The world according to Baz: season tickets, Hurst and taking the knee

Cod Almighty | Article

by Barry Whittleton

23 June 2021

Should season tickets be cheaper? Should Hurst have shouldered more blame? And should footballers take the knee?

There's a lot of optimism around Grimsby Town at the moment, and rightly so. The new owners, Jason Stockwood and Andrew Pettit, seem a world away from John Fenty in the previous owner in all they do. I welcome this unity of purpose but must admit to a couple of concerns.

Season tickets

I am disappointed we haven't taken the opportunity this season for heavily discounted season tickets. The argument is often made that we can't afford the drop in income, that less revenue would impact on our ability to attract good players. I've been advocating for flexible prices, a model which Morecambe have now adopted: the more season tickets they sell, the cheaper they are. It encourages sales and also protects the club budget. I'll be keeping a keen eye on how Morecambe's sales go, and hope someone at Blundell Park will be as well.

Paul Hurst

Morecambe are now two divisions above us. I support Paul Hurst - I have, even when his stock has been low with some - but I do believe he should have kept us in the League. He had half a season, and while he definitely made the team more solid, his lack of ambition in some games cost us points: the urgency we needed never came.

Hurst is often given a free pass on the break-up of the 2016 promotion team as well. Of course the shithouse treatment of players like Pádraig Amond was down to Fenty, but Hurst was in a position to take stand. Like Ian Holloway this time last year, when he was at the zenith of his popularity, the fans would not have tolerated any actions by the board which would have prompted their resignation. Neither did, and so became complicit in our plight.

Hurst at least has the opportunity to atone. The way he is quietly going about his transfer business this summer is encouraging.

Taking the knee

If you don't understand that the England team taking the knee is not an endorsement of the Black Lives Matter movement but a statement of equality, it is because you don't want to.

I took part in the BLM demo on Cleethorpes prom last summer. Not because I endorsed their agenda - to be honest I've never read their full aims - but because I believe in treating people in accordance with their actions and words and not the colour of their skin, their sexuality or religion. When I buy a poppy in November I do so in thanks to all those who served. I do so for the kids who, like my own dad, never got to meet theirs as they had made the ultimate sacrifice. It doesn't mean I support the illegal war in Iraq, or any war for that matter. It's a symbol of remembrance, in the same way that taking the knee is a symbol of equality and opposition to racism.

Neither should be an issue. "All Town aren't we" is a statement, not a question.