The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

You've got city hands, Mr. Hooper…been countin' money all your life

19 November 2019

Whatever your judgement of Michael Jolley's term as manager of Grimsby Town, you'll agree there was a reassuring air to his appointment in March 2018.

Following a robust selection process, we quickly identified the need to move away from the classic “managerial merry go round” appointment and bring in an exciting, hungry coach who wanted to stamp their mark and build a project at our Football Club going forward

It got better. Under the bold, quite literally, heading of Creating & Embedding a New Philosophy we got this:

He will also work closely with newly appointed Youth Development Association Head, Dave Roberts to ensure those values and learnings are enshrined throughout the club. We want to see more homegrown players like young Harry Clifton coming through the ranks at Blundell Park.

It certainly floated Daubney Diary's boat. A club with a plan. No more throwing smelly brown stuff at a wall and hoping for it to stick. Fast forward to yesterday and the latest stop on John Fenty's tour of the chat show circuit to promote his new book, No Further Comment Will Be Made At This Time (But Don't You Worry, There Will Be Many, Many Made After That):

Michael always talked about being a long term plan but when all's said and done success generally comes very quickly if it’s going to come and very rarely does success follow year after year of incremental improvement. I think that (long term plan) was Michael’s own view on things.

Finished laughing yet? Just like John knows conditioning coaches don't score goals on a Saturday, he knows that you don't get to preside over the worst spell in the club's entire 141-year history by having a coherent, long-term plan. Bin the pension plan and buy yourself some lottery tickets, folks, it's football fortune time.

John has more nuggets stamped confidential-until-it-suits-me-to-share-it. Darth Jolley had in fact applied for and got the Lincoln job two months ago and has since been carrying out both roles unbeknownst to us all. No wonder the form of both sides has dipped. There was also some broken-record scratchings about possible new owners being unable to provide a recent utility bill and valid form of photo id. And how John wishes they could provide said documentation. Invoking the special sympathy reserved only for a certain class of privileged wealthy middle-aged white man he tells us he's 'punch drunk' after 19 years of being the millionaire owner of his local football club. We all are mate.

Let's get back to the football? #alltownarentwe #freshstart #thepastishistory. Ben Davies is here to help Anthony Limbrick. The reserves are at home to Walsall and we've Newport in the cup replay tomorrow night. Sod it. Do you still care? People are tuning out of GTFC. Second and third generation supporters - love and habit melded over time to create that feeling in your soul that can't be put into words - are walking away and might not be back. That should never be dismissed or taken lightly.

No one is jacking it in just because a political party rented out McMenemy's. Or because they took exception to the latest collection of words that cascaded out from the hole above John Fenty's roll neck. Maybe it's the owner's petty rows with judges and fans and everyone in between. The club's lip-service to serious problems like racism. Years of smug boardroom contempt. Snubs to Macca and to Podge. The relegations with squads of players who couldn't find Grimsby on a map, now or then.

The late night Fishy rants, Mike Parker, Peaks Parkway, snapping kids's flags. A supporters trust afraid to rock the boat and stand up for its members when that is just what it was created for. An owner who wanted a regionalised League 2 with Premier League teams because he thought games with "Man United under 23s would be sure to enhance attendances." And all these manager meltdowns, they can't be one man's fault, can they? He'd need to some type of reverse super hero. It's no one's fault that Jolley ranted or applied for jobs or Bignot was a 'fruitloop' or Hursty felt let down or Scott went postal or Slade jumped ship in the week of a play-off final. Just coincidence, then. 

So good luck Anthony and Ben, you’ll need it to come here. When people who have it in their DNA stop coming, why would anyone else want to?