverage, and I personally am looking forward in eager anticipation, to passing on your exciting news to Mariners fans and supporters.

You might also, if I may ask, clear up some confusion regarding your recent share acquisitions. According to reports, Mr Fenty sold you his shares in order to donate the proceeds of the sale to Mr Groves's war chest to help him strengthen the squad before the commencement of the new season.

A most laudable action - if those reports were accurate.

Unfortunately, there appears to be differing opinions regarding the alleged transaction, with some of the cynical amongst us, God bless 'em, actually believing that the transaction was just a ploy to allow you to gain Mr Fenty's shares in order for you to vote against Mr Ramsden, as Mr Fenty, by agreement, is prevented from doing so.

Not for one moment am I suggesting that board members of Grimsby Town Football Club would indulge in such practises because, as Mark Antony once said, "Are they not all honourable men?" and I, like Mark Antony, am just passing on the bad news.

However, if the cynics are correct in their beliefs, it seems you will need some support as you do not personally hold enough shares to unseat anyone from the board and there have already been suggestions that you might call upon Messrs. Carr, Aspinall and Bygott to join you in your efforts and one could be forgiven for assuming that the three aforementioned might seek, in return for their support, a place on the board.

Now for some people that prospect would be unpalatable. But not to me!

Because I am sure that invitations to join the board would not be made to people who cannot bring sufficient funds with them to repay Mr Ramsden's loans, and hopefully, some additional funds with which to assist the club.

On the other hand, if you do become the initiator of the move to oust Mr Ramsden, then perhaps the onus should be upon you to fulfil the obligation to repay those loans and, in that regard, I would like to assist you by suggesting that you could possibly obtain the money from the same source from which you obtained your "newly acquired funds" to purchase Mr Fenty's shares.

As I mentioned previously Mr Rouse, I am not a betting man. But I am willing to venture that only a horse's arse would bet on that happening!!


Bill Osborne

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