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My View on Slade's Exit

By: Dave Boylen
Date: 01/06/2006

WELL what a unbelievable week this has been, with the news that today Grimsby Town have not been able to agree a new contract with Russell Slade and have decided to relieve him of his duties at Blundell Park.

Home > Features > Dave Boylen > Slade's Exit

In many ways it is a sad day. Russell Slade worked very hard for the football club and we all know that he was on a very tight budget, but I do think the performance at Cardiff left a lot to be desired.

Also when he postponed the signing of his new contract at the Mathew Le Tissier evening only last Monday I think the alarm bells were ringing in Chairman John Fenty's ears. What is going on, the chairman must have been thinking? Here we are with a huge game at the end of the week and apparently the manager, after giving the impression that everything was in the right place, refused to sign his new contract. Strange, in my opinion.

With different managers leaving other clubs up and down the country, was this more than a coincidence? Let's be fair Russell Slade did a good job at Grimsby and would expect to be in demand if he became available.

The only thing I would criticize the manager for is that we did not play enough football which I think showed in the attendances at Blundell Park. Remember we lost seven home games; just one of those games if we could have won it would have seen us up.

Also his reluctance to give young lads a game. I have always believed in home-grown talent; this football club cannot exist without finding its little gems now and then. Remember Tony Ford, Drinkell, all the Moore's, to name a few. There are young players out on the streets of Grimsby and Cleethorpes who would love the chance to play for Grimsby Town.

I do believe that this is a learning curve for the Chairman of this football club. I would think it was not a pleasant time for him to say to the manager that we cannot meet your terms, and I think that Russell took a huge gamble by declining to sign a contract till after the play-off final. We lost the final and his power position changed, or has it? Did he want this confrontation, is there another club waiting in the wings to snap Russell Slade up? Football is a very funny game indeed with its twists and roundabouts.

I was told at the Lincoln home game by another football league manager who I have known a number of years and also respect that Russell would not be at Grimsby next year whatever the result at Cardiff, and that is exactly what has happened.

On a final note once the dust has settled and everybody gets over the shock of what has happened, Town hopefully will pick the right manager. John Gorman springs to mind, a footballing manager; John Ward another with a Grimsby background who has done a great job at Cheltenham; and Tony Ford who is at Rochdale in an assistant capacity. Another candidate could be Glen Cockerill which in turn might interest brother John Cockerill to take a part in the activities at Blundell Park once again. All these people excepting John Gorman have all got a history with Grimsby Town. Time will tell.

Dave Boylen.

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