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The Trust
The Trust

Be Careful What You Wish For

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 04/02/2008

I almost knew before I finished my article about the trust, what the response to it would be. I was expecting no response at all, or people saying I would have joined and I was thinking about it but I forgot.

Others said; why bother because John Fenty owns the club so the trust can do nothing.

That is the greatest misunderstanding about the trust and it is time that people understood the true situation.

John Fenty owns 51% of GTFC’s shares. That is all. Yes, it gives him control at the moment, but Fenty, like Dudley Ramsden when he was the major shareholder, made it quite clear that, both now and in the future, he does not want to own Grimsby Town Football Club.

The reason he gained the 51% was because he was, and still is, the sole major financial contributor to the club and, as it his money being used, he wanted control of it and that is not unreasonable.

That is all he wanted.

If any person with money approaches John Fenty and wants to share the burden or take it over, He will sell some of his shares to that person straight away. Fenty is hoping that will happen.

And that, dear fellow fans and supporters, leaves an opening, if you would only open your eyes.

John Fenty does not have absolute control. He does not own 75% of the shares and that should be a great relief to us all. 51% gives him only limited control. He needs to gain a 75% vote of the shareholders to grant him the right to change the articles, the constitution, and the issue of shares.

Those very things that have destroyed other clubs that have had fans like Town and just let someone step in and take absolute control.

Now consider this:

It is a hypothetical. I cannot claim it is an accurate picture and I cannot back it up with any information no one else has. But I don't need to. It is only hypothetical.

Picture this scene.

Within 5 years from now, Grimsby Town Football Club will be in administration and fighting for survival and if another John Fenty does not arrive on the scene, it will be lost forever.

There has been no news of any retail chain showing interest in the new stadium. Also, even if we get one, the club still has to raise a few million from the community.

The community means you and me folks!

If the community responds to the appeal as they did to the ‘Keep The Mariners Afloat’ campaign, then Town will raise 25,000 - if they are lucky.

And if the community respond as well as they did to the trust, they will get 10,000 - if they are lucky.

If the new stadium does not become a reality, Fenty will walk.

Because if the stadium project fails, it will mean John Fenty will have to build a new stand to replace the main stand, because the safety certificate will be blown. We are only allowed one now because of the plans to build a new stadium.

We will be stuck in Blundell Park forever. So who will fund the club and who will fund the new stand? Not Mr Fenty if he has gone."

Now if all the above turns out to be right, we will be bussing to Scunthorpe each week to support our local team, Scumgrim United.

But of course it won't happen. I can almost hear you saying it now.

But are you sure? Are you absolutely sure? If you are, then sleep easy. The rest of us may have to think a bit longer about it.

I will now repeat what I said many, many months ago.

"It may not happen. But it could happen and if it does, it will be irrecoverable because we, the fans, failed to take out the insurance against it"

I am not finished yet. (please God no, I hear you cry) I will continue this article in part two in the next couple of days, which suggests where we should go now, what GTFC have failed to do so far and why the trust needs a bollocking.

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