Fixtures and results so far
Al Wilkinson's poems
Mystic Mick's predictions
The season in pictures
End of season awards
Peter Furneaux appearing on Radio Humberside phone in
15 October 2002
Are there any plans to make the remaining shares available, to businessmen and/or to ordinary supporters?
Remaining share issue was brought up to vote at the last EGM.The shareholders who weren't on the board blocked the issue going through despite the board members urging them to support it. A source of income being blocked.
Will the club be able to work with the supporters trust?
Basically, if the trust can bring cash into the club then he sees no reason why not. The chairman notes that he will support anything that will further the club in stature and/or financially.
A Hull fan phones in and asks why Phil Jevons – a player scoring goals and an area where Grimsby are lacking – was allowed to leave the club on loan.
Furneaux outlines that it wasn't due to off field problems. The player wasn't getting into the team, he was lower down the pecking order, and it would give Jevons a chance to raise his profile. It sounds like if an offer came in Jevons would leave.
What will the chairman consider to be a successful season when the end comes?
Keep the club in business in the first place. To remain in the first division would be a "very, very good" acheivement. Last season there were 40 pros available to the manager, this season there are 21. Wages cost £80k a week last season, down to £57k a week this season. Providing incoming players wages are capped, the banks are happy, the local community continues to support the club, the chairman isn't looking at administration. However, this relies on support. 2,898 season tickets sold. Home support is averaging at 4,800 compared to 5,100 last season. Gave 1,100 free tickets away for Reading game.
A phone-in caller asks whether the chairman thinks the club has been well run over the past 50 years. The caller compares Grimsby to Ipswich.
Compared to clubs like Stoke with great gates etc the club has done well. When challenged about how the club should get greater gates, the chairman points out that it isn't just him, but previous chairmen have also had problems. How can the club invest when it doesn't have money. The chairman returns the comparison to Ipswich by highlighting the financial plight Ipswich are facing.
A new stadium fan phones in and asks what's happening?
Matter close to club's heart. Need to get planning details sorted so can get back to developers and those who promised money. As the days go by the situation becomes more and more difficult. Waiting for outcome of debate.
What's the breakdown of the money going into the stadium?
If all the money from the projected sources came in GTFC would have to invest £4 million. If the funds are not available it will not go ahead.
Some smart arse decides to ask Dave a question. Apparently Dave keeps saying during commentary that he wants Terry Cooke to get more involved in the game.
Dave said he'll ask Groves and Cooke.
Caller then addresses question to chairman. Boulding was breath of fresh, left, loaned to Sheff Utd who can apparently have him for free. Can't we use cash boost of £90k to get him?
Not cash boost of £90k – money promised before. Club made offer to Boulding, one of the best deals in the club's history, club respected his wishes of being 26 and chance to try playing at highest level. Club kept in touch with him on a weekly basis when he joined Villa. He's a Sheff Utd fan, he lives in Sheffield, and Boulding chose Sheff Utd over Town.
Danny Coyne – what's going on with him?
Chairman says story was created by Electronic Fishcake. Thinks EF was something made by Bird's Eye. If a club shows an interest in a player the club will let them know. They want to give a player every chance to further their career. Counter-productive to turn down a player's chance to move. No transfer offer made for Coyne although there has been interest in Coyne.
Do you think there is a harmonious boardroom at GTFC?
The chairman hopes not – it'd be a boring board room! The club should be grateful to people putting £800k into the club (Fenty? Ramsden?) We cannot sustain loses from someone's pocket forever. Club is looking for investment, not loans though. Without F and R the club wouldn't continue to exist. Not fair to go back to same two people to subsidise club.
Will the board be making funds available to strengthen the staff in January?
No. Yesterday the manager was given permission to open negotiations with Georges Santos, within a salary-capped margin.
Someone asks if there's any truth that the manager tendered his resignation after the Reading game.
No. Was out of the country at the time so it would have been impossible. Young manager, doing extremely well in tight and difficult situation. Not just doing the first team, works with the whole club. Fans forum on Tues 26 Nov.
If the right player became available could we sign him? Steve Kabba?
Within the monies available there will be no transfer fees paid if we wish to stay in business. Re Kabba, Palace chairman Simon Jordan says Trevor Francis has four other strikers ahead of Kabba. If they are all fit then it is possible that Kabba might stay with us to some degree.
If Palace do want Coyne could we do a swap with Kabba?
Coyne's not interested in going anywhere.
When a company constantly fails the chairman "falls on his sword". Any plans?
Took over only last year. Directors decide on chairman and directors chosen by shareholders. No calls of Furneaux out yet although difficult name to shout.
Any more special offers to encourage bigger crowds?
Tried letting children in on their own but they just run around and cause trouble so need to have adult with them. Refers back to average gates. Difficult to reduce figures by giving tickets for free. Reduce ticket price? Still losing money. Where's the balance?
How much in debt are the club?
Last balance sheet showed just over £4 million. This year's will show less than that. Possibly around £3 million. Fans contribute 18% of income, 24% from tickets, 66% from league, 16% from commercial. The bank won't support loses and won't increase the overdraft. Club has to address loses. Do try to pay people on time. Well supported by local business community – all boxes sold, perimeter advertising gone. Looking for match sponsorship for Bradford game – only game not taken.
Is there a rift between Fenty and Ramsden?
They have a common aim. Talk of rift is getting boring.
How frustrated that people just don't turn up?
Life would be simpler if things they wanted happened. Club can predict within a few hundred what they will get for each game. Likes to think that the club has a good rapport with the Grimsby Telegraph and they try to work together.
Can the club compete at div one level?
We are competing, Whether we succeed we shall see at the end of the season. Don't want to spend money and create more problems.
Andy Todd – get him in as a manager or coach? He was impressed with the manager and the club. Todd would increase gates.
Club has spoken to Andy Todd. Todd has moved to Blackburn (home as well as club) and recently the club contacted Todd. Big wages, wants to give Blackburn a go.
Why is the new ground taking so long? Why not just say the ground isn't going to happen?
Economic surroundings aren't good. Want it to go ahead. Will do all in his power to make it happen.
Would the fans rather watch a winning team in div three than a losing team in div one?
Been in div three as a chairman. Not a situation the chairman wants to contemplate. If Grimsby went into div two it'd be a tragedy, if Hull went into div two it's be a success for them. All credit to Bill Carr et al for getting the club straight back up but the club won't risk the club's future.
Whey! My question gets an airing. Should the club attempt some publicity stunt?
Likes to think that the commercial department has good ideas, but thinks that people with ideas should contact Tony Richardson.
Bernard Morley's on and the radio's gone all fuzzy. England U21 are 1-0 at half time. Dave just asks if Bernard has a question amongst his mumbling! Should the club raise its ticket prices?
They've considered it. There's a point where the Grimsby public won't pay. They've looked at charging more for the "bigger games".
When there's a game when there's an offer and the performance is under par does the chairman go and tell the players? It puts people off coming when they've been lured to the ground.
Club expresses disappointment when there's a performance they don't think was up to the job. But the players are always more disappointed. The chairman doesn't see why he should go into the dressing room before a game to gee up the players whren he employs a manager to do that. Players didn't agree to a pay cut. Club has had open forum with the players about the situation.
Can Grimsby Town survive?
For the next twelve months, if the income comes and the fans want division one football and support their club then the club will do their best.
Anyway, Rob McCaf has appeared on my tv, the phone-in's come to an end and I need to go and nurse my cat. 'night!