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By: Bill Osborne
Date: 16/03/2005

Everyone has their own views on the current financial situation at Blundell Park and we present here two different views from Fishy subscribers in our Feedback Column.

There is no doubt in that, well documented relegations and financial problems (which could lead to further relegation in the next couple of years) have left many Mariners fans scratching their heads wondering whether or not the Buckley years were really just a dream (twice at Wembley in one season? Really?)

But the latest news, that of an actual plan to pay off the debts with Mr Taxman over the next couple of years, to me at least, feels kind of liberating. The problems mentioned above are in fact part of a catch 22 situation (no cash leads to relegation leads to worsening the money situation leading to relegation etc) a non-stop downward spiral.

However now Fenty is saying that the club is breaking even, and the only problem off the field is 700,000 owed to the inland revenue. We now have an agreement with these wonderful people and with the fans continued efforts with projects such as "Keep The Mariners Afloat" in two seasons time, we would be (whisper it) free from debt with the books balanced! That would be it! Finished! No money problems ever again! OK, that's a bit rich, but with sensible management, this is actually an option.

So the future is not at all looking bad, as long as the community (ie Grimsby Town fans) take a little responsibility and dip into their pockets for the club that they love (think of all the money you've saved not being a Man U fan and spending 50 odd quid on ticket prices!) and we could once again be a healthy, vibrant and secure football club.

Pete Watson

It always grieves me to learn of a football club in financial difficulties which I understand Grimsby are presently experiencing. What really riles me, though, is how the directors let the situation get so bad without (apparently) doing much about it.

I don't know whether Grimsby Town have an accountant or a financial person on the board, but if not then this is about time to take one on - and not for the money that might be pumped in - but for the financial common sense that he or she could bring. The money owed to the taxman can only represent tax and national insurance deducted from (mainly) players' salaries and VAT. I don't suppose that there will be any tax on profits since there isn't usually any profit in the lower divisions to pay tax on.

So in reality the money owed to the Taxman is cash Grimsby have collected from others, on trust, and failed to pay over. This, to me, is simply bad, short-sighted and irresponsible financial management and really deserves to be punished, though, as a supporter of my own local team, I know that it hurts when the Club's future is at stake.

What needs to happen is that the culprit(s) should be sought out and got rid of. I would like to bet that they don't run their own businesses that way - so why should they run the Club's business in such a slipshod manner? Best of luck to Grimsby Town on their survival out of this mess. Remember that Brighton and Hull City were in a similar situation not many years ago and look where they are now!

So what about calling a moratorium with the Tax Office and getting someone on board who you can really trust to get it right? That way you can all look to a much better future that the past few years which must have been hell for you all.

Good Luck.
Mike Commins Rochdale supporter.

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