The Postbag

Cod Almighty | Postbag

Fenty out: the prequel

31 December 2020

This week's postbag: plenty of yuletide ire for Fenty as he finally heads for the exit. CA contributors Pat Bell and Lloyd Griffith draw the admiration of their fellow Mariners whilst Holloway's departure rouses mixed feelings.

Greedy, greedy man

Had enough, not going anymore until that man has left. He is just a greedy, greedy man who is only interested in himself.

from Clive Colam

A horror story

I have been a Town supporter since 1952. I have been through some good and bad times along the way but I have never seen a horror story like the one unfolding at Grimsby Town. You cannot run a football club like a fish factory. Mr. Fenty - listen to your what your supports are saying and take action.

Up the Mariners

from Bernard Marshall

You lose trust

Holloway left because he did not want to work with the new owners. The club needed a new start. Fenty thought he had a deal to sell his shares but it seems that in putting that deal together he had omitted to sort out the details of the repayment of his "benign loans."

How is any of this remotely credible? These loans were always going to be a sticking point for Fenty. This is not a complex point of detail, it is absolutely central to the sale and yet it suddenly scuppered it AFTER the manager resigned.

So, the upshot of all this is that the manager was only going to stay if the ownership didn't change and now the ownership hasn't changed the manager has gone.

Sounds like a conspiracy theory? Perhaps. But as a former manager famously said, "You lose the trust."


from Andy Ecelson


What an absolute banana

from Anon

The man who is supposed to care

Does this man not realise what the club means to us loyal supporters? We put money through the shop and turnstiles year after year hoping for success only to be failed by the man who is supposed to care. If we had the funds he has, we'd try and keep our best players rather than keep letting them leave on a Bosman.

Up the Mariners.

Season ticket holder and supporter for over 50 years.

from Martin Dring

Such sad reading

Such sad reading. I was at the two Wembley visits in ‘98. I drove up and down the country watching my mighty Mariners in Division 2. I love this football club with all my heart. After reading this I'm sorry to say I'm done until Fenty goes. I will support from on far of course, but I won’t spend another penny until he goes.


from Chris Bruce


I am an exiled Mariner and shareholder. I have supported the club for over 50 years. I fully endorse the comments from Pat Bell. I dread non-League and would dearly love to see Paul Hurst back but I don't think that is going to happen.

from Brian Haire

Letters Ed responds: Needless to say, we received this email some time before Hurst was reappointed

A mistake from the beginning

I agree 100 per cent with Pat Bell. I thought it a mistake at the beginning to appoint the manager to the board. He is after all an employee who may need to be disciplined or even sacked. I thought his investment in shares - £100,000 - had taken place when he joined the board; now it seems he never made the investment. There are suggestions of other behind-the-scenes financial connections with Fenty. It would be interesting to know more about this.

Many are castigating Holloway for leaving us with a team facing a relegation battle. This may be true, but is better not said. Someone has to enthuse the players to raise their game to avoid the dreaded drop. Criticism won't improve morale.

I know many supporters didn't like Michael Jolley at the end of his time with us, but he did save us from relegation. Perhaps we should turn to him again.

Merry Yule

from Antony Chapman

Letters Ed responds: Antony wrote to us before Michael Jolley's appointment by Barrow


Looks like Fenty has reverted to type and unilaterally refused the consortium's offer.

We're doomed.


from Mike Revell

Dire straits

Well what a state our beloved club finds itself in. I am gutted Ollie has walked away. I thought there was a chance he would because I think he realised recently that John Fenty is not the person he thought he was and not to be trusted.

As soon as Fenty brought his very undesirable friend to a recent game, the cat was out the bag, he must have been horrified when the supporters and general public found out he was in business with a con man. Fenty knew it wouldn't be long before his job on the council came under scrutiny and jumped ship handing in his resignation.

What now? We are in a desperate situation. Who do we believe? Fenty? The Board? Mr. Shutes and his consortium? NONE of them as far as I am concerned. They are all making statements, saying all sorts of supposed truths, and all are different from each other.

We are a club in dire straits. No manager and only a few weeks to get players in and out. A takeover doesn't happen in a few weeks, which is all we've got to turn this season around. I have supported GTFC for over fifty years, through good and bad, we have never been in this situation before. I fear for our team and club.


from David Gunn

Dancing to Fenty's tune

I'm not surprised. Lloyd Griffith's article is right - he’s so arrogant he doesn’t care about the fans, the club, the players or coaching staff unless your dancing to his tune. It’s all about him, nobody else matters.

from Tony Newbegin

A tipping point

It's not difficult to find fault with John Fenty as custodian of GTFC but, when you've read incoherent statement after incoherent statement, up pops one on the club website at 00.30 on Christmas Eve. Once again, it blames everyone else and everything else but him. The club is at a tipping point: possible redemption or continued relegation? Ian Holloway was always going to expose the weaknesses, it's what happens when an organisation raises its profile. Covid helped, Holloway assisted and John Fenty scored another own goal. All Town, aren't we?


from Graham Stark

Mutton dressed as lamb

Lloyd's comments and stories are excellently put and spot on. As a lifelong fans let’s face it we will admit we have been wishing for a coup in the form of a manager or player signing for 30 years. We finally get it with Ollie and Fenty screws it up in less than a year.

Fenty is mutton dressed as lamb - I lived in London for 33 years and admit that I can be a bit of a snob with some things - I remember in a press conference in recent years I think he was introducing Bignot or Jolley he invited them to the 'hockey' and emphasised his 'H' in his false pumped up accent. It's actually oche! Just a small thing but typical of the false businessman that he is.

We are all starting to fall out of love with the club. We pray for this takeover by new owners. Mr. Philip Day reminds me of a politician falling asleep in the House of Commons - we need new and younger blood ASAP

from Kevin Cocks

Excellent sports journalism

Firstly, my thanks to Lloyd for his Christmas Eve article. An excellent piece of sports journalism, that sits comfortably with the writings of the great Hugh McIlvanney.

My profound disappointment is with Holloway, a man for whom I gave my 100 per cent backing, believing that he was firmly aligned with us, the long-suffering fans. How wrong I was! I agree with Lloyd that for 'Hollow-way' as it has turned out, it was really all about himself and his ego. The whole current situation is dire. Let us echo some words from that Sam Cooke song: "Change is gonna come."

from The Ancient Mariner of Norfolk

It is the players that excite

I’ve been a Town fan for over 60 years. My father took me when I was 8 or 9 and, regardless of the league positions we finished, it was always the players that excited me, some more than others! When we have players like Amond and Vernam, how can a club not do right by them? How can a club afford to let them go? After all we are a football club and it’s football we want to see! Seems to me that those that should share this feeling lost it years ago or never had it in the first place.


from Alan Dickens

An open secret

Brilliant, just brilliant. What is so sad about your comments is that I have known all along - go and speak to John Cockerill.


from Philip Taylor


I am totally astounded by the goings on last week in Grimsby. A man entrusted with regional development in the county sets up a property company with a convicted fraudster who specialised in property scams but denies there is any conflict of interest. Such arrogance.

The manager jumps at the first sign of trouble as it seems he has done before. In truth he may be protecting his "reputation" from either the drop or the fall out from Fenty's activities whilst the team struggle at the bottom of the fourth tier.

The problem is the perpetrator is the guy who owns the joint. What can we do whilst he grinds it into the sand and apart from getting his money back, does he care? My late father and I have followed the club's fortunes locally then from a distance since around 1910 and we have shared some disasters but this is unprecedented and disgusting.

from J Darnell

The way forward

I have to agree with the points raised by Pat Bell regarding Ian Holloway's departure from Town. Reaction to his appointment was mixed among my West London friends though Brentford supporters have plenty of antipathy to Holloway given his QPR connections. A few thought he might do a good job while many more laughed and gave me the sort of pitying look bestowed upon someone who swears they haven't had a drink that day as they carry the miasma of industrial strength cider about them. What was telling was the number who warned he would jump ship given a better opportunity.

I met Holloway in Cleethorpes shortly after he joined. I mentioned Brentford in our conversation and he was an admirer of the way the club went about their business, as he said at the press conference when appointed. I did think that developing young players to sell when much improved would be a big ask, given that it requires a good scouting system which the Bees always had. Given that involves expenditure, I couldn't really share Holloway's optimism though I've normally lived in hope.

I'm also wary of any rescuers arriving who promise the earth. Brentford thought that hero David Webb would put the club on the right track but he came close to finishing it off before Ron Noades turned up and left it in an even worse situation, saddled with enormous debts and moves to relocate (supposedly temporarily) to Woking or Kingstonian mooted.

The bucket collections are thankfully a thing of the distant past and fan activism led to the supporters owning the club before ceding control to the current owner, a true fan backing it with proper investment and seeing through the vision for a new ground which has been almost twenty years in the making.

Ultimately, the way forward for Town is the same. If the fans don't ultimately take over then there has to be a meaningful partnership between them and any new owners. Perhaps we can take a leaf out of the Charlton fans' book, which was copied by Brentford to great effect, and force the moribund council into action by standing candidates against sitting councillors to force issues for the benefit of what should be a community asset. I wasn't too optimistic before, thinking Town fans had been battered into apathy, but I see us mobilising into groups on social media and an increasing number saying they will participate in an economic boycott of the club. I feel hope.

Fenty out.


from Chris Smith

These are unprecedented times - 18 emails in a few days. Keep them coming