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Summer Chaos For Groves!

By: Tony Hamilton
Date: 22/01/2003

THIS summer Grimsby Town face a crisis as twelve of the squad approach the end of their contracts. Four big names fall under this as club captain John McDermott and three other regular first teamers Tony Gallimore, Stacey Caldicott, and Steve Livingstone reach the end of their terms.

With the purse strings tight at Blundell Park, manager Paul Groves has been unable so far to make any offers to the twelve players.

The gaffer is desperate to make offers to the out of contract players to stop the exodus that happened with Bradley Allen, Ben Chapman, Wayne Burnett, Danny Butterfield and a few of the other squad players, but these players will have to accept a wages cut if they are to be offered a contract by Grimsby Town

Since ITV Digital pulled out last summer, the club has a self-imposed salary cap and these players could be facing a 50 per cent cut in their wages. Of the present squad, Danny Coyne, Darren Barnard, Stuart Campbell, Alan Pouton, Mick Boulding, and Johnny Rowan have contracts that finish at the end of next season

The problem with the squad last summer caused Groves big problems at the start of this season but they fall into significance with the problems he faces this time around. With the senior players that play 30 games, replacing them that play the same amount of games will out weigh the price it will take to keep them at the Club.

The other players like Terry Cooke, Georges Santos and Steve Chettle have shorter deals that are up in the summer while the younger squad members like Stevie Croudsen, Iain Ward face anxious waits for the talks to open.

Thirtysomethings Livingstone McDermott Chettle and Gallimore will be hoping that they will get the security of a two-year contract that would take them to the end of their footballing career. Paul Raven, after being injured on and off for two and a half years, is also waiting for talks to see if he will be kept on.

Steve Livingstone, if he stays, will be entitled to a testimonial as he signed for Town from Chelsea in October 1993

Under the Bosman ruling the players over 24 can move to another club for nothing when their contracts are up, but these rules are different for the younger players. Players under 24 only become free agents if they are not offered an equivalent, or improved written offer by the third Friday in May

Last year Danny Butterfield left on a free transfer despite being 22, as Town missed the deadline to offer him a new contract. If other clubs offer contracts to the younger players before the May cut off point then they must pay compensation to the club where they got the player from.

Here is the full list of out of contract players

Chris Bolder
Steve Livingstone
Steve Chettle
John McDermott
Stacy Coldicott
Paul Raven
Terry Cooke
Georges Santos
Steve Croudsen
Chris Thompson
Tony Gallimore
Iain Ward

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