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What Is The Real Situation Regarding Oster?

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 27/03/2003

IT is not surprising that the Grimsby Town fans and supporters are up in arms over the latest developments regarding John Oster. What appears to be happening is that the board have refused to cough up a relatively small amount of money to sign him.

If that is the true situation, then the fans have every right to be questioning the motives and capability of the board.

But the question has to be asked. Is this the full story?

One can be assured that the Grimsby Telegraph have first hand information and although not revealing their sources, appear to be speaking with knowledge about this development.

But there must be more to it than that surely?

Not even the Grimsby Town board would throw away an opportunity to sign a player, on a free transfer, who could be a significant contributor to surviving in the first division, especially as it has now been revealed that relegation would cost the club almost a million.

The club may issue a statement putting their side of the story but until then, there are many unanswered questions.

Does Oster WANT to stay at Blundell Park? If he does, then at what price?

Does Oster really want to stay at Blundell Park? Does he consider his future would be secured at a club struggling to survive in the first division? Or is he just grateful to be given the opportunity to be in the shop window and helping us at the same time?

Could it be that the transfer costs are not the stumbling block but the wages demand? It has already been suggested that Lennie Lawrence is interested in him, and if that is the case, then they will be offering him a lot more than Grimsby Town can afford.

Neither Oster or his agent have made any comments so far, but one would expect that his agent would be looking at getting the best deal he can for his player and that "best" deal would not be at Blundell Park based on the cash available and the wages cap currently in force.

So the decision could have been made based on two main issues. The strength of Oster's desire to stay at Grimsby and, the remuneration package. On the previous occasions, when Oster has returned to Sunderland, he has not made any loud noises or pleas to return to Blundell Park. He has shrugged his shoulders and departed.

One cannot blame him for that. These are torrid times not only for football clubs but for players too and Oster, above all other considerations, must look to protect his future in football.

He has been an inspiration at Grimsby during his loan spells and it may be that we might end up thanking him for his contribution but seeing him depart for greener pastures.

But that's life! That's football!

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