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Report on the GTFC AGM

By: Nick Osborne
Date: 27/09/2001

GRIMSBY TOWN Football Club held its Annual General Meeting today at Blundell Park. After the meeting manager Lennie Lawrence answered questions from the floor and broke the bad news about the injury to John McDermott.

It appears that the scan revealed the full damage to his leg and the calf had become detached requiring surgery and rehabilitation. He is not expected to be fit again for approximately 6 months.

The AGM was opened by the Peter Furneaux and after the last minutes etc were confirmed the meeting began with a report from the accountants, after which, a few questions were heard. One of the questions asked was why the big increase in travel costs, a massive £38,000k increase. The answer was the fact that we had many many loan players last season.

Particular reference was made to the costs of Zhang Enhua; though these were not set aside separately they were a significant fact.

It was also asked why £500k or thereabouts, was not fully explained in the accounts, the answer to this was that the majority of this was in fact the survival bonus paid to the players last season. The fact it wasn't reflected correctly was because it was from this seasons TV money and couldn't therefore be reflected in last season's accounts.

They then moved on to the election to the board of those who were co-opted previously. Rather than accept this enbloc it was proposed it went to a vote on an individual basis.

The votes went as follows:

Mr King: 16 for and 7 against
Mr Ramsden: 22 for and 3 against
Mr Fenty: 30 for and none against
Mr Rouse; 30 for and none against
Mr Graves: 6 for and 20 against

Because of the vote on Mr Graves, a poll was called for. After a short recess while votes were counted Mr Graves was elected to the board.

It was noted that the gates at Blundell Park had gone down tremendously over the last two years, but the Mr Furneaux reported while this was true, steps were being taken to remedy this, or rather the loss of revenue was being addressed, though he didn't mention how.

Asked whether there were any loans or guarantees pledged to the club Mr Furneaux said this amounted to a total of £350K, which did include a substantial cash injection. He did however, decline to say who or where the money came from when asked if it was by one individual or group who had loaned/guaranteed the money.

The release of previously unissued shares was again raised. The backing of the shareholders would be required if it was to go ahead and a leaflet would be going out to shareholders very soon outlining the proposals for releasing the unissued shares.

Mr Furneaux said it would be pointless pursuing the issue if the board didn't have the required backing and the reason for the leaflet was to see if the support was there. He was asked if all the directors would take their full entitlement but refused to be drawn on this issue. He was asked the same question in various modes but wouldn't be drawn.

The only conclusion I came to was that they would be offered and it was up to the individual whether or not they took the offer up. If the share issue went ahead, Mr Furneaux was asked whether the money raised would be used towards the costs of the new stadium.

The answer he gave was all the money raised would go towards the running of the club and not the new stadium. Plans are already in place to fund the new stadium.

It was pointed out that the money raised would only last about 8 weeks if our current losses continued. The response to this was that the losses were in fact from last seasons accounts and the club was now running in a fashion that would either halt or reduce any losses, its more likely to be a reduction than a stoppage.

Lennie Lawrence then took the stand and answered questions from the floor.

Macca will be out for about 6 months.

He intends to stick with his game plan of using the youngsters, some of which are almost ready for first team.

The youth policy has been lacking in the recent past but he has taken steps to remedy this with the introduction of Wilkinson, Ian Knight and Co. Some of the youngsters have been imported form outside but the policy now is to use the youth system he has introduced.

He said, and I quote, Menno would be the first to go, for a fee, based on what he has seen this season.

Long term injuries were also a great concern and every effort was being made to get the players back to fitness. Livvo has some problem with nerve endings, Raven jarred his leg in pre season and loosened some floating bones that needed an op.

Mr Furneaux then closed the meeting because time was getting on and we could be here all day questioning LL.


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