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Move Over Paul Groves

By: Ruban McLeod
Date: 22/01/2004

IT'S been a turbulent month for GTFC and the fans are restless. They were beginning to get restless right from the moment when Town weren't anywhere near the play-offs, and showed no signs of pushing up the table thereafter.

Home > Features > 2004 Features > Move Over Paul Groves

We signed decent players in the summer, without having to pay any transfer fees, and all players fitted within the new wage structure of £50,000 p/a that the board put in place.

I understand that whilst under the stewardship of Groves and Rodger, the club's weekly outgoing wage budget of £84,000 has dropped somewhat dramatically to around £25,000. That itself is amazing, and of course it's going to have an effect on the playing side too.

There is no doubt that the financial strangle-hold around the management's neck has had an effect on their ability to do their job, to a certain extent, and many fans and media personnel are asking - in defence of Paul Groves - who could do better under the circumstances?

Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't we already been relegated from Division 1, and suffered humiliating 8-1, 4-1 and 5-1 defeats away from home already this season? Who could have done better? That's not the question we should be asking. I think we should be asking "who could have done worse?"

Ok, that may sound a bit harsh. When Groves was first appointed, I was a fan who agreed with the installment. He was an obvious candidate for the post many years ago and that the time had come for him to be thrown in at the deep end. Indeed, he responded and guided us to safety when all seemed lost. But let's not forget that when he originally took over, Town were only just in the bottom three. Things got a lot worse before they got better, but credit must still be given to Groves - and the rest of the players (and Andy Todd)!

But what must have been one of the most baffling decisions to date was the release of striker Bradley Allen. I have spoken to the player since his departure, and he always maintained that he wanted to stay at the club. He and his family were settled in the area, and relegated or not, Allen was playing for a contract which, in his opinion, he deserved. He would have accepted any wage cut - even a 'pay-as-you-play' deal, a rolling weekly contract, just so he could remain in Grimsby.

For whatever reason, he was sent his P45 through the post without even a phone call from the club. I think this is the first real mistake - and whether it was down to Groves, the board - or perhaps the two not communicating (e.g. this week's Pouton affair), it was still a big mistake.

The following season was a disaster. Without Kabba and Oster, Town would have been relegated much sooner than they were. Having said that, we still finished bottom with a rubbish points total of 39 and only five home wins all season.

Then of course, there was the Terry Cooke thing. Another player who looked to have been treated unprofessionally by either the manager or the board. Let's not forget Phil Jevons, who suffered at the hands of GTFC's own financial constraints, and more recently there's Marcel Cas - criticising more or less everything at the club bar the players.

To me, there's too much unrest within the club - players being sold without the management being informed, players not receiving the professional treatment that their contracts deserve, and players 'slagging' off the club once they've left.

This indicates that the problem lies much further than the manager. It seems like the board have made an early decision to take whatever comes their way (whether it be another relegation or discontented players), just as long as they get their wage structre and finances in place.

As a fan of the club, I don't want to see my club get relegated for a second successive season. Even the Sports Telegraph last night attributed their Nostalgia page to the time when Town went down twice in two seasons during the late 80s. What are they trying to imply?

This might be a rather blinkered view of the whole situation, but I believe that Groves must go, because, when you think back over the past two-and-a-bit years he's been in charge, what have we achieved? Could anyone have done any worse?! I suppose we could be where Wycombe are, that would have been worse I admit.

But their is a belief amongst this town and the supporters that, even with all this financial constraint, the players we have ARE good enough to get us out of this division, and are better than when they are currently showing.

This points the finger at Mr Groves and suggests that he is not getting the best out of the players. It's as simple as that. Financial problems aside, the players that Groves has, should be achieving much more than the heavy away defeats we've been suffering this season.

I'm sorry, but we should not be accepting 8-1, 4-1 and 5-1 defeats in a second division that is decidedly average at best. Move over Paul Groves, someone out there (who must be mad enough) could be doing a better job with the players we've got.

Paul Groves Black & White Army disagrees saying;

Everyone connected with the club the manager, the players, the chairman, the supporters and Doris the tea lady know that we are underachieving!!!

In my opinion the best course of action is for everyone to unite behind the board (who with the greatest respect with their loans and cost cutting measures have kept the club in business). Nobody likes to see these measures but we need to face reality, without them this club would have folded.

The players Grovesie has brought to the club if we are honest are here because nobody wants them, we are fortunate however that most of them are proven at this level, we need to be patience. There is no point in booing the likes of Hamilton, Onoura, they are Professionals and realise that they are under performing.

I agree time is running out for groves, but who would want this job at the moment,

Nigel Clough?? - Why risk a safe job at Burton

John Cockerill?? - Did have the guts to take it on previous occasions.

Alan Buckley?? - With the way the moron element at this club have treated him why would he come back, even though I make no apologies for pointing that his record here is second to none, we did last many season in the 1st division without out.

Grovesie is Grimsby through and through, get behind him and the players, they are feeling what we thinking, they are no quitters so neither should we be.

Not when we were punching above our weight in division 1 did the club need everyone to unite, but now it does.

Let's get behind them!!!!!

To the negative people who seemingly turn up home and away at the moment and get at them before the games starts, give them a break, and focus how your performance in your everyday lives is affected by unnecessary pressure.

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