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Should Russell Slade be sacked?

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Donovan Tells Why He "Had To" Leave

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 09/07/2001

Kevin Donovan has revealed that he did not want to leave Grimsby Town but circumstances forced him to change his mind when the board withdrew a 3 year contract offer. Speaking highly of manager Lennie Lawrence he claimed, "I wasn't asking for the earth."

Donovan told the Grimsby Telegraph "I started talking with Lennie last December and it was getting dragged on and on, and the board wanted to wait so they knew which division the club was going to be in."

"I had agreed everything with the manager and I thought the contract was there to sign, and I got a phone call at home to tell me the offer had been withdrawn."

"To be honest I was ready to sign on the fifth of December last year and I would have signed if I hadn't had that phone call. That's what happened and after that I knew my time at the club was probably coming to an end."

".… Grimsby just wanted to stay in the first division and that was all!…."

"There was never any problem between myself and Lennie. The negotiations were fine but even he realised that the board had messed me around too much in the end."

"It would have been the last big contract of my career and we were talking about a three-year deal." But that's what happened and I'm a strong believer in fate. These things happen for a reason."

"I'm coming towards the end of my career and I wanted a bigger challenge, Grimsby just wanted to stay in the first division and that was all. I wanted more. I want to get in the play-offs and I want that opportunity."

"If Lennie can add a few players there's no reason why they can't challenge for mid-table and above. I think they can be a top half side without a doubt if he is given the support."

Although his move to Barnsley means a massive pay rise he said money was not the motivating factor. "There were a number of clubs interested but it wasn't money. I could have got more money elsewhere, far bigger money, and the location was one of the biggest factors. All-in-all, Barnsley would have been my first choice anyway."

"It's a massive wrench to leave. I get on with everybody and I've got some great friends here."

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