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Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?



GTFC Official Statement

Date: 31/03/2003

GRIMSBY Town Chairman Peter Furneaux has issued an official statement on behalf of the club regarding the Mariners deadline day attempt to bring John Oster to Blundell Park.

The statement is in direct response to the Grimsby Telegraph's reporting of the Oster bid, and this is the letter, in its entirety, which has been sent to Grimsby Telegraph Editor Michelle Lalor.

Dear Michelle,

Re: John Oster - Your publication 26th March 2003 onwards

Further to our conversation of 28th March and your insistence on the
accuracy of your facts and that your paper reflects fans opinions,
we wish to make the following points.

Telegraph - John Oster can leave Sunderland for free

Facts - Upon changing their Manager Sunderland advised they required
a 150,000 fee.

We are not allowed to speak to the player until an agreement is
reached with the club. We ascertained that the player would not
agree unless he was paid at least that which he was paid as a
Premiership player. He had a contract with Sunderland that was worth
200,000 and was entitled to payment if the contract was broken by

Sunderland did not wish to pay this money.

GTFC having lost 2.7m through ITV Digital and being subsidised by
the Directors to the tune of 1m, continued to negotiate to get the
best deal for Grimsby Town Football Club whilst at the same time not
alerting competitors. On transfer deadline day, Sunderland agreed a
total fee of 55,000, so we advised them to draw up a contract and
spoke to John who was training at the Millennium Stadium with the
Welsh National Team.

We offered to match his present terms but he turned us down.

Telegraph - Hard up Mariners won't fund bargain fee.

Fact - Incorrect.

Telegraph - The Mariners refuse to cough up the minimal cash - a
move that will infuriate the Mariners faithful.

Fact - Grimsby Town Football Club must obtain the best terms it can
in all aspects of the business in order for it to survive and not
enter administration, as other well supported clubs have done.
The Grimsby Telegraph tells us that our low gates are due to our
league position, but we would point out the club below us has an
average gate three times higher than ours.

On discussing the comment column we are told by a Telegraph
employee: "it is not up to the Telegraph to promote Grimsby Town."

We put it to you that it is the Telegraph that is striking a
psychological blow to the players, fans etc and not Grimsby Town.

Your reporters have access to the Management of the club but chose
not to check. Perhaps it may have spoilt a good story!

You are inciting fans against the club, not reflecting opinion,
purely to fill column inches.

The Telegraph supported the club last year in difficult times but
since a change of hierarchy at your paper, the club does not appear
to have your support this season. We have offered to meet in order
to discuss a way forward to preserve the club, which most people see
as a community asset, and look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,

P W Furneaux

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