The Grimsby Town FC


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Wilko - Club's Official Statement!

Date: 31/05/2003

AGAIN, after the recent negative publicity with regards to the release of Paul Wilkinson, the Board wish to clarify a few facts with regard to this matter.

Paul Wilkinson was a part of the management structure of three last season, with a remit, among other duties, to scout for players and quality loan signings. Along with the other management, Paul has worked tirelessly, but unfortunately their efforts were unable to stop the Club being relegated.

Going forward, the Board has decided to provide Paul Groves with a budget to build a squad of up to 25 players. We anticipate 10 new players will join before pre-season training starts, with others to follow in the season. This hopefully gives stability early on in the season, and allows our young management team to focus on coaching the squad.

We genuinely believe that because we started last season with insufficient players & therefore relying on loan players to supplement the squad, this distracted the efforts of the management team, which ultimately contributed to our relegation to Division 2. Selecting a reasonable number of players to sign before the season starts, clearly reduces the need for a third member of a management team, with a remit of scouting loans & further players. For this reason, after serious consideration and debate, Paul was released.

It must be remembered that Grimsby Town cannot afford luxury and it is irresponsible to spend what the Club clearly cannot afford. Already, we have had excellent support from fans purchasing shares and season tickets, and it is the Board's intention to spend the money wisely on players, not additional support staff.

The board has every faith in our young management team and hopefully with a full squad in place before the start of the season, they will have more time to spend on the training pitch to coach the players, without unnecessary distractions.

Paul Groves, Graham Rodger and not to forget NEIL WOODS - Youth team Coach -are all excellent coaches, with top FIFA 'A' licence qualifications. The first class GTFC Youth Development Programme and School of Excellence are still progressing very well, with over £150,000 of funding per annum, invested in the youth of the club. Hopefully, more new 'young' faces will progress and be joining the first team squad next season. Please be aware, we have not cancelled the reserves or downgraded any Youth/Reserve football as we see this as an integral part of the Club's future.

Finally, other than in the Premiership, we do not know of any other team who have (not including Youth Directors & Coaches etc) three members of a football management team.

Thankyou for your understanding, and continued support.

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