The Postbag

Cod Almighty | Postbag

Three days that shook the Town

27 November 2019

Your eclectic thoughts on Farage, Jolley and the BBC Humberside rant

A thumbs-up to racists and bigots

Thanks Cod Almighty for making an intelligent statement about the disgraceful conduct of the club, allowing a 21st century Enoch Powell to exploit their image.

My partner's family is from Ghana. For years I've been trying to persuade her to come to games, but her impression has been that she would not feel welcome. The club's actions have given the thumbs-up to racist and bigots who identify with Farage and his supporters like Yaxley-Lennon. In so doing, they've made me realise that my partner is probably right, and I have been wrong.

In almost 40 years of supporting the club, I've never been more ashamed of it than I am right now.

A very unhappy Town fan.

from Tony Dabb

Letters Ed responds: The question has been asked: how much would the club have been involved in a decision by McMenemy's to accept the Brexit Party's booking. Robin Shearing's take is: "Can you imagine any employee of GTFC booking that political meeting without first informing Mr Fenty?"

A loss of confidence?

Like this diary, I too am extremely disappointed at Michael Jolley's departure.

However, I did wonder if something was amiss when McKeown didn't play in the last game. He was said to be ill, but with (I think) no explanation, such as having flu. It just felt fishy (sorry!). Perhaps I should stop reading the Fishy (sorry again) but did he perhaps lose the confidence of the players, and in particular the captain?

Best wishes

from Antony Chapman

Letters Ed responds: There have been rumours along those lines, although curiously when John Fenty was throwing all the mud he could find at Jolley, that was not a point he made. But by then the discussion had moved on...

A victim of modern "journalism"

I have listened to the leaked tape of Michael Jolley.

What I heard was a man driven to distraction by the line of questioning and the thought of the upcoming "holier than thou" press conference where "journalists" who have NO football qualifications get to question somebody about their job, make accusations, speculate, ask leading questions and supposedly "look for clarity", when clearly the facts exist already: we lost, we'll go again next week.

The only questions journalists ask are the ones they know will lead to a good story, or at least the gist of what they can report in their own style: quotes written up in a report to suit a view. I'm not journalistically trained but what purpose do BBC Humberside reports serve by asking about selections of the team and thoughts on the defeat in the hour after a game? It fills the airwaves but you can hear the agenda. You often wonder if you were at the same game.

Clearly the Humberside reporters will often talk off the record in search of a story or some insight, and I'd be pretty sure Jolley had done that and trusted the arrangement. Maybe he was naive. Cooperation with journalism is probably a one-way, slippery slope in the modern world and he misjudged it. I'm not sure what Matt Dean or John Tondeur said, implied or asked before the press conference, but I think I can guess at a likely post match 'heads up' for the press conference. Poking a stick at a angry bear.

Im not sure Michael Jolley was blaming the budget. The point that was being made was "I'm doing what I can within the limits of a division four manager at Grimsby Town. We're not Man City and my name isn't Pep." He was challenging the expectations of the two Humberside men.

He was channelling those who have gone before him and hadn't the confidence to let it all out. As he said: "You have done this to previous managers. Don't tell me you haven't because I know, I have spoken to them". Says it all. Jolley was defending himself, the squad and the club against the unconnected outside force of negative BBC Humberside. For me, the Humberside complaint to the board should have been treated with contempt and Jolley should have been backed. He didn't threaten violence. He spoke from the heart from trying to do the job for the club and fans and town.

And now what? BBC Humberside's David Burns tweets "the recording finally escaped into the wild." That speaks volumes. The tweet, the smugness of implying he knew it existed, the small short tweet that acknowledges and ignites, while Mr Burns steps back, comfortable in the confidence he's untouchable, he's only doing his job, he's only asking questions. Have a bit of respect, Mr Burns, the respect you didn't show when Jolley took over in 2018 when your disrespectful questioning led Jolley to pause and ask who you were. You were clearly holding the judgement that you'll be here long after he's gone. Your answer: "I'm Burnsy." Well, its a bit crass, offering your nickname. Who do you think you are Mr Burns?

It frustrates me. This didn't have to happen, for many many reasons, but the fact that it did unfortunately will be seen in the lily white world of journalism as "fair game". I think Grimsby Town were lucky this rant didn't come from Paul Hurst a few years earlier, or a 1990s Buckley. What is the common denominator? Many managers who dislike the local media, or the ever present local media itself?


from Ian Jackson

Who benefits?

Key issues, regardless of Jolley's unfortunate loss of temper:
Who recorded the rant?
Who released it on social media?
What was their motive?
Is anyone able to say what the primary source was?

from Gordon Wilson

Memo to next Town manager: you are on your own

The removal of manager Michael Jolley typifies the double standards employed by our former chairman and current Tory councillor.

Rewind to the fans forum where Slade ripped the local media apart in full public view: no action required.

Fast forward to a private discussion, taped by a sneak, and the manager departs. I accept there may be other reasons to consider but, for the next incumbent of the managerial role it's worth noting you're on your own and all thoughts must be kept as such. The job is yours until you dare to question.

The only way things will improve are reliant on a change of ownership. Otherwise once more the non-League trapdoor beckons

from Dave the Engineer

Thanks to Tony, Robin, Ian, Antony, Gordon and Dave. Send your comments using our feedback link