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Light at the End of the Tunnel

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 27/05/2008

GRIMSBY's payments to the Inland Revenue now have less than a year to run and should be completed in the current financial year. It's easy to forget that in March 2005 Town were on the brink of ruin and faced administration and even extinction.

Thankfully the club managed to negotiate a repayment package to the Inland Revenue at the time, and the £720,000 debt now is within sight of being paid off.

The financial burden of paying off the debt naturally has limited what Town have been able to do during the last three seasons. With light now at the end of the tunnel Town should at last soon be able to set a budget commensurate with their income, without the need to continually pay off debts accrued in the aftermath of the ITV Digital collapse six years ago.

Town's chances of success in League Two should therefore soon be much greater than in recent seasons, with more money available for the playing budget - provided fans do not stop attending games and buying their season tickets, just when the Mariners are about to turn the corner!

Town's Chairman, John Fenty told Mariners Net: "I am personally relieved and it will be welcomed news to fans that such a burden will shortly be consigned to history.

"After those dark days immediately after the collapse of ITV Digital, the club had some tough decisions to make, resulting in the restructuring of its finances and concluding a deal with the Revenue.

"A big thank you must go to all the fans, businesses and the Grimsby Town Supporters' Trust who supported the club's 'Keep The Mariners Afloat' campaign, and together raised more than £70,000 towards to debt.

"To repay 'back debt', budget for the increased costs of running a modern football club and increase the manager's playing budget year on year is a remarkable achievement and I must thank all the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes at Blundell Park for their continued efforts."

Mr Fenty has overseen the Mariners through some difficult times and is proud to have avoided the dreaded administration: "All too often clubs take the easy option and dodge their obligations", said Town's chairman. "I am proud to say that we have rolled up our sleeves took our medicine and met up to our obligations in the true gritty manner that Grimsby fans are accustomed."

With a new ground due in three season's time where could Town be five year's from now? Our neighbours Hull City have shown what can be achieved, and Scunthorpe too - both of whom have benefited from new stadia. Our turn will come again, we have had a taste of glory in the previous season, and more will assuredly follow in years to come.

Keep the Faith.

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