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Mon 24/07
Danish Superliga
FC Helsingor v OB Odense
Swedish Allsvenskan
Hammarby IF v Elfsborg
Irish Premier Division
Finn Harps v Derry City
 
Tue 25/07
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FK Qarabag v Sheriff Tiraspol
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AEK Athens v CSKA Moscow
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Stenhousemuir v East Kilbride
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Albion v Hamilton
Ayr v Clyde
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Dumbarton v Annan Athletic
East Fife v Elgin
Edinburgh City v Motherwell

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GTST
GTST

A Statement by the Supporters Trust

By: GTST
Date: 21/09/2007

THE statement revealed yesterday by Grimsby Town Football Club provides a timely (some would say overdue) reminder of the currently parlous financial state of the Club.

It would be inappropriate of the Trust Board to make any comment on the performance of the current manager - that is an issue for the management of the Club who are in a far better position to make that judgement. What we would say, however, is that the rapid hiring and firing of managers has rarely produced a successful team at any club. An analysis of the fortune (or lack of it) over the last few years at Grimsby Town bears that out.

It has been clear from Day One of the Trust's dealings with the current Board that as long as the Club continue to be based at Blundell Park these financial difficulties will remain, unless another financial backer willing to invest similar amounts of money as Mr Fenty is identified.

That, sadly, is unlikely to happen.

There is little influence the fans can bring to bear on the issue of the relocation of the ground. What the fans can do, however, is to support the Club and the team in whatever ways they can.

It has certainly been a disappointing start to the season in terms of points amassed, but few people would suggest that the team have played badly, particularly at home. If the people of this town wish to see League football continue they need to attend matches. Home gates of 3,700 will not provide a platform for successful team building!

Furthermore, the events following the announcement of the debt to the Inland Revenue and the creation of the "Keep the Mariners Afloat" campaign hardly signified that the town wished to maintain the Club's league status or, indeed, survival.

The Trust only raised a sum of less than £20,000, subsequently invested in shares - a paltry amount considering the seriousness of the situation. The obvious explanation is that fans assumed that Mr Fenty would use his wealth to "bail out" the Club. Although he has done this on a number of occasions he made it clear at the time, and continues to make clear, that he would not do this for ever.

If the Trust had raised a far more significant amount of money it would not only have helped the Club enormously but would also have caused the Club to look seriously at the possibility of a representative of the Trust joining the Board of GTFC.

A dialogue between John Fenty and Dave Otter, Chairman of the Supporters' Trust has established that an investment of £250,000, in a mixture of shares and loans would secure a place on the Board for the Supporters' Trust. The Clubs Chairman has also made it clear that there would have to be a rationale to the selection process of that representative no different than there would be for the appointment of a normal Director to join the Board.

To sum up, if the people of Grimsby and Cleethorpes want professional football to continue, it has to be supported. A move to a new ground would improve the situation immeasurably but the fact still remains that we cannot continue to rely on the goodwill and generosity of one benefactor.

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