The Grimsby Town FC


Question of the Week

Priority for transfer window?

Reduce squad size
Strengthen defence
Strengthen midfield
Strengthen attack
No change needed


The Writing's on the Wall

By: Martin Handsley
Date: 06/04/2001

"In the 18 months since taking over the reigns at BP vice-chairman's Bryan Huxford's Board have brought the club to it's knees." Quite a bold statement you would say, and some would say false.

They would state that! Really it's Doug Everitt's Board and that with 7 games to go we're still in with a fighting chance of maintaining Div One status. Well, let me tell you that the statement is probably what most fans think, certainly the fans that I know.

The impression we fans get is that poor old Doug get his strings tweaked now and again by his puppet master, but we all know who's really running the show, as shown with the latest debacle regarding the Leeds lad, who we were unable to pick up because Bryan was out of the country.

Look at the reported £700k spent on loans, trialists, and (one) players this season. £700k and where are we now, 4th from bottom and with an extra midfielder who we spent £130k on, when if we'd have waited a couple of weeks we could have got on a free! (check his birthday and the Bosman ruling). It's not Menno's fault but does anybody really think he was the best player in that position, and at that price that we could get? Were there no lower Div players available?

Look at the reported losses of £27k per week, near double, yes DOUBLE what they were under the last regime, and that's after only 18 months. Average gates have continued to fall, even after the disgraceful sacking of our most successful manager ever. (who in our (the fans) opinion was sacked because the board didn't like him) Financially it's a mess, and if you include the reported paying back of TV money if we go down, then in all probability financial ruin is just around the corner.

The boards excuse? Yes, you got it, it's OUR fault, as we don't turn up for games. Even Billo has joined in in blaming us for not turning up at BP. Of course, they would like us to forget about the fact that with only 7 wins at BP this season the level of football on offer has been awful, add to this that in 18 home games we have only scored 19 goals, (with 20 against) then the reason we aren't watching the lads is pretty obvious to most of us, and that is that the level of entertainment is pretty dross. It's also embarrassing if you look at the home defeat by Crewe.( and if you remember Crewe were bottom at the time they beat us, so tomorrow's game (Tranmere) is not going to be the walkover predicted by so many.) The Board (and Billo) have also committed the sin that they continually criticised Alan Buckley for - slagging off us (the fans) - but they are so blinkered in the views that can't see this obvious contradiction.

There are some that claim that with better "marketing" GTFC can pull out of the mess we are in, in fact I know of one person who thinks that this is the only way forward (yes, that's you DaveL). Well, even I know that to successfully market a product you need a decent product to start with, and it's plain for everyone to see that the GTFC "product" fails to deliver on several levels - entertainment - comfort - cost, we won't be successful unless we address these items as soon as possible.

I also read (on this site) that you can't really blame Lennie. Poor old Lennie, who has no money, and has to manage on meagre resources etc etc etc. Pathetic, poor old Lennie who has continued to piss the squad about. Poor old Lennie who gets loan players in that are WORSE than the players available to him. Poor old Lennie has squandered £700k in turning a group of players, that used to be entertaining and play some decent football, into a group of players who, although most of them have been together for a number of years, play like they only met on the morning of the game, and poor old Lennie who has just woken up to the fact that with 7 games remaining his team has got a "tough run in".

All we get in response is Bryan Huxford's very own Alistair Cambell, the Hux spinmeister Billo, who refuses all criticism of his beloved leader, mostly with bland "not proven" statements and "I'll support them (the board) until proven otherwise". Now, Billo and I have never really got on, I think that we respect each other but we always have opposing views, but his views at this time, are so one-sided and unobjective that I was forced to write this article! Surely the proof is there, the writing is on the wall...This board have brought our club to it's knees and - excuse the pun - Billo is "fiddling while Rome burns!"

So it's come to this weekend's game against Tranmere, and in a season full of important games, this surely is a game we MUST win, most likely our only realistic chance of a win out of the seven games still to play. If we lose then Lennie MUST be sacked, and John Cockerill put in charge until the end of the season. Hopefully the impetus brought about by this change could see us gain points against sides who, if we stay as we are, we wouldn't have a chance against, and maybe, just maybe we could stay up.

I also think that whatever happens to the playing side, the club at boardroom level have to take a serious look at themselves, and the claims they made when they voted themselves onto the board. Statements like Dougie's when he explained (on the OS) that it's not up to the board of directors to invest in the business, show where this lot are coming from. Whatever happens we need an injection of hard cash, and allegedly there are directors who have this cash. If these directors don't have enough faith in "the business" to invest this hard cash then they should resign.

Is Martin right or wrong? Replies to the Pontoonites Message Board

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