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GTFC And Manchester United!!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 06/10/2004

MANCHESTER United director Maurice Watkins's house and two cars were daubed with red paint on Monday night and is thought to be the work of Reds supporters who are against any takeover of the club from America.

Home > Editorials > GTFC And Man Utd

Anyone with any sense will know this is not representative of the many millions of supporters Man U have around the world, but there will be those who see this as being typical of English fans who have a very undeserved bad reputation globally.

England does have its share of idiots and so called fans who delight in causing trouble and engaging in violence but if one looks at the whole football scene one can see, that despite their reputation, the English fans are not the worst in the world.

This action by a small group of Man U 'fans' will do nothing to allay the fears of people overseas who see the English followers entering their towns and cities for international games.

This loony group may well think they are doing something for their club, which they aren't, but the damage they have done to football by this one wilful act, is inestimable.

I am not a Man U fan but I do sympathise with their supporters who fear this American and his methods. But these actions, by a small minority, will not make them many friends, and they might need a few in the coming months.

In the end, it will be the shareholders who will make the decisions about the future of the club, no matter what the fans and supporters think or want. Man U fans would be better served if they were to buy shares in the club and use the shareholders meetings to campaign against the bid. This would be much more productive than attacking the directors, who are not the biggest shareholders anyway and there are still sufficient shares available on the market to give them a fairly substantial holding.

Which indirectly leads me to Grimsby Town Football Club.

We are not Man U. We will never be as big or as wealthy so we have no need to worry about American billionaires looking to buy us out. But the issue of the shares is as important to us as it is to the Man U fans.

It is relatively easy for Town to fall into the 'wrong hands'. Look at some of the past directors we have had and imagine them gaining full control of the club.

The share issue at GTFC is just over 600,000. There are still approximately 280,000 shares available at 1 pound each. If the fans and supporters held those shares, it would provide very good protection for us all.

So next time you are thinking of buying a club shirt or whatever, why not think about buying a few shares instead. The club would gain more, and you would have a say in the future of the club.

On the other hand, you could join GTST (the Trust). They have recognised very early, the need for club shares to be in the hands of the supporters, and they are buying as many as they can for the trust.

I cannot help thinking about the Darlingtons, the Doncasters, the Yorks and Wrexhams of this football world, who like Town fans, had the opportunity to buy shares in their club and failed to do so.

The problems they had which threatened and still, for some, threatens their clubs, should serve as a lesson to us all. God forbid, that the same fate should befall GTFC, but if we had the shares we would be in a much better position than those clubs mentioned above. (and a few more too).

Think about it. Do you want GTFC to be there for your kids and grand kids? In fact do you still want it to be there in a few years time for your own pleasure?

Buying a few shares in the club may be the best insurance that the fans and supporters have. As the insurance companies once said in their adverts; "You know it makes sense"

If you wish to apply for shares (the club are selling them in batches of 100), please email or phone the club on (01742) 605050.

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