To our fans,
Grimsby Town Football Club’s Board of Directors met yesterday – as scheduled – to discuss a number of footballing and operational matters. The board wish to place on record how disappointed they are with recent performances and the nature of those performances. The supporters are the lifeblood of our club and have every right to express concern following such performances. Quite frankly – we all expect better.
This has led to some calling for a change in the senior leadership of the Football Club.
The Board met yesterday and voted unequivocally to support the existing management team financially in the current January transfer window and throughout the summer to continue their rebuilding exercise of the playing squad.
Russell and Paul have also set out a clear vision to the Board to continue rebuilding the squad towards a tighter-knit, leaner but higher calibre playing squad, reducing it in size whilst increasing the quality over the next six months.
We can today announce that the club have recouped their initial investments on Jamey Osborne (the Directors place on record their disappointment with how this has turned out - despite Russell's best efforts to retain the player) and Tom Bolarinwa as they return to the clubs from whom they joined us. There will be further departures throughout this window and in the summer.
The Board have always provided support in the windows and the additions of Jake Kean and Charles Vernam will be followed by others. There is an intention to add some quality signings to improve our matchday squad, whilst moving on players who do not fit within the manager’s plans for the team. We are committed to bringing goals and the buzz back to Blundell Park. We have decided to inject money to help the manager improve the playing squad - whether that is through new additions or reducing in size - to ensure our budget is competitive within our league.
Russell is as disappointed as we all are at the dip in form particularly after three wins on the bounce. It is gut wrenching that we haven’t built on this form. Russell is determined to make adjustments to the squad which he believes will bring back goals and increase its confidence so that we can enjoy Saturday afternoons at Blundell Park and on their away travels.
Russell Slade and Paul Wilkinson are vastly experienced. They continue to increase and improve the professionalism of the football club and implement their football ethos throughout the club. This ethos has seen them employed by several high-profile football clubs throughout their careers. They are meticulous in their preparations and are well respected in the game. However, they have also inherited a playing structure largely built by two other managers with so many full time first team professionals on our books. It is clear that our squad is in transition and we ask supporters to remain patient.
While some of this rebuilding took place in the summer it is not always something that can be completed overnight. When you lose big characters like we have over the past eighteen months and have lots of new faces, it takes time for things to gel together and have that desired effect.
The directors genuinely believe, whilst there have been and will be further bumps in the road, that they will ensure that we consolidate as we find our feet back in the Football League and build a team that is capable of challenging next season. While the Board accepts that there have been examples of some teams being promoted from the Conference and building on that success through momentum, there are also many examples where clubs have been promoted and done far worse than we are doing now.
Whilst Luton and Mansfield are now rising up the table and challenging for promotion spots this has taken them four years to do so competitively. Likewise Barnet, promoted the year before us have been through several managers since and now sit at the bottom of the table. Similarly, one only has to look at how Forest Green Rovers have fared in their first season in the league to know that a second successive mid-table position – 13 points clear of the relegation places and 9 off the play-offs – isn’t what we had hoped for, but it also isn’t the complete disaster promoted by some.
The Club needs stability right now and the Board are asking the fans to be even more patient and get behind the manager, club and players as we continue this rebuilding process back in the league.
Russell, Paul and the team are continuing to work tirelessly to bring back the goals, confidence and success to the club. However this will only be possible with the support and backing of our fans. Our club has been through much worse than this before and come out the other side stronger. Together we are stronger and the only way we can make Blundell Park a fortress is by turning out and backing the team. The players need us to show that support starting on Saturday against Newport County - we owe it to the club we all love by putting our differences aside to unite together.
Let’s show that relentless support for the team that has seen us recognised nationally in the past and here’s to bringing the goals, confidence and buzz back at Blundell Park!
John, Philip, Stephen, Jon & Michael.