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Board Response To Fans Calling For Their Heads!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 20/01/2004

THE Grimsby Telegraph have today outlined the position at Grimsby Town Football Club should the board resign. Some fans have been calling for the heads of the board but the facts are that they are keeping the club afloat.

The Telegraph story: Grimsby Town FC is being kept afloat by its board members as the club finds itself in a desperate financial situation. The directors, stung by criticism from the fans, today pointed out that the club would go under if they left and withdrew their personal financial support.

The board as a group are funding the club to the tune of £1-million and are also behind a further £200,000 bank guarantee.

And they also revealed that no-one would have been paid at Christmas, players or staff, had the board not themselves stumped up cash for the fortnightly salaries.

Just before the festive period the club was hit by yet another financial bombshell when a promised £330,000 loan from the Football Foundation was suddenly withdrawn.

This was to help mitigate the loss of the lucrative ITV Digital contract but it was stopped for legal reasons.

The money had already been factored into the cash flow and when it failed to materialise there was nothing in the cupboard to pay wages.

So the directors stumped up.

The current board, who would welcome into their number with open arms anyone prepared to put money into the club, are saddled with contracts and debts from previous administrations.

But unlike their predecessors, they do not have the ITV Digital money to pay for them. The loss of that contract has, they reckon, cost the club £5.4 million over two years. As a result money which could go on team-building is being used to service debt not incurred by the current board.

And things could get worse.

The cash flow has been hit by Town being knocked out of all the cup competitions at the first round stage, and by lower gates from their poor league form.

While fans find it easy to call for the heads of directors, they would actually be sounding the death knell of the club.

"We are fans too," one board member told me, "otherwise we would not be doing this."




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