The Grimsby Town FC

Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game


Root of the Problem

By: Grim Lad
Date: 20/04/2004

I read with some interest the message board thread about Furneaux and his "enthusing with fans about Pouton's return".

Home > Features > 2004 Features > Root of the Problem

I'm sure he did, then he sold him for about £4.32p despite the lad (club captain, lest we forget, and the driving force in our midfield) not wanting to leave and liking the club so much he came to watch the next four games as a fan, at his own expense.

He also alienated Jevvo with his stupid pronouncements, so much so that I for one wouldn't blame Jevvo for leaving at the end of the season. No one I know would let themselves be treated by the chairman of their company like that in public and not leave.

...We have been going backwards as a club for the last 10 years or more...

I've no doubt Furneaux cares deeply about the club, so do we all. I also in my mind have no doubt he is very limited in his PR ability and man-management. The board have kept us afloat, but they have not looked outside their cosy little group for outward investment. We have been going backwards as a club for the last 10 years or more - the attendances reflect this. Nothing serious has been done to halt the slide or to market the club properly, only a series of half-baked and limited campaigns with a short-term outlook. "Let's get another five hundred in for the next game!". What about the game after, or the next 5 years? Our youth team has not produced the goods now for some time - why hasn't someone looked into this? It is the future of our club, and will produce players who care about and empathise with the club.

Someone mentioned that the Football League is looking for everyone to balance income and expenditure. And so they should, any well-run business does exactly that. To do otherwise is suicide. So, you've got to look at ways of maximising the income. There are thousands of disaffected Town fans in the area, who used to go but don't now, we all know some. There is your target audience, the club MUST work to get more fans through the gates, it is that simple.

...the main reason for the drop off in numbers is the massive negativity coming out of BP...

In my opinion the main reason for the drop off in numbers is the massive negativity coming out of BP, we haven't had a positive announcement for years (and I don't mean things like - "we've got enough cash for another loan signing so we'll have another player you've never heard of play for us for a month before he disappears again" - fans can smell desperation and don't want to be associated with it, hence the massive number of Man U shirts around the Town.

Please don't come back with "well there's no one else available for the board so that's tough". That shouldn't make the board immune from criticism. I realise people aren't exactly queuing up to invest in GTFC, but have you ever asked why this is the case? The board aren't exactly selling the club well in the press are they?

Perhaps if we don't get the fans in, then we deserve lower league football for not supporting our club. All I'm saying is that some of the fault for this lies with the club and its very small-scale view on things. Wembley proved we've still got support, a lot of people who care about the club and will travel half way across the country to see them play. We need to harness that support to succeed, and we really aren't doing it at present, haven't done it in the last 10 years, and with the current mindset at BP we certainly don't look like doing it in the future.

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