The Grimsby Town FC


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Time To Think Big!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 10/01/2003

GRIMSBY Town FC chairman, Peter Furneaux, stated recently that the club were hoping to release the shares held in limbo to fund the purchase of new players. But the current proposal is a half hearted attempt to solve the club's financial woes with the funds raised gone in less than a month.

I have been a long time advocate for the release of the shares and over the last 10 years have been writing to the newspapers, the club and shareholders calling for their release, without much success.

But the situation has changed now and the board are finally to make an appeal to the shareholders to release the shares. But at what price to the current shareholders?

Any new issue effectively reduces the percentage holding of current shareholders and the value of the shares they hold, and if the shareholders are to be asked to make that sacrifice then they should be making the proposition worth it!

The current proposal to shareholders is too high a price to pay and the risks too great!

".…Grimsby Town FC cannot afford to be thinking small!…."

The gaining of a mere £340,000 in a new share issue just to sign Michael Boulding, (that was the purpose stated) is not good value for money. Not by a long way and shareholders would be mad to vote in favour of the proposal.

But there is an alternative. Mr Furneaux says he wants the community to help the club. Then give them the opportunity! If Grimsby Town Football Club needs a share issue to ease the financial problems, then let us have an effective one.

Grimsby Town FC cannot afford to be thinking small. It is time we started looking further than the end of the month and this share issue proposal gives the club an excellent opportunity to do that. If they can get it right!!

There is an old adage in fundraising that 'the best time to raise money is when you need it and if you need it, you will have to ask for it.' That still holds true today and there can be no doubt that Grimsby Town needs money. But they will not get it unless they have the courage to ask for it. And they will only get what they ask for!! There is no point in asking for 20 pence if you need 20 pounds!

Therefore the board should seek the consent of 75% of shareholders to increase the share issue of the club to either 1 million or 2 million shares and place them on the open market. The minimum investment should be reduced to either £10 or £20 thereby giving the man in the street, the fans and supporters an opportunity to support and at the same time making a serious effort to raise sufficient funds to carry the club forward further than 4 weeks.

".…we need courage and good leadership!…."

Let them launch a million or two million pound campaign through the share issue and even though that will reduce the percentage shareholding of current shareholders, they will be compensated by holding shares in a club that means to go somewhere, thereby increasing the value of the shares they hold. That would be a proposition worthy of consideration of the shareholders.

What we need right now is courage and good leadership and that leadership should come from the boardroom. As now is the time they need the money, now is the time to ask for it. But pussyfooting around and seeking to raise enough to cover a month's expenditure is not the way.

Shareholders should refuse to consider any proposal that will take us no further than the end of the street. The time and opportunity has arrived to get this club going places! Nothing less will do and it is the board's job to lead us there.

They now have the opportunity! It is time they got on with it!

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