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A Sad Farewell Mr Lawrence!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 16/12/2001

I DOUBT if there is any other fan out there who can claim to be a bigger supporter of Lennie Lawrence than myself. His appointment was, to me, the best move the club had made for a very long time.

Home > Editorials > A Sad Farewell Mr Lawrence!

It was not long after he arrived that Lawrence refuted the claims that "no one wants to come to Grimsby," with a host of players arriving for trials at Blundell Park and premiership players joining us on loan.

In a very short time he had rejuvenated the flagging youth system at the club and gave players like Jonny Rowan the opportunity to show their capabilities. Something that would never have happened under the previous manager'

His ability at spotting players is something most fans praise him for. Even his detractors concede on that point.

".…Mariners have been totally unsuccessful in the league!!…."

But life has not been easy for him. He only managed to save us from relegation at the end of last season by the skin of our teeth. But greater things were promised. It seemed that those greater things had arrived when the Mariners headed the table after the first few games this season.

Unfortunately, that was not the case and despite defeating Liverpool and giving a good performance against Arsenal in the Worthington Cup, the Mariners have been totally unsuccessful in the league.

There are those who claim that the poor results have been the fault of the board of directors who have been accused of not supporting him. But that cannot be the case. Mr. Lawrence knew the club's position when he joined us and despite the precarious financial position he was allowed to expend approximately 1.8 million pounds on new players and contract renewals.

In any case, the performance on the field is the responsibility of one person. The manager! If Lawrence felt the board was not supporting him he had the option to declare so and walk. He did neither so we can safely assume that was not the case.

The responsibility for poor results rests firmly on the shoulders of the manager who has been aided somewhat by the lacklustre performance of some of the players who, have clearly demonstrated previously, that they have the ability to beat anyone in this division, which does not have any really outstanding teams in it.

My opinion, for what it is worth, is that Lennie Lawrence, despite all his favourable attributes is failing in one important area. He appears not to have the capability to inspire or motivate players. Nothing demonstrated that more clearly than the 4-0 drubbing the Mariners received from Walsall yesterday.

".…The board must move to protect the club and terminate his services!!…."

So now the club must act. It may already be too late, but the future of Grimsby Town Football Club, in the short term, relies quite heavily on retaining first division status and the accompanying TV revenue. It is now apparent we cannot do that under the leadership of Lennie Lawrence.

The board must now move to protect the club and terminate his services.

No one person is more important than the club whether it is the manager, or players (like Marlon Broomes).

Grimsby Town have never been a club that sacks managers after a few poor results and they have stood by Lennie Lawrence much longer than any other club would have done.

Managers of other clubs, with results much better than ours, who have been sacked this season, prove that.

".… The priority now must be the future of the club!!…."

But the time for action has now arrived and the board must act swiftly if we are to survive this season. Time is short and finding a suitable replacement will not be easy, but changes must be made. The priority now must be the future of the club and that responsibility is firmly in the hands of the board of directors.

I will be extremely sorry to see Lennie Lawrence leave. I admired and respected him greatly, but in the end we have to face reality, and the reality is, that if changes are not made, Grimsby Town FC faces a very bleak future.

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