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Question of the Week

Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?



Where To Now?

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 27/11/2002

WITH the departure of Dudley Ramsden and Colin Graves from the board of Grimsby Town Football Club and John Fenty holding the majority of the shares in the club, the future seems a little unclear. So where do we go now?

Regardless of the disagreements in the boardroom or people's opinions of Ramsden and Graves, the fact remains that they did put their money into the club and their departure may well present a problem in financial terms.

But John Fenty is a businessman and he must have known the effects that the resignations would have on the clubs fortunes. So one can assume that he was prepared to take the risk of funding the club on his own unless he has support from sources not yet revealed.

He will need them too. At a time when the club is pleading poor and manager Paul Groves is managing on a shoestring budget, it is amazing that the club have suddenly found the wherewithal to pay off £450,000 of director's loans. Maybe if they had found the funds sooner, we might not have lost Kabba or at least could have signed other players.

Are we to assume then that Mr Fenty is carrying the burden of paying off those loans, or has the club plunged deeper into debt to pay them off? That may be made clearer when the official announcement is made. But that question needs an answer.

Now unless Mr Fenty is planning to carry the financial burden alone, he will need to find others willing to invest in the club and over the last few months a number of prospects have been approached and only one has accepted the offer and joined the board so far.

There are rumours circulating presently, that he has already secured an assurance of significant financial support from an affluent source. If that is so, it will be good and it may place the club in a better financial position to face the future challenges.

But if that rumour turns out to be no more than that, then he will have to look elsewhere. Fenty and Rouse were both members of the board during the Bill Carr era so one could assume that he may call upon his old friends to rejoin the board.

That does not present a problem as far as directors are concerned. Someone has to manage the club, but during the whole period of the Bill Carr reign, no serious money was ever made available to the club except for personal guarantees for the bank.

Bill Carr's associates Mr Aspinall and Bygott never made the headlines through their financial support of the club either so unless there has been a change in these gentlemen's fortunes, we may not gain much in terms of money.

Mr Rouse, the other major shareholder, appears to be as much use as a chocolate teapot in terms of financial support so no point in looking in his direction either.

But one thing is for sure. John Fenty is no fool so he must have a plan for the future and it will be interesting to see what he comes up with. Although I am personally sorry to see the departure of Dudley Ramsden and Colin Graves, we have to face the facts of life and we now have a complete change in the major shareholding of the club.

It remains now to see if Mr Fenty has the ability to lead the club into the future and what the financial situation is going to be. It is up to him now to set the pace and it is only right that he should be given a fair go to achieve his aims for the club.

The next few months will tell. Let us hope he can produce the goods. It will make a change from the constant financial problems that are hindering our progress. If not, we will be back to square one and wondering what all the fuss was about!

These are exciting days at Grimsby Town Football Club!

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