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Butterfield Forced to Leave

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 18/05/2002

DANNY Butterfield is resigned to departing Blundell Park on a free transfer despite the fact that neither the 22-year-old versatility player nor Town boss Paul Groves want him to go. As Grimsby have no money to offer any players new contracts, Boston-born Butterfield is now effectively a free agent.

The deadline to offer Butterfield a new contract at least as good as his current wages passed last night, which under the Bosman ruling Town had to do in order to command a fee for a player aged under 24.

Butterfield is now resigned to having to alert other clubs to his availability. "I'm gutted to be leaving the club and I didn't want to go this way," Butterfield told the Grimsby Telegraph.

"I knew there was this rule but I didn't realise it would come to this at all. I thought there would be a contract offer there for me at the end of the season."

Ever-present Butterfield, who played in six different positions for Grimsby last season, knows that Town's cash flow problems following the collapse of ITV digital mean that there is no money available for new players, despite Paul Groves desire to retain him.

"The manager wants me to sign and said if any money comes his way he definitely wants me to stay with Grimsby. But it doesn't look like that's going to happen. He's done the professional thing and spoken to me and I've got the utmost respect for him, Graham Rodger, Paul Wilkinson and all the players.

"But there hasn't been any type of negotiations whatsoever and I'm not one of those players asking for ridiculous money - I haven't even had the chance to talk!

"I know Grovesy is disappointed that it has come to this. I played a part in every League game last year and the club must be seriously struggling financially if they can't hold down a regular player. We were a small club struggling financially anyway without this TV thing being dropped on us."

Butterfield looks like joining Bradley Allen and David Smith on their way out of Blundell Park, and Grimsby's ability to hang onto their other out-of-contract players (Burnett, Chapman, Ford, Boulding and Cooke) looks extremely doubtful at the present time.

The only consolation for Town is that many of the other smaller clubs in Division One find themselves in a similar financial position, meaning hopefully there will be a lot of players looking for any sort of contract offer come the start of next season from those clubs which still remain in business.

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