Question of the WeekShould England "Take the Knee"?
|Trouble at Mill|
Fenty Fights Back
By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 04/02/2018 (Last updated: 11/02/2018)
GRIMSBY director John Fenty has acknowledged the protests against him and the board that took place at yesterday's game with Cheltenham but vowed to fight on. He also thanked supporters for keeping the protests peaceful and believed it, rather ironically, helped to galvanise support behind the players.
The protests were mainly before the game, but there was a pre-planned demonstration in the 14th minute of the game in some parts of the ground, when "Fenty Out" banners were shown. The Mariners were leading 1-0 thanks to an early goal at the time of the protests, but in the end, hung on for a 1-1 draw after a second-half fightback by the visitors.
A private conversation between John Fenty and a group of supporters was also secretly recorded and put on Facebook last night, causing further embarrassment to Mr Fenty. This was particularly underhand as the Town director was unaware that his words were being recorded, and wouldn't have chosen the language he did to express his views, albeit the sentiment behind them was largely in line with his public statements to date.
Mr Fenty gave no indication that he is about to stand down, although he insists the club is for sale to a suitable buyer and emphasised that the present moment was a "transitional period". "As we go through this transitionary period, the other Directors and I will not hideaway and cower. it is now more important than ever that we maintain an ongoing, continuous dialogue together between the Board (mere custodians of our club) and supporters. We have insisted that we will not walk away and abandon the club in a precarious position, but will continue to be approachable and available to speak with supporters about solutions and the way forward for our 140-year-old club (whether those solutions are with the current regime or without). I make no apologies for this."
Sentiment has been turning against John Fenty especially since the departure of Paul Hurst (for which he blames in part the supporters for driving Paul away). The two failed managers since Hurst have opened old wounds, especially during the current 10-match winless run when the board have twice backed Russell Slade. Most clubs would probably have sacked him by now as his record since taking over is very poor and the entertainment level has also been low. Just four wins at Blundell Park this season combined with the low-quality entertainment has left the natives restless.
Grim Rob Says: There is no easy answer to the current crisis, short of the team suddenly embarking on a long run of winning games. It looks far more likely that they will stumble over the line and get the 45 points they need for safety before the season fizzles out and a long summer to reflect over a very disappointing season. Should Mr Fenty and the board resign it would leave a huge vacuum at the club, if nobody comes forward to fill it.
If nobody comes forward to take over the running of the football club then sacking Russell Slade and appointing a big name manager that the supporters can get behind, and making one or two marquee signings in the summer (early ones please, not in August!) would be my advice.
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