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Wages Cuts Contributed to Relegation - Groves

By: Tony Hamilton
Date: 03/01/2004

Last week chairman Peter Furneaux told a fans' forum that four players were earning £17,000-a-week between them. But Paul Groves denies that. The four players were thought to be Stuart Campbell, Alan Pouton, Phil Jevons and Mick Boulding.

Chairman Peter Furneaux told the Grimsby Telegraph the same amount must be shed from the weekly £41,000 wage bill before the club could be self-sustainable.

But Groves says the cuts have already taken place and that the wage bill is already in the 'mid 20s', as demanded by the board as it has been almost quartered since he took over when it stood at £81,000-a-week.

"We are virtually where we need to be, bar the three or four who are on the ITV contracts" said Groves. "We are down to the mid-20s and just about where we need to be. In 18 months we've gone from £80,000 a week to mid-20s. We've got to get to £21,000 a week by next year. We need to quarter the wage bill and we've almost done that. We've almost reached the target and we've slashed the bill down."

"There aren't four players earning £17,000 a week at this football club."

Groves believes that the cuts made in the playing, coaching and scouting staff played a part in the club's relegation to the second division. "It's been a tough year and it was always going to be. You look at how the wage bill has come down and that has an impact on the field."

"You look around the Football League and a lot of clubs will have to make those adjustments. I wouldn't have thought many will be doing it on the same scale as here because they'll be getting more income than this club can generate."

"We've had to make severe adjustments and there aren't many in the league that have done that who are flying high. We had to come in line with what the club could afford to pay. The survival of the club had to come first. Such a big drop in wages was always going to have an impact on the field and an effect on the number of experienced players that you can have within your squad."

"But those cuts all had to happen for the club to survive. The biggest area to make the savings was on the field, but other areas suffered too. Paul Wilkinson leaving and those sort of things were done to make the club viable. The scouting network is another part that has been affected."

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