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Dear Mr Fenty

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 01/12/2004

DEAR Mr Fenty, It is not so long ago that I wrote an article on this web site, stating that the tax man had applied for, or had already obtained, a winding up order against Grimsby Town Football Club.

Home > Editorials > Dear Mr Fenty

Shortly after that article appeared, you issued a statement, saying words to the effect that 'you have no need to worry folks we have it sorted"

Your statement seemed to indicate that the club had no problem with the Inland Revenue department and the tax bill wasn't a problem to the club.

Because of that statement, I was accused of spreading false rumours to cause dismay amongst the supporters and shareholders whereas, I was reporting the truth about the financial situation at GTFC and the true facts about the tax bill which I said was around 500,000 pounds.

So you can imagine how astounded I was to hear you on Radio Humberside, in answer to David Burns' questions on the subject, stating that the club still have an outstanding tax bill of around 700,000 pounds.

Mr Burns asked you if you felt confident that you could meet the requirements of any agreed instalment plan and was the taxman confident you could meet the requirements.

Mr Burns pointed out that Wrexham FC, in the same boat, had to go to the high court to get an arrangement.

You commented that Grimsby Town is different to Wrexham in that "we are a going concern"

You never did answer his question.

Why, at the time of my article and your statement, did you not make a statement outlining the problem you faced with the tax bill and how you were addressing it, instead of glossing over it, as you appear to have done.

The fans, supporters and shareholders of GTFC are not stupid. You nor your fellow directors would have been condemned by them for the financial problems that were not of your doing. The ITV Digital fall out was to blame.

Support works both ways. The more open you are with the supporters the more support you get. We can take the bad news just as much as we can take the good news.

And support you have. Volumes of it!

There would be few who would fail to recognise your role in keeping the club afloat and your total commitment to its future success. And there would be very few who do not support you in your efforts.

But please Mr Fenty, do not keep us in the dark! You don't have to.

There is another small matter I would like to bring to your attention. Why are you even thinking about calling an EGM to change the articles to reduce the required number of directors?

It is a short-term problem that could easily be resolved. The board can co-opt anyone on to the board. Your wife, your cousin, your next door neighbour or even the tea lady. You don't have to seek the permission of the shareholders.

You also have a great opportunity to bring the supporters closer to you by co-opting on to the board, a representative of the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust.

If you took that step, the club would be seen to be standing by its claims that they value the supporters and that they are part of the team. No one could accuse you of lip service then!

Think about it Mr Fenty. The club needs to bring the community closer to the club and there could be no better way than recognising the supporters and allowing them to have an input to the club.

Thank you once again for your financial and personal commitments to the club. Without you, we may not have survived and we are all duly grateful.

We wish you well.

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